It Is Written

Through the fog
Of forty years
I still remember
those afternoons.

4pm sharp, always.

There you are
walking up
The driveway with
Your scuffed lunchbox,
And empty thermos,
Another hard day’s
Work behind you

There you sit at the
dining room table
Almost exactly the age
I am now
With a steaming
cup of black coffee
To hold off the weariness
For a few more hours

I still remember
The smell of metal
and of sweat
As you ran your fingers
Through your hair
Brushing away
the shavings and
Sometimes squinting
Through the flash-burns
While explaining to us
The challenges and triumphs
Of another day at “the shop”

Only now do I fully understand
The struggle you endured
Only now can I identify
with that certain
Desperation that aches
In the moments of
waining hope when
you feel the true breadth
Of the widening gap between
How it is and how you always dreamed it would be.

The most important lesson
You taught me without
ever saying a word, Dad.

You’ve proven to me
That our souls are a
wellspring of strength
Yet we have this
constant thirst
Through your example
I know It is within me to endure
Until the darkness
Of the day passes on
In our genes it is written
And for this I will
be forever grateful.

~Eric Vance Walton~

Ditching Satellite TV – Installment Two

Recap. My wife and I decided we were fed up with $100 per month satellite TV bills and found an alternative after months of searching. Fast forward two weeks and the equipment has been delivered and installed. A refurbished Apple TV for $75 from, an RCA Model 165 digital antenna purchased from for $45.  I’m not going to lie, it was a liberating feeling when that postage paid box came and I boxed up the old satellite hardware and shipped it back knowing the bills would stop. 

How’s it working so far? We love it. We opted for both Hulu Plus and Netflix so our total monthly cost for television has dropped from $85 per month to $16. Both streaming services excel in different areas and the having both offers a great variety of cable television programs and movies. The digital antenna was super easy to install and we pull in 25 HD channels for free including the major networks, public TV and some really cool local stations.  We have twice the viewing options as we did before for far less money. 

I only have two gripes so far. The first is not being able to see the TV schedule for the channels pulled in from the digital antenna. I suppose that was how the old TV Guide magazine survived all those years. For less than 25% the cost and twice as many viewing options I can live with it. The second gripe? The satellite TV company will not quit calling me asking me to come back. They offered to cut my bill in more than half the for the first six months and offer the pay per view movies for free…”it’s just like Netflix, they said.”  Sorry, it’s a case of too little too late.  To be continued…