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Gill did more than her fair share of dealing with my computer-related woes during this summer’s visit. I felt like the grandparents in a television ad greeting their grandchild. They were on the front porch, their arms laden with computers, cell phones, tablets…anything and everything techie they owned. They looked pitifully at the kid, shoved the pile at him and said,”None of these work!”– expectiedng him to ‘fix’ everything.

I had what I thought were a few issues, such as random notices appearing that my software was too out-of-date to cope with my current needs. I ignored them since things still worked (as far as I could tell) and I didn’t know how to fix the problem anyway. I mean, I’m old and sometimes I can’t cope with everything I have to do, so why should my damned computer get special treatment? Granted, I understand that people of my age often have things replaced and updated (knees, hips, heart valves etc,) but, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Things hit the fan when I attempted to do a project I had never undertaken before: making an Apple book with pictures, captions and text for a gift.Gill showed me how to do it and coached me along the way when I was having troubles. I actually finished it and stood back to revel in my success. It had turned out beautifully. All we had to do was order it. Sounds simple but we were thwarted at every step. Why didn’t Apple want to take my money?!!

Gill finally determined that, in order to complete my order, we’d (translation: she) would have to install an upgrade to my operating system. (What? You mean 2001 wasn’t a good year for systems?) She began and discovered along the way that some strange things were appearing  on my computer– things she worried were indicative of a possible security issue. Lax security? Me? Why, I have locks on all the doors in my house…some work better than others and some are used more than others, but I do try. I’ve considered an alarm system but I fear I’d not be able to figure the thing out and I’d be trapped for days in my house, my kids finding my withered body in my bedroom, the canaries and Mrs. Beeton (the pink parakeet) circling my corpse.

Be that as it may, Gill began the tedious process of installing my new system. Everything she tried to do had a roadblock of some sort.She spent hours, keeping her cussing to a minimum, I have to say. If it had been Crazy D attempting this, many more foul words would have been uttered, many fists slammed on the desk, possibly my Apple in pieces on the floor. But that’s not criticism.I do understand the frustration when dealing with these devices.

After Day 1 of working on the installation, Gill quit and, tight-lipped, looking rather pale, she adjourned to her room for the night. “I can’t face anything more tonight. Be prepared, Ma, we’re going to beat this sucker in the morning. Beat it or die trying!”

Miraculously, the following morning she had success. I was able to make my purchase. And we’re both still alive. I apologized profusely for her loss of valuable time.And I promised not to ask her anything computer-related at Christmas. I’ll hold out for next summer’s visit. I think I can limp along until then. I think…

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