DISCONNECTED

Trouble began with my AOL browser. The phone agent was able to reinstall it, but complained my computer was “slow.” Since I have an annual contract with Best Buy’s Geek Squad, the next day I called them. That phone agent even-tually indicated he could not fix the trouble. Oh-oh! He made an appointment for my laptop on Saturday at Best Buy where I live in Gainesville, Florida. I hope the fix is simple!

Holding hope for a quick fix, I stood in a socially-distanc-ed line inside the large aircon-ditioned store waiting for a black-clad geek. After a few minutes a masked fellow checked me in. Typing on his computer he asked, “What’s the problem?”

I told him what the two agents had said, but he did not even open my machine! Instead, he printed a work agreement to sign and said, “You can pick it up in two or three days.”

As I opened my masked mouth to ask, “What’s wrong with it?” The geek lifted the laptop from my arms and headed for the workroom saying, “I’ll get started on it now.”

I shrugged. Well, OK!

Returning to my car, I counted three days, “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday….”

Acting on an inkling, before I left home, I had notified my daily correspondents that I might be offline for a few days. As I drove home, I considered being without my laptop for a few days. I took a deep breath. I can handle this!

Sunday was my first day

without my online connections. That morning I might have made a BIG breakfast and smiled at “Pickles” and “Blondie” comics.

Instead I moped, missing my online church service. Pacing from dining room to living room and back again, I sighed and turned on TV. Checking the channels, I found the end of a mass. It’s something! When Harvest Ministries ended, I clicked the Movies! channel. An old black and white western appeared to be in the middle of the story. I smiled when I recognized Rita Hayworth and Tyrone Power. Golly! But, recalling I had seen part of the story before, I turned off the TV. I picked up my cleaning tools and Swiffered the room’s hardwood floor.

Continuing to fuss around the house I began dusting.

Watching my restless activity JK said, “You need a second computer! Buy yourself an inexpensive back up!”

Monday was my second day without the laptop connections. That morning, I Swiffered my bedroom and office. Then shook out a fresh duster sheet and wiped down my bedroom. Finished, I plopped on the bed. I can take only so much dusting!

From the side the bed, I picked up Ann H. Gabhart’s book Healing Hills. It featured Frontier Nurses in the Kentucky mountains after World War II. The tale was fictionalized but informative and interesting. I read until my eyes felt scratchy then went to the living room and again checked Movies! The black and white western was still playing! I sighed. It’s been a day and a half since I took the laptop for repair. Maybe it’s done!

I called Best Buy’s auto-mated service phone line for a report and heard, “Not ready yet.”

Walking over to my desk calendar I saw: September 14. Two weeks until time to print and mail the paper Ninepatch. I picked up a stack of old calendar quotes, sat and began writing notes to readers on the reverse side.

Tuesday was my third day with no laptop. I called the leader of my small Catholic group. “Hey Mark!

I’m probably not going Zoom with you guys!” I explained my laptop situation.

Mark’s low voice was sympathetic. “Ah, computers!” He added, “We’ll miss you!”

Disconnecting, I sighed and called Best Buy again. The automated report was no different.

Watching me read, clean, and traipse around the house JK urged, “Call again! Talk to a live person!”

Wednesday afternoon a live person answered a new extension I used. I identified myself and a young male said, “Wait a minute! I think yours is about done! Let me check!”

I held my breath. The fellow returned. “Yep! He just has to sign off on it. But he’s gone to lunch.”

Hope filled my voice. “Can I come get it in half an hour?”

The fellow paused, “Make it an hour, just in case.”

“Thank you!” Discon-necting, I glanced at the clock. 3:30.

While I waited to drive and collect the machine, I finished writing notes for paper issue readers. People won’t care I wrote them early. A note is a note!

My three days of having no Internet were not SO tough. I had housework and cooking to do, TV and DVDs to watch and I enjoyed more reading time.

On the other hand, I read no daily email from friends and missed four Zoom meetings! Social connections are especially important while I am isolating.

I sighed.

The laptop repair time

reminded me of the months of isolating during this pandemic!

I got through three days without the Internet. I can get through this long wait for a COVID 19 vaccination, too!

I am blessed!

Frances Fritzie

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