Our friends down the Peninsula reminded us that we left “some sort of speaker” at their Little Cottage last year. They thought we might want to take it to the cottage we’re renting this month.

Turns out it was the kind of speaker where you plug your iPhone into the top, and play iTunes songs through two speakers on the side. Two years old and it’s obsolete. I am not one to think of two-year old technology as quaint. But this time I did.

Technology is part of what makes this month possible for us. We need an Internet to keep up with businesses. We want technology to keep up with our lives. Lucky for us, the owners just added wireless. The instructions are clear. The router was where they said it would be. Everything works!

We also had some technology wants: We want to listen to the Reds on the beach. I knew I’d enjoy a few programs on public radio. We sometimes listen to iTunes and Pandora. That’s why we now use a wireless speaker. Plug it or batteries; it holds a 5-hour charge. It’s as complicated as hitting “on” and waiting for the beep that says it’s paired with my tablet or phone.

We also use less technology here. On purpose. 

I’m guessing technology has been adding beautiful touches to vacations for years. I also think each new gadget caused a fuss. Someone lugged the first Victrola all the way to the beach. Someone else complained that the whole point of vacation was to leave it behind. Someone grumbled about squeezing the portable grill into the car. Someone else was thrilled.

Just talking about vacation can make us touchy: where to go, how much to spend and what to do once we’re there. Our relationship with technology is rocky too. It’s probably been that way ever since our ancestors invented techniques and tools. Technology changes us. We change it.

I can’t fathom what kind of person would prefer gadgets to the beauty that is Michigan. These weeks are about water, woods, critters, family, memories and friends. Technology doesn’t make it bad.

I’m listening to the Reds as I write. Looking at the water, I imagine the first people who listened to a game while lying on the beach on summer’s night, and their thrill when they won it the ninth!