William L Ivarson Jr Senior Profile: Braydan Gaffin Senior Profile: Ethan Pennywitt Senior Center spreading Christmas cheer Stout named Administrator of Monarch Meadows Richard Francis Frank B Young William Scaff Gregory A Silvia Jr Davis now the winningest coach in Lady Devils basketball history Clutch plays give Green Devils OT win Eighth grade Greyhounds go on the road, grab 55-41 conference win at Whiteoak Lady Indians can’t hang on, fall to Eastern Brown Indians open up with big Homecoming win Greyhounds drilled by Fairfield in season opener How to sell 94 losses NAES leads local schools represented at PBIS Showcase PHS Beta Club recognized as National School of Distinction MES wins Momentum Award for second year running Fire destroys Winchester business Martha Becraft Cynthia A Sopher Clarys Holliday Basketball Special: 2017-18 Justice girls lead Peebles to win over Felicity Senior Profile: Adison Wright Lady Dragons slain by buzzer-beater Freshmen double-doubles lead Lady Hounds to win in opener County mourns passing of OVSD Board member Tom Reed Peebles man arrested in connection with woman’s disappearance Leaving a written legacy Not really ready to go back to pioneer days Peebles Jr./Sr. High School awarded PBIS Bronze Award North Adams High School named National Beta School of Distinction Operation Christmas Child collects 1,867 boxes Samantha Jameson honored as Young Professional of the Year Youth Deer Season again plagued by bad weather Humane Society hosting Ugly Christmas Sweater contest Dec. 9 Local centenarian celebrates birthday number 100 with family and friends Jerry R Pratt Edward Lykins Jr NAES students focus on spreading kindness Leland P Sautter Kelly B Anderson Dorothy Grooms Sharon D Brumley Anna J Grooms Local student/athletes awarded Wendy’s Heisman Awards Lady Devils JV triumph in opener Senior Profile: Colten Ball Peebles hosts SHAC Boys Preview Lady Devils fall in tough opener Janet A Pedicord Nettie R Fleshman Senior Profile: Sianna Mills North Adams boys ride the ‘3’ train to victory Lady Devils trounce Georgetown Senior Profile: Austin Stamper North Adams’ Williams named OIAAA Administrator of the Year County hoops squads on display in SHAC Girls Preview Going off the grid Michael L Chamblin A newer, kinder county pound takes a more humane approach TAG students are winners at Invention Convention Adams County Florist decks the halls Thomas J Reed Shirley A Stiffler Sharon G Wright Lottie J Meade June R Williams Lions and Cowboys and no Bengals, thankfully Senior Profile: Tyler Horsley North Adams sweeps Manchester Cheer Championships Indians face tough test in first pre-season scrimmage Senior Profile: Abby Faulkner Seas reflects on second state tournament experience NA’s Harper signs to continue hoops career at Rio Grande Hendrickson named Assistant Coach of the Year in Division III girls soccer Take the hint, it’s Thanksgiving time again Small Business Saturday in Adams County Art Council’s newest production will have you ‘laughing through your tears’ North Adams students working to help the homeless Grateful Richard A Graham #SawyerStrong Billy L Smalley With some help from Adams County, Ohio Statehouse now has wheelchair charging station Wenstrup announces re-election campaign Delta Dental provides two local schools with new drinking fountains Ernie McFarland honored by Ohio Bankers League Veterans Day parade, ceremony held in West Union Adams County schools celebrate Veterans Day Being the change November: As Mr. Seas it Protecting Ohio seniors from rising healthcare costs It’s November-have some soup and pie SHAC Boys Preview is Nov. 24 at Peebles June Hall Alice B Himes Claudia U Mitchell

Going off the grid

By Denae Jones – 

I just came back from an ‘unplugged’ weekend with friends. We were gone three nights and most of four days without our phones or other technological devices. We didn’t just turn them off, we left them at home. There was a land line phone available for emergencies, but that was it. Fortunately, none of us had to use it.
I’m so used to having my phone with me, that for the first day or two I kept getting that urgent feeling that I had forgotten it or dropped it somewhere. (Hoping it wasn’t in the toilet.) Then, just like waking up in an unfamiliar place and needing a second to remember where you are, I would remember that I didn’t bring it. We had no idea what time it was, because most of us use our phones to tell time instead of watches. We had no idea what was going on with the weather unless we walked out to look. We didn’t know the score of the ball games. We didn’t have calendars to check. We didn’t get any email alerts. We didn’t hear bad news headlines. Nobody got calls from work. We had to bring flashlights because, as you can probably guess, the one we usually use is on our phones. We didn’t have alarm clocks. We didn’t take pictures or video. We weren’t on social media. Conversations weren’t interrupted by texts. Although I did miss telling my kids goodnight and getting random texts from my husband throughout the day, I have to say that having no phone strapped to my side was a breath of fresh air.
It’s crazy stupid how much we rely on technology these days. As much as we like the idea of some disconnect from it, we tend to get a feeling of panic without it. I have turned the car around and driven back home to get my phone just to make a trip to the grocery store. Why? I’m sure I would have managed the three mile drive without it. The teenage driver at our house has to keep the location on her phone turned on at all times so we can tell where she is. She asked me once how I ever drove back and forth to an out of state college for almost 5 years by myself with no phone. Didn’t my parents worry constantly about where I was, and if I was going to break down, and what I would do in an emergency? Well. Maybe. Or maybe my parents just prayed a lot more, because I never recall getting worried over things like that. If I broke down or ran out of gas, I would have just walked to get help like everyone else did. However, the thought of my daughter doing that instead of just calling me for help scares me. I guess it was just a different time.
Being off the grid was a welcome reminder of the good ol’ days. The time we spent together with no technology was so genuine. We asked each other questions instead of asking Siri. We learned from one another instead of Google. We wrote things by hand instead of talk-texting or email. We told stories or read books instead of watching television. We laughed. A lot. We had quiet reflection. And we didn’t have to worry about a goofy picture or video of us singing out of tune being posted on social media. We ate when we were hungry and slept when… well. We didn’t sleep much, but you get the idea.
It made me wonder how much of our time, our lives, is being missed because we don’t allow ourselves a break from technology. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying technology is bad. There are phone apps that actually save lives. It connects us to others when we feel lonely. We stay in touch with long-distance family and friends, and have a world of information at our fingertips. The trick is using it in moderation and for the right reasons.
Is checking a text or email more important than the conversation happening right next to us? Probably not. But it seems like it is to the other person who is being put off until we finish what we’re doing on our phone. How do we use all of those pictures we take (many without permission)? Do we post them, just to get a laugh at someone else’s expense? What about our evenings at home? Do we like to spend our free time reading through social media or scanning over ideas on Pinterest? If so, there’s nothing wrong with that. (I mean, where else would you learn to make a beautiful table decoration out of an old wine bottle, rope, rocks and glue?) But I challenge us to set boundaries around it. Create some hands-off time, where all phones and screens are put on chargers in another room and that time is used to do other things. Play a board game. Talk. Watch a movie together. Have dinner at the table. If you live alone, perhaps you could use that time to call someone you’ve been meaning to touch base with, talk to a neighbor, or invite a friend over to visit.
I challenge you to find some time to go off the grid. Maybe not for four days like I did, but try it for a day. Or for two hours every evening. Or on weekends. If you would like some ideas on how to do this better, consider reading “Hands Free Life”, by Rachel Macy Stafford. Great book. After all, if our hands are not holding our phones, they are free to help others. Who needs your help, time, or attention?
Have a blessed week, friends!

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