It was the day I was supposed to write my column – two columns to be exact – so I could go on vacation and not have to worry about sending anything in to my editor.
And it was the day the old computer decided to work sometimes and not work other times. Like Pavlov’s dog, I sat there in my home office waiting for my treat, waiting for the screen to blink on so I could peck out some sentences on my keyboard and check in on my social media sites.
But the minutes ticked by and no treat came. Not even a flicker. Not a post. Not a tweet.
I started shuffling papers and straightening books. I noticed Colt’s tempera paint artwork and Benjamin’s acrylic-on-canvas masterpieces, so I opened up a package of Command hooks and started eyeballing where the paintings would fit on the wall.
I dusted the bookcase, pushed the heavy Royal typewriter farther to the right and had Jessie bring in some trimmings from a friendly plant that lives in my neighbor’s yard but likes to stretch out on our side of the fence. I pulled out Grandma’s old cat eye glasses, some thread on a wooden spool and tiles from a Scrabble game. I talked and laughed with the boys while I brought out the markers and the colored pencils, the paintbrushes and the blending sticks.
All day we tinkered and visited and colored and decorated.
All day the computer made it difficult for me to log on but easier for me to connect. Because sometimes, when I’m checking in at all those virtual sites, I’m really checking out.
So, instead of spending those hours preparing for vacation, I spent those hours enjoying living here at home. I warmed up the oven to make the boys’ favorite banana bread and fiddled with those garage sale Scrabble tiles to figure out what I wanted to spell, what I wanted to remember from the day.
The letters were almost too easy to find in the pile.
A reminder of the day and a lesson for a lifetime.