The aromas of coffee, bacon and pancakes mingled in the air as a stream of guests arrived for breakfast on Saturday and the Annual Missions Committee Planning Morning.
Debby; one of the members of the committee; said, smiling as she walked by me, "Good morning Belinda; have you talked to your brother lately?"
"It's been a couple of weeks; I'll have to call him later!" I said and smiled to myself at how often people ask me if I've called my brother lately. Either that or they ask, "How's your dog?" I don't have a dog, but I felt like I did when Brenda lived downstairs with Molson. He went with me to so many places and became beloved friend of so many people, and became well known here too, through his regularly recorded adventures.
It was a couple of hours later, after serving the missions committee what seemed like a million or so English pancakes with lemon and sugar that I tidied up the kitchen, left them to what sounded like some exciting planning, and found the phone.
I lay back in the lazy-boy reclining chair in the bedroom, with a cup of coffee, ready to catch up on all the latest news, and indeed we did cover a lot of ground over a luxurious hour.
Rob was in a philosophical mood. "You should always acknowledge your shortcomings, Belinda, if not to other people, at least to yourself." I can't remember what elicited that thought but it sounded wise and I noted it.
I read him Siblings Forever, the blog post I wrote about him recently, which caused him to reminisce about Mum. "Do you remember how she would say, "If ever anything happened to you or Belinda--and you lost an eye, you could have one of mine."
I said, "But what if we both lost an eye?"
"Well," said Rob, "She would have given them both." And that, we both agreed was definitely true.
We talked about TV series and movies and that was when he said something about putting a CD ROM in his laptop and it getting stuck.
"Wait a minute," I said, "You've got a laptop???"
"Yes," he said, "Didn't I tell you?"
"No," I assured him, "You didn't!"
Now if you've been reading this blog for a very long time you will know that Rob has long lived contentedly without the internet or any technology other than a cell phone. Two years ago when I planned a trip to England to surprise him on his 60th birthday, which was on April the 6th 2013, I wrote all about it here, and I felt that I had a flock of friends in on the surprise; enjoying it with me. I was totally secure in the fact that Rob would never find out through the blog. Then on March 23rd, less than two weeks before I was due to arrive, he shocked me by saying, "I'm thinking of buying a laptop Belinda." And I wrote a blog post entitled, A Race Between Me and a Laptop.
I went from excited anticipation to nervous disbelief at his timing. But I needn't have worried. I forgot, Rob doesn't rush these things. Saying he was thinking about it was a very early step in the process. And, as his son John reminded me at the time, even if he had bought one, it would have still been in the box when I arrived. :)
So the fact that the momentous occasion had passed me by unmentioned, took me by surprise--again!
"What size screen?"
"I'm not sure Belinda--I think it's 15 inch."
It has Windows 8, which people in "The Close," don't like, so there is a strong chance that it will be removed and replaced with Windows 7 by a neighbour. But Rob has a laptop!! No internet, but a laptop!
Rob really bought it to put his photographs on, but he is inching closer to cyber-space--it's only a coffee shop away.
"I've got a great deal of blockages to things like that," he said about using the laptop, "I don't see the obvious; arrows and symbols and all that, and even if someone told me, I wouldn't find it easy." I could imagine Robs big fingers hovering above the keys like zeppelins over a tiny village.
"Me neither," I said.
"Dog bite," said Rob.
I heard goodbyes being said downstairs, and it was time to return to my Saturday here in Canada, grateful for the mysteries of telecommunication and fibre optics that make instant and seemingly miraculous communication possible. Because family matters.