Posted by: jeannineatkins | July 16, 2009

Twice Told

Last weekend I went to a retreat in the country to do some yoga and write. Wanting to let my husband know I’d arrived safely, I got out my cell. I wandered around, but couldn’t find reception anywhere in the wooded hills. I stopped at the office and asked the young man there if he could suggest a place where I might get phone service.

“Some people get it in the hills, but the highest place is the Sanctuary and we don’t want people talking on cells there.”

I nodded. “Okay, I’ll look for a high place.”

“Just don’t use your cell in the Sanctuary,” he said.


Do I really look like someone who’d be yacking in a place labeled a Sanctuary, even if it looks pretty much like the woods around my house? Apparently so. I was annoyed and reminded of the unpleasant results of repetition. It can feel to the hearer or reader that you think they’re a fool. Now I’m watching the sentences I’m putting into my book. If I want to go over the same territory, it had better be with new and interesting words.



  1. “If I want to go over the same territory, it had better be with new and interesting words.”
    That made me chuckle. Good reminder!

  2. I like the way you take an irritating experience and turn it into something positive. Did you ever find a connection?

  3. You’re in a Sanctuary? Ah, sounds wonderful… I need to scroll back so I can find you.

  4. I confess that if he told me the second time, it would make me WANT to use my phone in the sanctuary.
    You could have run out of there shouting… “You can’t stop me! I am going to use my phone in the sanctuary!!
    Yay for yoga and writing!

  5. I’m at home, just a quick nice (except for the young man!) visit. I do need to do more yoga than Wednesday night at the library though.

  6. I realized there was a cafe nearby with wireless, so sent an “I’m here” email, which did the trick.

  7. Yes, I think that’s exactly what I did want to do! Wish you’d been there, Laura.

  8. No, you don’t strike me as a person who would cell in a sanctuary, and yes, it’s annoying to be told the same thing twice.
    Sadly, though, he probably has gotten into this habit because of all the people who decide that rules don’t apply to them.
    I was on the “quiet car” of my commuter train the other day, and one guy had to ask the person across the aisle THREE TIMES to get off his cell before he finally did it.

  9. Yes, I’ve seen my share of rude phone talkers, as I’m sure he has, too — which I guess is why I took a breath and went on my way (even if I did complain here!)

  10. me too.
    we could have threatened to call each other in the Sanctuary! ; )

  11. And probably that lesson in restraint–as in not saying, “Duh! Got it!” to the guy–that probably helps in the writing, too. 🙂

  12. This made me smile. I love how you see the big (and little) picture in everything. And how you bring it all back to writing.
    (And no, you do not look in the least like a Sanctuary yacker!)

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