It’s a gray day in Heaven, but that’s all right with me. It makes me feel that I’m off the hook, so to speak, and I am happy to be off the hook. Snow and rain are in the forecast, Mindy is scheduled to get her first ever clip this afternoon — or shave in her case — and the house is a mess. The usual quotidian struggle.

A couple of years ago I was sure I was going to need at least one knee replaced. When I moved here I couldn’t walk very well, like hardly at all. Besides getting a stationary bike and riding it, walking the dogs and doing yoga, I went to the local hospital, found the orthopedic surgeon, and had the exam, x-rays and all. I was headed down the dark tunnel toward (my second) joint replacement. I followed through on the pre-op exams, failing the first time and having to redo the whole thing after a course of antibiotics. Meanwhile, my activities winter, spring and fall had paid off better than I knew and a trip to Colorado Springs and some walks with my friends showed me I was a whole lot better just from riding the Airdyne, doing yoga and walking the dogs. I bailed on the surgery. But, I’d paid a $1000 and change deposit on the surgery.

The hospital had my money and was NOT giving it back until my insurance paid them.

Yeah, well… There went $1000 down the drain. School of hard knocks kind of thing, lessons learned, etc.

While I was visiting in Colorado Springs this past weekend, my laptop starting acting weird. It’s 5 years old, and I’ve known for a while that it’s nearing its dark moment of planned obsolescence. The windows flickered when I was using Chrome and/or Firefox. Images weren’t loading properly. I thought my friend’s system might have been overloaded, but that was absurd. I called Apple and we shared my screen for a while and determined it was an issue with Chrome. Trash and re-install made no difference. I’m now using Safari, Apple’s browser. But I recognize the symptoms… I’m good for now and will be for who knows how long? A long time a short time, I don’t know.

Driving home I decided a new laptop was in order. I accepted the need to use my Apple Rewards Credit Card (grrrr) and was ready to order a computer. I arrived home with this in mind. Last time my laptop (my favorite one ever, the most beautiful computer I’ve owned or seen — a 2007 MacBook Pro with a 17 inch screen) reached the end of its life, it died completely taking the first draft of The Brothers Path and various other wonders with it. I wanted to avoid that and have a chance to transfer data to a new machine.


MacBook Pro from 2007 ❤

Once at home, I got my mail. There among the eBay jeans and a bill from the electrician was a check for $1000 from the hospital. My insurance had finally come through. It was very nearly enough to pay for a new laptop.

There are no Apple stores closer than 2 hours away. Not a problem! Apple is happy to deliver it to me for free. Sometime tomorrow a nice FedEx guy is going to appear and hand me a very beautifully designed white box and I’ll begin the process of customizing the keyboard of a new computer.  My new laptop is basically the same as my soon-to-be old laptop. Many of the bells and whistles Apple has added to the MacBook Pro are meaningless to me. Essentially, I need a typewriter with Internet. 🙂

13 thoughts on “Manna

  1. Am so glad for you. I have the best of both worlds I suppose, a Macbook (the best they had at the time a couple of years ago) and an Acer Aspire V17n Nitro – Black Edition, so what could possibly go wrong. Up to now , nothing but you never know. I have always used Safari on my Apple and I find it quite good. I have no problems with it. On my microsoft I have Chrome which is also functioning well. Good luck with your new computer, I love my Apple. It is so handy and light weight. They do have new bells and whistles, the guy at the store showed them to me a couple of weeks ago (yes I am a good customer, they do everthing for me – almost). But the new gadgets do not interest me, all with touch pad etc. etc. and I do not like the touch pad. I am sure you have made a right choice, Apple forever (with a little bit of Microsoft for my photos).

  2. We too live in an Apple-free area. It’s an hour or more drive through some pretty bad traffic, and that kind of driving requires a very high pressure need. So I order. Almost everything except groceries and plants for the garden.

    Actually, we live in a high-tech no-buy zone. Unless you count Target or Walmart — and I don’t.

    It’s good you are able to get something before it goes down for the count. That was why i got this one. The older one will probably work forever for Garry whose needs are a lot less than mine. And, ironically, he really LOVES it. So TWO happy computer users.

    • I could have gone to the Apple Store in Colorado Springs, but honestly, I’d rather have some nice person bring me a computer and go away than go through the sell and demonstration and the other people etc. My needs are very basic and more cool stuff is just more cool stuff that can go wrong.

  3. I know the pains of a broken computer.

    Mine died about a month-and-a-half ago. I haven’t got any writing done until recently (I finally got a library membership). Still no computer. Between school and two days of work, I don’t think I’ll be getting one any time soon. Kindred bless the creation of a library. Small towns do have wonders.

    I hope you have luck with your new (or soon-to-be-new) computer. Keep writing. And keep backups of your work, least you have another issue and it all vanishes with a faulty system.

    Best of Luck,

    • Thank you! Yeah, having learned a hard lesson 5 years ago, I’ve backed up everything continuously. It’s not like I didn’t know better, but truly, that happened so suddenly. One day it was fine, the next morning, dead. 😦 Libraries are grand. In the last small town I lived in, there was high speed internet — with wifi that extended to the edge of the parking lot, the only such thing in the town. Daily people would drive down there with their computers to check their email from the parking lot. Me too for a while.

      • The library has become my second home, I must confess. When my laptop died, I was in the middle of going through 200+ pages of text I had written. I was working on a revision…and then, BOOM, dead computer. Not so fun. Thankfully I saved mine to another location so I could work on it once I found a spot to work from!

        However, I do wish the wi-fi in my library would extend outside the library. It does not, sad to say. I will make my peace with that. A writer will do what she/he must in order to do what they love. It is always nice to know others come across the same problems. Make you feel a bit less lonely.

      • Do you want my old laptop after I migrate the stuff from it and clean it off? I don’t know how long it will last, but it might be enough to tide you over. Otherwise I’d just send it to Apple to be recycled. The only thing wrong with it (other than the ticking clock of probably expiration) is the keyboard but no dedicated writer needs to see letters on the keys anyway. 😉

      • A kind offer, but Apple isn’t much my cup of tea. I’ve no experience with them, I will admit. However, if it is compatible to a plug-in keyboard I would gladly take it off your hands, if you would rather it pass on to another before retiring to Apple.

    • Thank you! I guess they paid the hospital and the hospital paid me back. I’m really happy about it, though. I’d never have saved ahead for a “rainy day.” 🙂

  4. I have been flying by the seat of my financial pants for so long I’ve developed a sort of faith about somehow getting by. At one point of desperation, I got a letter saying that as my husband’s widow, I had inherited his share of the estate of one of his great aunts, who’d died intestate. Not a huge amount, but miraculous at the time.

    • I have never done anything but “fly by the seat of my pants.” The greatest good fortune of my life so far is that I started working for a major California university in 1999 and was there long enough to vest my health insurance benefits and stay long enough to retire with extraordinary health benefits and a pension. I live now as I always have — like a grad student! 😀

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