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Cell Phone Booster

Picture of Young Paul and Peter

Picture: Young Paul (left), Peter with Sophia

Living in rural MT can be a drag at times when it comes to getting a decent cell phone connection and we all try our darndest to get as good of one as we can. You almost have to invest in a $500 antenna set up to even get a signal to a small portion of the house.

Young Paul called me the other day and needed to order a cell phone booster for his house. Being on the colony, it’s only been a few years ago that they were even allowed phones in the house, and only the bosses are suppose to have cell phones. Funny thing is most families have one as well. There are only 2 lines into the colony and you have to wait your turn to call out. As soon as a lines opens up, it’s gone, snatched up for one more 15 minute conversation. This minute limit was instituted so that everyone would have a chance to use the phones. It gets a bit interesting when your in the middle of a conversation and get cut off mid sentence. This makes it very difficult to make necessary business calls when the ladies are chattering, hence the cell phone necessity. I have seen both lines empty in my visits, but only durning meal time and church.

So online I went, to find a cell phone booster for Young Paul. He can’t get a signal in the house, so has to go to his brother in law John’s house (he already has a cell phone booster) to make his calls. We found a hopefully decent one for about half the cost of the typical set up out here. It came in the mail a  couple days later, so I called and told him I wanted to visit the ladies, therefore would bring it out. 

Often I order things for Paul online due to his lack of internet availability. There is a computer on the colony in the Hog Barn! I know it doesn’t seem like the best place for a computer, but that’s where it’s kept. It’s main function is the check market prices and that’s about it. No email or porn allowed! Ok, I am starting to drift, so back to Young Paul. 

I get Sophia all bundled up and in the car along with my beads and tiny bottles (More about the bottles in a later post), and head out. It’s a nasty day. Cold and dreary out. A perfect day for a friendly visit with dear friends. It only takes 10 minutes to drive the 10 miles north to Riverview Colony. Pulling up to the houses, not many people are outside today. A couple of the ladies working in the kitchen are headed home for a break, but that’s it. 

I usually head to Clara’s house, but today went to Frieda and Young Pauls to deliver the booster. I knocked once and then went right in. You aren’t suppose to knock, but I still feel funny just walking right in, so I knock to give fair warning. Taby was in the basement working hard, varnishing a beautiful ironing table her boyfriend gave to her for Christmas. She told me that Frieda (her mom) was in the kitchen mixing the dough, for the noodles that week. So we decided I’d head over to Clara’s (her Aunts) to see the girls. I took Sophia and headed out the door, freezing and thinking I really should have brought a coat. Then here comes Frieda out of the kitchen and says,“ no go back to my house and visit”. I know how much she loves to have company. Usually we are all over at Clara’s, so I couldn’t refuse. She broke out a bottle of homemade apple juice for Sophia and some wonderful little sour red candies that took me straight back to my childhood! I hadn’t had them in years. What a treat! 

Young Paul is the son of Old Paul the Preacher and Boss Man off the colony. One of his may responsibilities is teaching the small grade school kids German. Once fascinating thing about their religion, is the Hutterites don’t believe in teaching the small children English, until they are about 5 or 6 years old and headed into kindergarten. They are only spoken to in German, though many start picking up on English far earlier. 

German school was in session when I got there, but was sure it wouldn’t be long before Young Paul would be showing his face in anticipation. Sure enough not 20 minutes after my arrival, in he comes with a gust of bitter cold wind. Always with a smile and a laugh he greats us and has to harass Sophia a little. Then finding out I did indeed bring the cell phone booster, like a kid in a candy shop, he was all smiles, opening the box, gently taking everything out, reading directions and temporarily running the antenna to the window (it belongs on the roof) to see if there was indeed a signal. I brought my cell phone to test it out. We couldn’t get a signal at the time, but were thinking it was only due to the fact the antenna was not on the roof. I’ve yet to find out if it worked, but am hopeful. We had a wonderful if not short visit, then Young Paul said he’d better head back to German school before the little rascals thought they'd get the afternoon off...