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I have never made any claim to being a highly organized person. That said, I have managed, over the past decades, to keep myself and my family on time and regularly scheduled for doctor, dentist, eye appointments and the like. Even when the kids no longer lived with me, they saw fit to entrust me with the chore of making such appointments on their behalf.

I could flatter myself and pretend that it is because I know the best doctors, dentists, etc. available to care for them. I do, but I suspect it is more a function of who is going to pay the bill. Since I know many of these professionals on a personal basis, I am always the recipient of the ‘friends and family’ discount. So, if I make the appointment, it is assumed (by everyone but me it would seem) that I will be paying. Gill requested, before she flew here for the holidays, that I book a dental and eye appointment for her. Merry Christmas! Go have your teeth scraped and your vision blurred. I did so and marked the dates on my owl calendar — the one that sits beside my so-last-century land line on the kitchen counter. A calendar has been there for as long as we have lived in this house. It should be a surprise to nobody. Why, I recall that funny messages and cartoon figures have even appeared on said calendar — missives from the kids to irritate or amuse me. So they obviously know it is there and its purpose, i.e.: to keep track of our comings and goings.

But I have been getting flak lately for my reliance on such a low-tech approach to life. The kids, of course, being slaves to modern gadgets, keep all their appointments on their phones or iPads or computers. But would it kill them to also make a note on my calendar? After all, I don’t have access to their phones etc. Is it too much of a concession to humour me and honour my archaic yet surprisingly effective way of approaching our schedules? It would take mere seconds to pick up the available pen and jot down a name and time. That way, when they need to borrow MY car to get to said appointment, I’d know I couldn’t have access to it. Again.

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I don’t have the faith in cell phones or iPads that my children seem to. What happens when they misplace or lose their phones? Panic, that’s what. Or when computers crash and lose data? I am reasonably sure that, even in the event of a burglary, my owl calendar will be safe from pillage. I also have the added advantage that, every time I look at my calendar, the owl picture makes me smile. When is the last time any of my children smiled as a result of an interaction with their phone or computer? Shaking fists, loud cursing, and high blood pressure is all they have to show for their interactions with technology. Who’s smart now?

So each year, I have a new calendar with lovely pictures to look forward to. And it requires no sim cards, no new battery charger, no password, no pin number. Just a pen.

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