Tech troubles and changing traditions


Blue skies at morning and my Apple watch says it’s going to be sunny, even if the temperature is 24 F. The garden doesn’t know what to do. Garlic is up and healthy; rhubarb is showing its first leaves. It is time to plant peas, carrots, radishes and cabbages, but the soil is still a little frozen. Inside — further chaos — my Christmas cactus and St. Patrick’s Day oxalis are blooming in time for Easter.

Willow, the collie, is blowing her first puppy coat — here some hair, there some hair, everywhere there’s more hair. I am donating a bushel to the birds for this year’s nests. One doesn’t wear black inside the front door. Willow is a year now and chooses not to recognize “no,” “stop it” or “quit.” She has, however, begun to learn, in the last few days, how to respond to a spray bottle. There is hope.

If you are bound to the computer as I am, frustrations continue to entertain. My Microsoft Office Writing application, something I have to use every day, has decided to no longer work hand in hand with my computer. I am informed that despite the fact I bought the program in the first place, it is no longer compatible with the computer. Thus I must purchase an update replacement I can pay for by the year or by the month, and if I want to install it, I can pay between $139 and $199 for instructions — that is if I can locate a human. Microsoft is joining my list of frustrating companies who advertise they will help you immediately and mention no cost, then don’t help and cost plenty. Fortunately, my computer guru friend in California always seems to get me through these trying episodes.

Finally, this week I changed my TV streaming and had to add a little box to two of the sets. When I discovered one of them would not accommodate the addition, I called and asked for a mailing label to send it back. I was told I could just take it to the local store and they would take care of it. So I made an early Saturday morning trip to the store, where I was told no, they don’t do that, and I would need to send for a mailing label and take it to the post office.

At the post office, I found out sometimes your mail is not delivered and that the carrier is not obligated to pick up mail you put out with the flag up. I really don’t mind if the carrier doesn’t want to make the trip to the porch to deliver advertising we can both do without, but I do want my mail on time. I was friends with my former mail carrier, gave coffee in winter and iced tea in summer, chatted a few minutes. Oh, the times they are a changin’.

That leads us to the fact that we are in the midst of yet another holiday. How did Palm Sunday happen so fast? How did Easter get here so quickly? If you are a senior, you may have given up on the commercial part — the eggs, candy, baskets and that cute bunny. It’s no fun to do all that when you are too far away from your family to enjoy it with them, and holiday travel is a bit scary these days.

Easter dinner used to be lamb, mashed potatoes and gravy with a little mint jelly thrown in, and fresh peas. It’s hard to bypass those old traditions, but we must accept.

The good news is it is officially spring, we are going to witness at least a partial eclipse and we had better enjoy it because in a very short while we will be complaining about the heat.

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