I knew I should be grateful that I had not suffered any devastating side-effects from my stroke…and I truly was.
I didn’t even mind using a cane once in a while…if I felt I needed it for stability. I was in a good place.
But honest to Pete…I needed something to replace the books I had gotten so used to reading every night before I went to sleep.
I had tried using the magnifying glass device that hangs around your neck but that didn’t work out very well for me. Large print books were great…but the selection was limited.
I had also tried watching television but found that to be more stimulating than relaxing.
But one day as I was half-heartedly dusting my bedroom…the duster flicked on the shelf on which my ancient Sony clock-radio sat. I paused…duster in mid-air…and if this were a cartoon…you would see a little light bulb snap on over my head.
I had never actually used this as a radio…just as a back-up alarm clock. I turned it on and slowly started to scan through the FM stations.
The reception was pretty good…and the sound was not half bad. But the program offerings were just plain awful.
Other than a couple of syndicated sports channels, I kept getting one religious channel after another.
Some were pretty aggressive in their desire to save my poor soul. One guy actually promised…or at least he said “there was a pretty good chance”…to get a seat next to God on the day I died…if I would just send them $20.00…cash…right now.
Any delay and I could lose my “potential” spot. “Didn’t have that cash laying around.?” he inquired. How about your credit card…that would work just swell!”
Well. I better get right on that!
I moved the dial further to the end…only to find pre-programmed music…with short breaks at the hour and half-hour for local weather and any “breaking news”. I loved music…but not when I’m trying to fall asleep.
Then I flipped the switch to browse the AM stations. I knew there were several in this area…they used to advertise in the Rocky Point Press.
Somewhere deep in my slightly damaged brain were vague memories of local stations with programs that ran from dawn to dusk and some even around the clock…covering a myriad of topics from how to make the perfect pancake to the wide-ranging field of politics, to current events, to discussions about movies, theater and book reviews.
I also remembered there were a couple of very popular night-time radio programs where listeners followed the host every night and even called in to talk to him on a regular basis.
Things were looking up and I didn’t even have to send any money to God!
But…of course there’s a but…
The reception was terrible. I caught just a brief scratchy voice of some woman talking about different ways to cook smelt…but the sound was so bad I could hardly hear her at all.
Even though I tried everything short of attaching a metal clothes hanger to the radio as a make-shift antenna…the static would not go away. Besides…who has metal hangers anymore.
I moved the radio to various areas of my bedroom but I still received poor reception. Every AM station was almost totally blocked by static.
I was not discouraged. I was pretty sure I could somehow make this work…if only I could get rid of that damn static.
I was also motivated by the woman cooking smelt…you can never have enough ways to cook that little beauty.