A trip home

Posted in Thoughts and Reflections at 11:41 pm by admin

My day began at 6:34 AM. I know that because when I opened my eyes, the alarm clock read 6:34 AM. I had planned to rise at 7:00 but we went to sleep early last night. The plan was to leave by 9:00, and I wanted to do a pond water change before we left. Needless to say, I had too much to do before we left, making the morning coffee, packing lunches for the trip, packing clothes, coffee and the essential accompaniments, computer and accessories, poetry books, snacks, water for coffee at Daniel’s parents, feeding the fish, cleaning the pond filter, and a dozen or so other things. We pulled out of the driveway at 9:30.

The trip took about 2 hours 45 minutes. On the way I read two chapters of the book “Asian Figures” I received as a gift from my friend Christine, some of the pages I read aloud to Daniel. It helped to pass the time, but it’s not the best traveling book. you have to contemplate some of the figures (like haiku), and that was a bit of a distraction for Daniel while he drove, so I switched to a book of short stories. We arrived just before his parents left for mass. Within twenty minutes of our arrival, Daniel got started disassembling his mother’s old computer to remove the hard drive, setting up the new computer, and transferring the data from the old to new hard drive. When his parents arrived home from mass, he had finished. Then he spent about an hour going over the new computer with his mother, showing her all the bells and whistles. He tried to duplicate the old computer as much as possible, but there were a few things in addition to the new 17 inch flat screen monitor and mouse. The old 15 inch CRT weighed a ton. His mother has been without a computer for a month and when he downloaded her email, there were 53 waiting for her, many were marked “urgent prayer requests”. She belongs to a chain prayer group and this is something she takes very seriously. All in all, there were 14 MB of email, many with photos.

While Daniel was going over the computer with his mother, I went for a tour of his father’s garden. It’s amazing how much he’s packed into his garden, 100 feet in length. Several varieties of squash, corn, many varieties of tomatoes and peppers, eggplant, okra, kohlrabi, chinese cabbage, several lettuces, swiss chard, celery, and dill grows everywhere. This is just one small part of his “garden” there’s also rows and rows (100 feet long) of blackberries, peaches, pears, apples, on and on I could go. I picked a handful of Chinese yellow cherry tomatoes. When my hands couldn’t hold any more, I made a basket with my shirt and filled that with them. When we returned to the house, I washed the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. We joined Daniel and his mother sat at the dining room table, and over the next 45 minutes, we ate the whole bowl. The tomatoes were as sweet as candy. Daniel then installed the new digital TV converter for his parents in the living room. When he finished it was dinner time, so we went to an All-You-Can-Eat Asian Buffet. I should have stopped at my third plate, but I made it through four, plus desserts of chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding and chocolate chip ice-cream. When we returned home, none of us cold move.

The Olympics started today, so while Daniel and his parents sat down to watch the beginning of the program, I tried to hook up my laptop to his mother’s cable. I couldn’t get it to work so I asked Daniel to try, but he also couldn’t get it to work either. I had to call Apple Technical Support and they talked me through it. I had forgotten to restart the cable modem at a certain point in the connection process. After that it was smooth sailing. After an hour I joined Daniel in front of the TV in the living room. His parents had gone to bed, and we watched some of the Olympics opening ceremony program together. At 10:00 I couldn’t keep my eyes closed and I turned in. Daniel stayed up ’til midnight to watch the torch being lit.

More about our visit tomorrow.


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