TIME OFF

IMG_3640We went away for the weekend.

Such a simple thing to do though rare for us because for all of our marriage until recently, we had the animals to consider. There were dogs, usually five or six of them. There were the cats, only one at a time. Zora bit. Leakey pined. This recent trip was easy too because the friends we stayed with took us to an island without internet, a quiet place. And they spoiled us completely. Fed us and entertained us and managed our travel. The silence was dream-like and I dreamt so clearly and with such authenticity that that I was certain it was real.

Perhaps that was because the silence and beauty overwhelmed imagination.

Backing up, late afternoon on Thursday my new computer arrived. I can never get Apple to accept a password or change it or manage it at all, but my Time Machine transferred all data. The next challenge was passwords because my old computer knew them all and this new one does not, but must be taught. [Eventually Apple allowed me to change my password, after at least nine years of receiving the message “This action cannot be completed at this time”, but then I had to reteach the new computer website passwords again.] I opened the newer version of Pages and searched for features hidden in different places. But already this new Pages is old, and I have been prompted to download the newest version, free, but another adjustment.

I was perfectly content with how things worked with my old version. On the plus side, this new laptop weighs two and a half pounds less that my last. The trade-off is that it is smaller and no quicker, but the battery is spry. As I type this, I have been on the internet, Pages, and email for over two hours and used 13% of the battery. I did not even remember to turn down the backlighting of keys.

In any event, I left my new laptop at home and we have only a flip-phone, nothing smart at all, so for three days we avoided news and I was spared word-processing. I walked beaches with such a foreign assortment of pebbles and gravel and stones that I hardly knew what to look for. On our beach, the rocks lining the beach are basalt with occasional sandstone or agates, shells, feathers, and trash. We gather trash. I confess I gathered trash on the beaches in the San Juans too. Impossible to ignore the habit. Plastic and styrofoam, but no beach toys.

I am overwhelmed by the hospitality we received over the weekend.

I brought back a fistful of what I term “pinkies”—tiny pinkish pebbles. I found as many as I already had found, though what I already had was collected over months and years in a narrow stretch of beach. On the island, I found agates the size of a five-year-old’s fist and one in the shape of a heart. I found a beautiful granite egg.

Monday morning I completed my NaNo officially, but I was not done at 52k words. I wanted at least 8k more, preferably 70k, which has been my minimal goal with novels in the past two years.

Today and for the foreseeable future I will be struggling with Apple. Everything was fine on this new laptop, at first. There were the normal struggles to locate information and actions that I was used to finding in another place, but I could access my files, the internet, and email. Now I cannot access my email—the old messages show, but I cannot send or receive new messages. This has something to do with the iCloud and two-part authentication, a level of security I do not even want.

I am near throwing this little laptop through a window. Of course we have double panes . . .

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