CHANGE IS GOOD

Leaves changing color on my lovely linden tree, bearing one of the few berries the birds have left behind

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.

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About thesolitarycook

I'm a chef, a cook, a teacher, a reader, a writer, a bike-rider, a dog- and cat-woman
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23 Responses to CHANGE IS GOOD

  1. Glad you are back, you must have had a huge mass of emails waiting for you. I have a routine also and if i deviate the pugs are thrown off and don’t fare well. We are all creatures of habit, although my computer works I had a day and a half with no internet, I went through withdrawal not knowing what to do with myself. We have in a way become slaves to our electronic devices. There are back ups in smart phones which keeps you connected but not having the computer when it’s such a part of a routine can throw you off kilter. Anyway, so glad you are back and posting again,

  2. Pat says:

    So glad to see you’re back, although I did see a couple of “hotline” comments and figured you were fine!

  3. Parisbug says:

    Mais oui! And yes, I admit to being one of the worriers….I take days off because life forces it here in France, but generally if people that I’m used to seeing/chatting disappear for extended periods of time, I do worry–even if they’re people I’ve never met IRL (though we must one day! First night in Florence pasta is a lifer 🙂 ) At Le Shiteau this past weekend we went out on a walk up the way with Freya as we did on many an evening in the past. As we passed one of the neighbor’s house & his dogs barked, he came over & said that he had just remarked to his wife that he hadn’t seen us in a very long while and perhaps we were on an extended trip to one of our foreign lands. We were promptly invited in for coffee and cake (the story of this is warming and sad in many ways), a first after 4yrs there! It made us feel good to know that in a land we do consider to be cold and uncaring in many ways, people did notice our absence and cared….wow. :))

    • We will certainly meet one day, and I hope it is soon. It’s very easy to take for granted that people we see or are in contact with frequently will continue to do as they always have. I’m so glad your former neighbors missed you. You are one whose absence I note as well, not least because I miss La Freya updates, and it’s reassuring when you pop back up again. What a time you are all going through – the new and exciting, the old and familiar and bouncing between them like ping pong balls. I am so grateful that you keep us up on it all. Baisers!

  4. Karen Rush says:

    Well I am delighted you are back and I am glad it has caused you to re- think and re- jig some elements of your routine. It is important to have time simply to be by yourself and maybe connect with friends and loved ones more. I too have been fairly quiet out there because I have been battling to adjust to my 88 year old almost blind and difficult mother moving into my home while concurrently running my business. My dogs have had to adjust to a Pomeranian cross 11 year old joining the pack of my 9 year old Cavalier KC and my 9 year old poodle cross. The dogs adjusted much better than I have to put it simply. You have also recently endured the loss of your beloved cat, the last of your Californian animals which must have brought special grieving and opening of old wounds. Life is such a journey of loss. It is also one of new beginnings to be embraced. Picking up reading for sheer pleasure is one of them. Getting back to playing the piano is another for me. I am mindful that we all must not let this whole social media journey take over our lives as wonderful as it indeed is. I am mindful that out of it however is the chance to meet and spend time with you Cynthia and I hope Suzanne in January, something I am so looking forward to. Welcome back. You were surely missed.

    • I simply have to think for a while about how to best respond to your very complex and brutally honest post. But I must say that answering your call a few days ago was one of the highest points of some very challenging weeks. I love speaking with you, and so look forward to NY.

  5. June Sabatinos says:

    So glad you are back – missed you!

    June

  6. Margaret says:

    Welcome back! Haven’t we become such slaves to computers and social media! A recent spate of 3 days without internet nearly drove me to distraction!

  7. Heidi says:

    It is wonderful to see your name in my inbox. I thought of you this weekend when I tried mini tarts and tried to put them in cupcake molds. 85% effective answer to structure, but not as pretty.
    Welcome back indeed. You were missed.

  8. Hannah says:

    I’m delighted you’re back and it sounds like your new routine is a lovely one. So important to unplug! We used to have border collies, too – they are indeed the smartest dogs. Happy autumn to you!

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