Thursday, December 27, 2012

Computer Accessories and Other Such Items

By Belinda

The day ends as it began, in the peace and quiet of my small sitting room, the clock measuring the heartbeat of the hours in between with its tireless metronome rhythm.

 We celebrated Christmas with family today; Boxing Day. 

Pete and Sue had planned to arrive with their 4 children at 10.00 but at 10.00 the phone rang and it was Pete's deep voice on the other end.

"Hello, you aren't here," I observed.

Pete laughed, "I know," he said, "the kids are sluggish. We wanted to let you know we'll be there soon."

When daughter and daughter-in-law came they were bearing platters of their baking to add to our feast: haystack cookies, shortbread, ginger cookies, sugar cookies and fudge. Our house was soon full of more sugar than an army of sugar mice.

We started the opening of gifts by attempting the orderly one at a time method, where each gift is duly admired before the next one is opened, but with 12 humans of various ages around the tree that didn't last long and soon the handing out and opening sped up to where we all marveled at how at least two days of hard wrapping could be undone and the paper gathered up in less than half an hour.

The older teen cousins hung out together while the younger ones watched movies and the preparations in the kitchen came to a crescendo from which issued a  fine turkey dinner.

Afterwards, with the dinner eaten and cleared away, at last there was time to just relax and to ask Pete for help with some technical support with my new laptop. Son-in-law Kevin had already paid his dues yesterday with round one.

My five year old Dell laptop which was barely croaking along anymore I passed on to Pete afterwards. He was convinced that he could do something with it and asked if I had the original discs. I went and got the bankers box into which I stow things like the MP3 player I bought, promptly locked and which I meant to get around to unlocking but never did, along with everything else of a technical nature that I don't know what to do with. The discs, if I had them, would be in that box.

Sue, our daughter-in-law, read out my identifying inscription on the box, written in black marker: "Computer Accessories and Other Such Items," and laughed.

"What?" I said.

"Nothing," she said, "it's just you."

The price of support is being the subject of laughter, but it's a price I don't mind paying because in truth the laughter is justified.

Pete worked on the old laptop for some time, emptying it of the many toolbars I had unwittingly loaded onto it, along with unwanted software that I said had, "jumped on," but in reality I had welcomed by not un-checking boxes over the years. Why IS the default un-checking to say "no," rather than checking to say, "yes," you want something?

Pete did me the big favour of taking everything out of the bankers box and sorting it out into piles of things to throw away (including several big floppy discs!) things he could use but which I no longer needed and the very few things that I needed to keep. In the process of so doing, he looked at the mysteriously locked MP3 player and noticed a small switch on the side that said, "Lock." 

"Could this be why it is locked, Mom?" he said, handing it to me and sliding the switch in the other direction.

"This laptop looks like it's going to be of good use," he said, noting that it was now working a lot faster than it had been for some time.

"I'm so glad," I said, feeling happy that he had inherited something that could help in his household of 4 children always needing one to work on for homework.

Finally the family dispersed again to the highway home and apartment downstairs; and the quantities of leftovers--an abundance of riches, were all put away.

And I think that this is the best time of all, the grateful reflecting time; on love, and relationship, and home.


Anonymous said...

Glad you had a precious time with family. We are indeed blessed. Oh - and we both got a new laptop. Can you please send me Pete when you are finished with him. He is welcome to my old HP when he is done!!! :0) I'm looking forward to the new computer, yet dreading the set up and hooking up to wifi, printer, anti-virus, office...lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Enjoy the season.

Belinda said...

Oh Anonymous friend, a techno slave is a great treasure. There is a second best option--"Geek Squads" that will come and do it for money as opposed to old laptops! But perhaps there is a market niche out there for enterprising young people to whom this is all so simple. I laughed at your "lions and tigers and bears." Ha ha! That says it exactly! I still have to install Quicken and Norton anti virus as they were deleted during my "problem." I am giving myself lots of time--taking it slowly. I need a computer "doula" to remind me to breathe! :)