Unintended Benefits – #1LinerWeds

“Ugh, I forgot my phone!”

Yep, that happened to me on Monday. I wasn’t very far into my morning commute, but I was on the highway, and the next exit would be a 20-minute round-trip to home and back. In addition to that, taking 20 minutes to get back to that point would mean an extra 10 minutes in traffic (which was already building). It really wasn’t worth it.

Needless to say, I was in the right-lane, approaching the exit with every intention of getting off when I grudgingly came to that conclusion.

A flurry of thoughts went through my head. “What if I dropped it and it’s sitting in the rain on the driveway?” “What if I miss a really important call?” “How will I know if people are liking today’s blog post?” “How will I read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s summary of the Steelers win over Baltimore without NewsSlide?” – Granted, none of those are up there with, “How will I destroy the missile if one is accidentally launched?” but not having my phone for an entire day hasn’t happened for a long time.

The Editor had discovered the phone, and was waiting for my return, ready to meet me in the driveway for a quick exchange. The coworker I walked in said she would have turned around, regardless of where she was in her commute. The coworkers I walk for coffee with were amazed that I had been in the office for an hour without having told our mutual boss that I’d be telecommuting due to an emergency at home.

However, as the title suggests, not all was lost.

If you’re thinking that this is where I will drift into how quiet and productive my day was, perish the thought. I have an iPad, so text messages and WordPress announcements were still available. In a pinch, I can run Skype for Business (our office phone system) and make a call from my iPad. The Post-Gazette has an iPad version of NewsSlide that is actually better than the iPhone version.

No, the benefit from charging ahead, sans iPhone appears in the gallery. I was able to see the sky grow from a little bit of red on the horizon, to a full-on burst of remarkable color that lasted for less than 2 minutes. If I had gone back for my phone, I never would have seen any of this this.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. I’m glad you had backup devices Dan. When in Costa Rica my ipad was my connection. Our phones weren’t unlocked the first go round and even unlocked I had to rely on wifi most of the time and the Textie App. I don’t use mine as much as most people anyway, except for the camera. Always a camera…..
    I hope you have a good rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happened to me too in June this year. I was too far away from the house, though, but I still went back to get it. In the confusion that followed my discovering that I didn’t have it, that I had possibly left it in the house, I wondered why you don’t always remember you have left something important behind until you are almost too far gone in your journey. You hardly remember when you are still nearby. It is curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we just assume the routine things are always done. It’s when we mess up the routine. I’ve gone off without my backpack (laptop) because I changed the routine of getting a shirt to wear. It’s like muscle memory.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I was thinking, Judy, yet if I go out without my phone, I feel as if I’m adrift. It wasn’t that many years ago when I didn’t have a phone with me at all and I managed to get along just fine. Granted that phone is now the phone on the wall/desk for me, but I ran errands and went other places without ever worrying about not being constantly in touch. There were lots of good things about those days!! Now I use my phone as a camera, so I love to have it with me, but I still have an adrift feeling the few times I’m without it. :-)

      Love the shots, Dan. It was worth not going back for your phone to see them. Would you please send some of that extra water to the part of France where my s-i-l is and where they’re on water rationing??


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I laughed when I read your posting, Dan, because I am one of those retro folks who does not use a cell phone much at all. I have a Tracfone that is technically a smart phone (an older LG with Android), but I tend to turn it on only when I want to make a call or send a text message. For most of my career I have worked in facilities that did not allow cellphones inside the buildings, so I have never gotten used to having one with me all of the time. The cell phone spends most of its time in my camera bag–I sometimes go to remote places to shoot and some family and friends convinced me I should have it with me in case of an emergency. I personally think there are lots of benefits to not having my head buried in a phone, especially when in public. I love your sunrise photos. With the change in the clocks this past Sunday, you have to be on the road pretty early to catch the sun rising.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. I was late to the cell phone thing, and even later to the smart phone thing, but I am hooked. I entered both realms because it was clear that I had to supply (initially) and support (to this day) our employees on the road. I like to think I make good use of the technology.

      I do like the fact that our daughter, who hikes alone fairly often, has one in her camera bag and checks in with us periodically.


  4. Wowsa! Those colors are magnificent. As for forgetting your phone, I’ve done that for a whole day and lived to tell. It’s almost like I learned how to live without one once upon a time, back in the dark ages, when we lived like animals in caves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As Judy said, when we left the phone on the wall in the kitchen? Amazing how some disasters just don’t develop the way we imagine they will. Looking back, being able to get to the park to see the sky light up like that was way better than having my phone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You say it’s your birthday! Happy Birthday to you, Dan! That sunrise is wonderful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like that before. Mimi didn’t like being awoken to see it? My husband ALWAYS forgets his phone…and then always the question: “Should I turn around and get it?” Grrr-rrrrr.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 👏👌✨💫💥🍺🎂🎈🎉🎊 HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN!! Enjoy every minute of your special day.

    I have my granddaughters old cellphone. The only time I touch it is to put it in my purse when we go out ‘in case of an emergency’! I know, I’m a dinosaur. I’m glad you didn’t go back for yours because those photos are amazing!

    That’s so cute the way (young) Maddie is just laying there eating….kinda like the way teenagers eat in front of the TV! And poor MiMi, once again so rudely disturbed by Dan The Cameraman!!

    And for the record, I would go back to the rotary phone in a NY minute. Lol.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I’m noticed that you included a beer emoji. Thanks.

      We still have a working rotary dial Princess phone. I bought it for my wife for Mother’s Day many years ago.

      Maddie still sometimes eats like a slug. She lays under a kitchen chair and just reaches into her bowl for a nibble or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Isn’t it funny all the angst we get over leaving our phones at home. It’s not as though we (usually) aren’t headed toward a place that has them. But I would be the same way.
    I held out for years and didn’t get a cell phone after nearly everyone had them. But then I was going to relocate, and driving alone, I decided to join the rest of the world. I think it was 2000 before I got one, maybe 1999… Now I’m as dependent on the thing as a security blanket as anybody.
    Love this photo collection. The colors are glorious! Have a wonderful Wednesday, Dan. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have done that before and survived , I even considered purposefully leaving my phone behind one or two days each week to try and re-capture that magical day but alas, I now need my smartphone to log in at work. Text of a one time code was recently added to security sake. This pictures are gorgeous!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We added smartphones to our security system just recently. In fact, we were ready to add the app to my phone the day I left it home. The phones are becoming more and more important. I fear the day when they are essential to the point that they can’t be ignored.

      I’m glad you liked the pictures. Seeing that before I went to work, really helped make my day.


  9. I did that once and survived I even considered leaving my phone at home 1 or 2 days each week to try and recreate the magic. But alas I must have my smartphone to log in these days. Text of a one time code was added for security sake. Those pictures are gorgeous!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Dan – happy belated birthday … and with lots more ahead. Love the colours – the sky has been incredible … morning rising and evening sinking. I hardly use my phone – I’ll catch up by the time the next funky thing comes to the fore – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolutely beautiful! The worst thing about traveling in a car nonstop from the west to NE is the sun in your eyes, but the sunrises make up for it. I hope it was not the old saying red sky in morning, sailors take warning thing my mom said….have a great day today.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Birthday, Dan.

    I can understand your wavering on whether or not to go back for that phone. Last Thursday, I got two-thirds of the way home when I realized I had left my phone sitting on my desk at work. Since it’s just a flip phone, I only use it for calls and texts, so normally I would just leave it and get it the next day – but I only work 4 days a week and certainly couldn’t be without that phone for the entire weekend. What if one of my kids needed help? What if my mother-in-law tried to call? What if Publisher’s Clearinghouse tried to call to tell me I won?

    So I turned around and went back. Now I was into heavy rush hour, grid lock in both directions. It was dark, rainy, and the radio reported numerous accidents just about everywhere. I had left the office at 5 pm, and I didn’t get home until 7 pm. (On most nights, it’s a 30-35 minute drive.) Until the second homebound trip (with phone in hand), I couldn’t even call my husband to tell him I would be late, definitely not a good thing.

    Needless to say, I’ve been very careful with that darn phone ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks CM – I definitely understand that. I’ve left my phone in the office, and I’ve always gone back for it. The worst part is ending up in worse traffic because of an otherwise short delay.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan, Happy Birthday! 🎶🎉🎶 Why so low key! Birthdays are important, no matter what year!! A cell phone to me is a necessity! I’m connected with family members in different states, and countries, even diagnose their medical issues with photos. I’d be lost without Find Friends. And the CAMERA! I’m hooked and never leave home without it. My car tells me my phone is connected (Sync3). Have a happy day, Dan. My son’s bday was yesterday and a good friend’s the day before. Go celebrate! 🎂🎶🎉 Christine


  14. Your Ipad … who needs a phone? You call that ” a little red” on the horizon – I might have call that the sky on fire! Anyways, am glad you got to record that little red:):)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wonderful photos Dan. I would have continued on… and have done several times. I’m always fascinated about how I will deal with the discomfort and sense of being out of control. Now I have the answer. Keep my iPad in the car!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I leave without my phone too many times to count in a month! I don’t have an iPad for back up so, my thinking is if something were to happen I’ll have to rely on some good person or business to let me use their phone to call home or maybe I’ll just happen to be near one of few remaining pay phones if something were to happen and I need a phone, but then I’ll really be in trouble b/c I rarely ever carry change!

    I’m glad you didn’t miss that glorious sunrise. Those like that mornings are rare!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. I remember getting my wife a cell (bag) phone in the late 80s because there were no pay phones on the route she drove to get our daughter to school in a nearby town. It was only a 15-20 minute rides, but things could go wrong.

      I am glad I was able to witness the sky changing. I’m always amazed how quickly the colors peak and fade.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I will sing that all night now. LOL And it’s not sunshining anymore! I drove home in the dark. I was glad I had my phone, cause I was the last one there, and I asked The Mister to stay on the phone with me from office to Blanche :)
    I left without my phone once, maybe about a year ago. It was alright. I was alright. My family though, they all chatted accusations about who made Mama so mad she wasn’t speaking to anyone! Hahaha!
    Neither of these scenarios had me catching deep pink and purple skies. Those are so pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry if that song stays stuck, but it is a good one.

      It’s s good idea for you to stay on the phone with him as you walk to the car – smart lady. That’s funny about your family’s reaction 🙂

      Deep pink and purple? I need to look again.


  18. You really made the right call to not go back! The reward of the colors and line of migrating birds (this nature wonder) was worth it – but so was the less stress and you are not kidding about how “thick traffic” can get at different times.
    Once school buses are out and more commuters hit the roads – yeah – ten minutes more can easily get added on

    Liked by 1 person

  19. For me a phone-less day is not a big deal mainly because I usually don’t get calls. I was just checking my phone right now and I realized that the average of the monthly incoming phone calls on my phone is 5 which includes promotion calls by various companies as well. The only exceptional day would be my birthday where I might cross the 7 phone call in a day mark. Also, my WhatsApp is equally dormant. Most of my friends don’t WhatsApp me crappy forwarded messages because they know I won’t like it. However, my smartphone is an extension of my laptop so I need it for my emails and for music and social media. I and Sarah use the same phone/number (which surprises many people) so whoever walks out of the home takes the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I actually discovered this when I started working in a firm. I talk to regular commuters on the train and they were not just surprised they were shocked to hear that I and Sarah actually use the same phone. They wanted to share adult content and I was like I cannot because Sarah uses the same phone. In fact, I was shocked to discover that all married men and senior citizens carry porn on their smartphones. Not that I haven’t watched it in my lifetime, but I don’t like to stack it on my phone. I and Sarah have nothing to hide to each other. She even met the girl I had proposed to during my college days. She knows my darkest secrets. Plus, I don’t treat her like trophy wife. She is with me at every event or festival, so we are 100% transparent to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

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