I’ve been out of touch for a while. I was very touched by how many of you wrote (I’m just now catching up on all your sweet messages) or called to see what was up. Karen in Australia wrote to Suzanne in New York to get my phone number, and early one morning on my way to work, I answered a call to hear that beautiful, broad Australian accent say, “Okay, so you ARE there!”
Yes, I was here, I was fine, but my former computer had died. One evening just before bed (which for me is before the chickens head to roost), I was reading a Kindle book on said computer because I had recently dropped the Kindle device, as one refers to electronics these days, on its head one too many times, and it had given up the ghost. I had my customary cup of green tea to hand when Poppy the dog raised her paws to my knee and her head to my elbow, and tea sloshed over the keyboard. What’s that new show on television where suddenly the lights go out everywhere? It was a mini version of that, without the crossbow and sinister men on horseback.
I’d been thinking new computer thoughts lately anyway, though one usually prefers to make such choices rather than have them forced. Fortunately, I’d already decided which model I wanted. I ordered it. And then I waited. And waited. There was a text message saying it was in Alaska. Alaska?! Was it going fishing and going to bring me some salmon? And halibut? No. It was gradually making its way from Thailand. Out of stock in California, it was coming direct from the factory in Thailand. Seriously, out of stock in the continental U.S.?
Whatever. All told, I was incommunicado for about 2 and-a-half weeks, which seemed like sort of an eternity at first. I experienced serious computer withdrawal. On a normal day, I’d stumble into the kitchen around 3:00 a.m., and automatically head for the computer to boot it up, then turn to start water for coffee, add grounds to the French press, and by then the bright screen would beckon me. The first day sans computer, I started toward it, and froze. For a second I didn’t know what to do. That slosh of tea had shifted all my bearings. I felt a headache coming on. But I managed to get coffee made, and the day progressed, if oddly. I was quite conscious of something being missing. The headache persisted. I realized I was frowning as I made my way around the kitchen at work. People began asking if something were wrong. I explained that there had been a death in the family.
The next day fared better. I was able to walk a straight line to coffee set-up, and when it was done, picked up an actual physical book, and got back in bed for a few minutes. It was a delicious start to the day! My bedside light was a small beacon in the still pitch darkness, my bed was still warm, the house utterly quiet. My headache was gone. Only the dogs were perplexed and unable to relax back into their beds. They are border collies, and any change in routine causes them to furrow their brows and stare at me, awaiting a return to normalcy.
Ultimately, it was extremely freeing. Yes, it was an inconvenience being disconnected, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. And sometimes that’s a good lesson to re-learn.
In the meantime, even the dogs have adapted to the new morning routine.