For various reasons due to the circuitous nature of life, I was not able to charge my laptop for quite a while. I bought it used for hundred dollars years ago and it is very aged, but it is full of my personal stuff: documents and photos and things I write so it feels Very Important. When the charging issues began, we made plans to hit a Best Buy to see whether the fault is in the cord or the computer. (Have you looked at the prices of Apple charging cords recently?) We can either drive 45 minutes north or 45 minutes south for this service, neither of which is a good option these days of inflated gas prices. It transpired that we had a trip back to our familiar stomping grounds and we were going to drive right past a Best Buy. Enroute we stopped for a few hours with Gabe’s sister and her family, so we did not run our computer diagnostic errand. We’ll hit it on the way home, we thought. As it happened, friends asked us to stop in and have sushi with them (you can’t pass up such an offer) so we did, and we didn’t start home until all the helpful blue-shirted minions of the Geek Squad were clocked out and in their pj’s.
I gave it a rest with a small sigh of resignation. It would wait. I do NOT like tech stores, and I didn’t want to go on my own. Two weeks later Gabe and I planned to go north, just do it, make it a date, etc. That morning I awoke with a ridiculous head cold, barely able to keep my eyes open, sneezing violently. My husband took one look at me and suggested kindly that we wait until another day. Then he had four work shifts out of town, so that put us into the next week. We made plans again for a date. When we looked out our windows that morning, it was blizzarding royally outside. Are you kidding? We decided to go anyway.
We drove through white-outs and gusts that threatened to blow us off our northward course, but we made it to Best Buy at last. The Geek Squad had about seventeen Gen Z’s and one aging Millennial on staff. I know because he had grey hair in his ponytail and no acne on his face. Also he made a speedy diagnosis without using any terms I didn’t understand. It was simple. I needed a new charging cord. We searched the shelves for the exact model I needed, and a blue shirt magically appeared to help us (Gen Z this time.) He peered earnestly at labels and boxes, and he peered at his phone; they didn’t have one in stock. Then he shuffled his feet sadly and suggested that we try Amazon for a cheaper option. I bet he’s not supposed to do that. At least we knew what we needed.
We found a Thai restaurant and ate spicy food and drank green tea while the snow swirled. Then we went home and ordered a charger cord. In those weeks of un-computer time I wrote a bunch in my head, but obviously those articles are gone. One of them was really clever, but I can’t remember it. I can do a fast recap, though.
We had a weekend back in Bedford County, since my parents were home from Florida. We spent time with Alex, connected with friends at church, hugged everybody, admired new babies, marvelled at how tall all the children are growing. We made sushi with friends, then sat at a long table and ate it while we visited.
I babysat my sister’s children for three days while she and her husband celebrated their 15th anniversary. It was six extra bodies, but they fit right in with our crew, all but one of them younger than mine. It has been a long time since I wiped so many noses on repeat and read the same favorite picture book six times in a day. Some aspects of little tots’ care are less charming than others, but I do miss having a resident three year old. I did nothing except nourish and clothe bodies and wash the things associated with those activities. It was a reminder again of the full-time work it is to care well for little people. (Hats off to you, mothers of young children. You are doing amazingly busy, hard work, and it is good work.)
These days I do a lot of facilitating, helping my children reach for things, develop skills, gather resources. They mostly do their own cleanup, hallelujah! Last week I took Gregory to get a fishing license. We smelled the rotisserie chicken at the deli and suffered immediate hunger pangs. Supper had come to us. I smiled at the deli lady and said with excessive politeness, “Thank you greatly.” Then Greg looked at me with wonder, “What did you just say?” And we walked away quickly before bursting into laughter. And that’s how quickly you go from hiding your amusement when they are funny to them making no effort whatsoever to hide their amusement when you are funny. I don’t mind though. The most distressing people I have ever spent time with are the ones with no sense of humor. I consider it my duty as a mother to help my children learn to laugh at themselves, and I figure I need to model it.
Spring has faded in and out, in and out, that Pennsylvania season that teases us alternately between boots and flip-flops on a day-to-day basis. Today we dug holes for support posts in my raspberry and blackberry beds. I am lengthening both of them with volunteers that shot up at the edges. Gabriel used a measuring tape and squared off the garden with the privacy fence. It had been raggedy edged, a result of the neighbor eying it from his tractor seat when he was tilling. We are widening the area where we will plant corn. And we are putting in an asparagus bed. I wish I had done that two years ago, but here we are.
I have another dream and a place for it. Beehives. Pollinators. Honey. When I was showing Gregory where I would put them, he made a weak objection about the adjoining grass, and I segued smoothly into my plan for chickens. It was gloriously warm. Anything was possible. The daffodils finally dared to open, and the birds were singing riotously. Let’s see what all we can do before it snows again on Saturday.