Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mother

Of course she won't read this. She has a laptop, well, a Mac, if you can call that a laptop. She had wild intentions of modernizing her life by putting her financial records on the computer and keeping track of her appointments on computer. For a crazy few days, she read the news from her local papers online. I had wonderful fantasies of being able to carry on email conversations with her, sending her the latest photos of the kids, scanning and sending report cards, orchestra concert programs, Boy Scout Court of Honor programs, and other assorted documentation of bragging rights. I imagined the boys emailing their grandma and sharing songs with her, and becoming closer to her in a relationship that could continue on into college via the great and wonderful internet. Then one day, she went to print out a recipe from the Aberdeen American News, and somehow, the Pizza Puff recipe printed instead. And printed. And printed. She tried everything to stop it. Turning off the machine, unplugging it, taking out the battery, power cycling the printer itself, turning the machines all off and starting over. We visited a few day later and I did not believe her and went boldly back to the guest room where the disobedient machines lived. I turned them on and . . . out came a Pizza Puff recipe! And another. And another. I pulled the plugs. Somehow, weeks later, my sister got the electronic duo to stop printing copy after copy of the Pizza Puff recipe but mother was stung. Unwilling to ever go back. Ruined for computer technology. The poor laptop became resigned to serving as a game station and a movie watching screen for the grandkids. The printer and internet connections are still there, and I have since used them when I visit, but never again will my mother attempt to access the wild world of the world wide web. Sometimes the kids and I will wistfully wish Grandma had email. Today we could email her birthday greetings. A photo of the boys back together for the summer. Pictures of the flowers in the back yard. A shot of the new car. But no, Grandma does not do email or anything else internet-related, not since the "...Pizza Puff Incident."

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