Today I had an experience that illustrates exactly why I don’t want to own much stuff. A couple of years ago, driven by a sudden urge to be a bit hipper (I get these urges from time to time!), I bought an olive suede designer handbag on eBay. It was a bargain at $30. I loved the bag and used it often, but it was one of those big bags so I filled it with too much stuff (see September 10) and the shoulder strap broke. But I had a belt of the same color as the strap and figured out a way to use it to mend the strap. I took all the pieces to the local shoe repair shop and they fixed it for only $15. So for a while, I had a functioning trendy bag again. Until, of course, the weight of the bag caused the strap to break in a different place. Hoping I’d be able to figure out how to repair the bag again, I added it to my fixit pile.
Today was a good day, a calm and kind day, a day of gentle but powerful connections. It was my father’s birthday, his 77th. I called him and had a sweet talk with him on the phone. He lives in England, many thousands of miles away, so I don’t see him much, and his memory is very shaky, so it’s hard to have normal conversations with him. But today, though he may not have remembered or cared that it was his birthday, he was clearly grateful for the call and spoke with more clarity than I have heard from him in a long while. He also asked me how I was doing and listened carefully, sending me via the phone the love, warmth and “I believe in you” reassurances that only a devoted parent can. I thanked him for always having done that for me, as it has always given me great strength. After I hung up, I lay on the bed and let myself cry, glad to have had that precious connection with Dad once more. I no longer take those for granted.
Today I took my old laptop back to Lyle to see if he could work his magic on it one last time. He had done a beautiful job of fixing it up for our son Theo so we could give it to him as a Christmas present, and when it didn’t run his favorite game properly, he took a whole weekend and got it to work so well that Theo was over the moon (see Feb 1). However, time passed, viruses were downloaded and games started lagging, and soon the luster of his laptop wore off. He began to get frustrated with his slow dinosaur of a machine. We broke down and bought him a refurbished Macbook like the one he uses at school. He’s a wiz on that machine and has taught me a few tricks to help me, a relatively new Mac owner, to get the most out of my laptop.