New Toy

I bought a new computer today. Needless to say, the afternoon and evening have been spent familiarizing myself with it. My husband bought a new tablet at the same time, so he’s been busy with his own new toy.

I remember life without computers. (Actually, I remember life without television, but that’s another post for another day.) My husband and I bought our first computer in 1989. It seemed like a bigger deal in those days. We pored over magazine reviews, asked questions of our friends and colleagues, shopped, shopped and shopped some more before we committed to a “24 months-same-as-cash” agreement on a Macintosh Classic. I think the cost was around $2000, a pretty good chunk of change for a young family.

Neither of us was particularly savvy about technology. I was paranoid that I would push a wrong button and break the computer. One afternoon, the house became very quiet. Any parent knows it’s time to check on the kids when it gets quiet. Imagine my panic when I found my then three-year-old in the spare bedroom, ejecting a diskette from the computer. She seemed to know exactly what she was doing. Of course, nothing was broken. My daughter had acted upon her natural curiosity. The computer was more foolproof than I had thought.

Here I am, several computers later. I decided to replace the laptop I’ve used for the past nine or ten years. This time around it seemed like less of a big deal. After asking a few knowledgeable people their opinions and checking a few websites for reviews, I took a quick shopping trip. By then, all I wanted to do was type on the keyboards of the laptops that had made their way to my “maybe” list. I type a lot. I wanted something comfortable.

The laptop I bought today cost about one-fourth what that Macintosh Classic cost in 1989, and will do much more. Heck, my smart phone will do more. The things a computer can do continue to amaze me.

Of course, I need to tear myself away from the novelty so I can transfer things and get the old laptop ready to donate to Computers for Kids; but I am enjoying my new toy. While I’m still a bit leery of new electronic devices, I’ve become more comfortable with messing around and trying new features. I may remember life without computers, but I don’t think I would want to do without.

new toy pix



In Search of Fern

The other day I woke up crabby. It happens. Once dressed, I headed to the kitchen for some breakfast. The kitchen was not a sight for crabby eyes. A soup pan was soaking in the sink. A dish of old meat sat on the counter, having been taken out of the refrigerator to make room for last night’s soup. The counter had not been wiped down. You get the picture. Shoot. I would have to clean up before getting breakfast.

“Feerrrrrnnnn!” My mind screamed at the most logical culprit.

It’s funny. I had not thought of Fern in years. She has no last name, no face; I don’t know where she came from. She’s been in the family for generations. Fern is the imaginary maid who has served (or not) in the households of my mother and her sisters. I have inherited her.

Of course, Fern doesn’t actually do any house work; but she’s the closest thing to a maid I’ll ever have.

After breakfast, I took up the mop and a bucket of water to face the kitchen floor. “Where the heck is Fern?” I wondered. “She must be hiding somewhere, eating chocolate and reading the latest romance novel.”

I sigh and think fondly of Fern. I dip the mop into the water and begin my task.