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We have been without cable television – or any television for that matter – for a week now. It’s quite the experience. For one, I didn’t realize how ubiquitous the constant television chatter had become. Even if we weren’t watching it, we often had it on for the noise. Now that the TV noise is no longer there, we pick up on other background noises, like the ticking of the clock … tick … tick … tick … tick.

We are finding other ways to fill the sound void. Erik has been rewatching movies from our collection of DVDs. I have rediscovered our musical CD collection. I can play CDs in our DVD player, which is hooked up to our small sound system, giving the music a nice, rich sound. It definitely beats the ticking of the clock.

Without cable television, our time is more deliberately spent. There isn’t this automatic clicker gesture followed by mindless half-listening and half-watching. And, suddenly, the evening is over and it’s time for bed. Without cable, we have to decide how we’re going to spend our time, which seems to expand with possibilities. (Not that it expands that much, mind you, but some evenings seem very long, indeed.)

The one family member who most appears to miss cable television is Doggle Woggle. When we watched regularly, he would park himself on the couch and silently (unless he was tossing bones onto the floor) commune with us. Now, if we’re busy doing things in other parts of the house, he wanders over and looks longingly at us, urging us to join him in the living room.

We aren’t planning to live without television forever, but I’m going to enjoy the ticking of the clock while I can. Tick … tick … tick … tick.