Tuesday, November 14, 2017

tech crescendo, then exhale

Well, it came as no surprise. In the end, the ten year old laptop (my home computer) refused to cooperate. All fixes lead to temporary smiles and grins (perhaps smirks) and then a return to the messages, the waits, the threatening innuendos.

I buy the replacement.

Breakfast is little more than a blip in my morning.

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The rest of my time is spent in running between store and tech support getting the new, pristine new baby to work.

By early afternoon, it looks like everything is set to go.

And oh, the loveliness of the new machine! The speed! Did you know that a computer does not ordinarily take ten minutes to wake up from a nap? That it can move seamlessly from site to site without a spinning rainbow circle keeping you in suspense as to how or if it will get there?

Sometimes I feel that I've lived most of my computer years with Chunky by my side. Before I supplemented it with a small thin travel machine, I dragged Chunky along on camping trips and on bike marathons in France with Ed. Ocean was mostly written on its keyboard -- that same keyboard over which bowlfuls of chips have been eaten.

I bring the new machine home. I've upped the size: it's a whopping 15 inches. It's beautiful! It shines! I reach into the cabinet for a special tea towel with lovely flowered design to cover it protectively from dust (and food stuffs that routinely fly around here).

In the evening, Ed looks at me... You're using your old computer? The slow one that throws you all those threatening messages?
Of course! -- I say, reaching into a bag of Dill and Sour Cream Lentil Chips. I could not possibly use the new one! It's far too beautiful!
Well, you know. Soon. Just not today.

But I have to say, the whole process of launching a new computer has left me exhausted. Perhaps the highlight of the morning was sitting in my most bedraggled state at the DoIT center (a place at the university where you go with all your tech problems), working with the patient staff member to do things that are not easy, and having a young man zip by, do a step back and a shout out to me -- Heyprofessor Camic! How you're doing? I'm in a hurry, but just wanted to say hi! I'm a lawyer for the university now...

Woah! This one encounter triggered memories! Students who mattered to me. So many are, of course, on FaceBook and I follow their lives -- professional, personal. I delight in their children, many now  in high school and beyond. I take in their happiness, occasionally their sad turns in life. But it's always fantastic when, out of the blue, somebody comes up to you and says -- hey, nice to see you again! 

Still, I am a tired beast. And it is a cold gray day, not at all suitable for an after-school  playground romp with Snowdrop.

When I pick her up, she is in full discombobulation mode. Her teacher explains -- she just woke up. Sweet, sweet girl. To ask her to wake up, rise, get into the rhythm and rules of school, get ready to head out -- it's a lot. Sort of like asking me to buy a new computer.

We are both wrecks.

I text her mom asking for permission to watch some TV with the babe. I understand that Daniel Tiger is on. Every kid in her school watches it. It would be a welcome break in a long, indoor afternoon.

And so as I help her with her coat and shoes and try to sooth her poor soul (but I'm hungry, grandma! and I want to go on an adventure and can you please hold me?), I turn to her and say: let's get going! We'll listen to classical music in the car (she loves it!), eat fruits and croissants, play games, read books and watch Daniel Tiger on TV!

Well now.

It is a beautiful afternoon of before Daniel (in anticipation of)...

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(Loving the new Laura Ingalls books for young readers! Fascinated by my suggestion that Laura lived nearby...)

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(Asking for farmhouse sweater, then buttoning every last button...)

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And finally watching Daniel...

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And after? Well, it's time to put her babies to sleep and close all the doors upstairs, then put on pretend boots and jump through scores of (pretend) puddles in the living room.

Yeah! We're both restored and ready to face the world again.