A couple of nights ago, my toddler broke my family’s only TV set. I was reminded of Fahrenheit 451, which I read years ago in high school. Ray Bradbury wrote about TV screens as big as an entire living room wall in his futuristic society. He envisioned them becoming like an increasingly important member of the family. Bradbury wasn’t entirely wrong. I felt a sense of loss like I had lost the company of a good friend.
Or maybe it was the company of several good friends. I enjoyed watching Sam and Diane hash it out on reruns of Cheers after the kids took their bath and we all snuggled on the couch. I looked forward to seeing if Jane would choose Rafael or Michael in Jane the Virgin, and I was counting the days to the start of the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
With no TV to stare at, I picked up my latest library book. I like to read but tell myself and everyone else that I don’t have time to read entire books, what with taking care of the kids and watching Jane the Virgin. With television, not even an option, I settled into the big recliner near the wood stove and read a few chapters of Good Husbandry, a memoir of modern-day farm life in New York by Kristen Kimball.
The fire warmed my body while my mind got happily lost in Kimball’s pastoral world of milk cows, draft horses, and rows of sweet corn. I felt like I had found a new friend. I was relieved to discover I had time to read after all. I just had to get rid of the TV first.