February 1, 2015

Last November I got a new laptop for my birthday and decided to give Theo my old one for Christmas. (No, this doesn’t count as a giveaway because it was last year and the object stayed in our house!) I asked our good friend Lyle, who is a computer genius, to transfer my data from the old to the new laptop, which he did for us very quickly. But, because it was for a Christmas present to Theo, he wanted to make the laptop as good as new. Lyle spend many, many hours cleaning up the hard drive, updating programs and he even meticulously cleaned the keyboard so that the computer looks brand new! All of this he did for us free of charge, which caused me to start believing in Santa again, just as Theo has given up! Theo was very impressed by the shiny new laptop, but unfortunately he couldn’t run his favorite game Minecraft on it, so I had to ask Lyle to work on it one more time. Last week, he spent many more hours working away on the laptop and when I went over to pick it up, we tested Minecraft on it and it worked. I knew Lyle had saved the day.

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Today, when I was in the bathroom, I heard Theo exclaiming, “I love this computer!” Not only is he able to play Minecraft on it, but he has also been able to play an upgraded version of it and download a Pokemon modpack for it (It’s ok if you don’t know what that means – just know that Theo is very happy!), and he can’t wait to show his friends. Again, Lyle performed this technological miracle for us free of charge, because he was determined to make this laptop work for a young lad who loves to play on computers. There is very little I could offer from my closet to give Lyle in thanks for this incredibly generous gift to Theo and to us. Over the years, Lyle has taken his computing skills with him to China on a number of occasions, his partner is Chinese and he has supported many Chinese students in their studies here in the U.S., often providing them with board, and he often has Chinese guests in his home. I asked him if he by any chance needed a rice cooker and offered him the spare one I had bought after the fire to use until our belongings were cleaned. I was thrilled when he accepted it, and said he’d use it for sure. On so many occasions now – for David, Theo and me – Lyle has so generously given us his time, energy and expertise to raise the technology level in our home. The least I could do is save him some time preparing dinner by making his kitchen a little more hi-tech.

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