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… As I Was Saying


These last few weeks have been a bit tumultuous in both good and bad ways.


First, several times in the past I've mentioned my struggles with technology – an email password kerfuffle, a hack on my email account, even a snowblower malfunction – but nothing quite approaches (these days, ye modern folk) the slow death of a computer. After all, we shop there, we pay bills there, we connect with friends there, we get our news there and, above all, we work there. To see all those activities slipping away or just going nuts is disconcerting, to say the least, or perhaps just gut-wrenchingly terrifying.


I've known for the last year or so that the old-timer (twelve years old) was slowly giving up the ghost with a little help from Microsoft; i.e., two years ago they stopped supporting that truly wonderful platform, Windows 7, and then last year I started getting a notice that both Word and Excel were no longer being updated. Then there were the screen freezes and black screens and lots and lots of irritation as I would sit just trying to get a day's work done.


Without being disrespectful, getting a new computer is probably a lot like getting a new spouse: there's a newness and a freshness and a magical wonder in the process, along with the realization that there is so much you don't know about this new acquisition. There are marvelous little surprises. There are kinks and quirks. There are so many things this new unit (spouse?) can do that the old one couldn't. Like anything, though, ascending and descending the learning curve is fraught with peril. You're sure that at any moment you're going to ruin everything.


But you don't.


Second, I haven't written much about my kids here because, well, they're not kids anymore and they are quite capable of blowing their own horns. Our son, Wester, has had a few high-profile jobs that have earned him clout and recognition. From a director to a vice-presidency to a chief of staff and, now, a major role in communications at Northern Illinois University he's let us know that lessons were learned and that our parental pride is well-justified.


Our daughter Claire's path has been a bit different. She's worked with senior citizens, with a hospice, with an environmentalist agency and, most recently, as an administrative manager in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (the School of Education has over a thousand employees). As usual, when you ask your kids how the job is going it's always, "Okay," or "Things are fine," with few details as to what colleagues or bosses think of their work or how well they're functioning with particular projects.


Until now.


We found out a few weeks ago that Claire's colleagues and her boss had nominated her for the School of Education Distinguished Staff Achievement Award. Following an evaluation of all nominees by the Dean of the school, the award was given to Claire. Not only was it high praise but UW – a pretty classy joint – also included a substantial cash award.


Immediately we made plans to go up to Madison for the award ceremony. Wester, Aunt Beth, and I drove up and it turned out to be a wonderful evening. Not only did we bask in the wonderful compliments coming our way over this terrific daughter/sister/niece, but we also saw numerous of the School's world-class faculty honored for their achievements. As a funny sidebar, before the ceremonies began, we had a chance to chat with the Dean of the School and found out that she was originally from DeKalb, and that she and Aunt Beth had even had the same dance teacher!


Third, this funky time period was not quite done with us yet. You may have noticed that our little entourage above was missing a significant person – mom Gayle. Indeed, just a few days before the event our damnable pandemic looked down on her and said, "Let's get to know each other." Though sidelined from the event, she was not exactly absent as we streamed photos and videos to her as things progressed.


But wait, there's more.


The day before the ceremony I gave myself the same Covid test that showed positive for Gayle and, after depositing my three little droplets of me on the strip, it turned out that I was neither pregnant nor positive for Covid.


That was on a Wednesday (the ceremony was Thursday). By Sunday, however, it was a different story. That same pandemic looked down on me and said, "Gayle was nice. Let's you and I get to know each other."


Truthfully, it wasn't much of a friendship.


Yes, both Gayle and I had been vaxxed and boosted.


G.K Wuori © 2022

Photoillustration by the author