Then It’s Gone...
It's been kind of a crazy week here--a big thunderstorm hit a week ago today, spawning a cascade of computer and internet problems which quickly got out of hand, leading to the need for new hardware and software. In the meantime, we were in the midst of trying to take care of newly birthed communication babies--those thin, small rectangular ones, with the hyper-sensitive glass fronts--with little to no prior experience. Like all new parents we were baffled and anxious and exhausted. And without our normal means of communicating, we felt isolated as well.
Since we didn't know what we were doing we kept asking for help, but got put off again and again, literally couldn't understand what the helpers were saying, and couldn't afford the solutions they seemed to be offering. And then there were those babies, who needed the original storm-related problems to be fixed so they could continue growing and developing. We felt kind of harassed and helpless, but waded through it as best we could.
Until...ta-da! Yesterday, a week into our saga, a Guardian Angel arrived, complete with hairy legs and a mustache. A bonafide internet technician, educated, very experienced and intelligent, with high energy and a good sense of humor. As he was working, and for a good while afterwards, he entertained us with a fine catalog of stories about the highs and lows of his job--from the satisfaction of helping folks like us, to being bitten by a dog that "doesn't bite," to having a gun pulled on him.
Not only did he diagnose and fix our problem with all due speed, he also gifted us with a piece of equipment we desperately needed but couldn't really afford, and then didn't charge us anything for his time. He even gave us some tips about those phone babies. As we offered our heartfelt thanks again and again, he simply said, "Pay it forward, folks, pay it forward."
So, we're finally in the modern age, electronically, by means of a guardian angel--with two smart phones, no landline and a reasonably fast internet connection. Amazing. (Still no TV--but we aim to keep it that way!) And all the crazy sound and fury and struggle of the past week is gone. Everything is okay and remarkably peaceful.
Which reminds me of a story I told in my second blog post, back in October of 2019:
A few days before we closed on our house (in June of 1997), my husband and I stood in our new backyard with Dave, our neighbor-to-be. We were near a stone wall that marked the edge of the property; beyond that a steep hillside dropped down about 15 feet to the railroad tracks. We were talking about something—I don’t remember what—when off in the distance we heard a low rumble. Which got louder. And louder. And LOUDER. Until we had to yell to be heard. And then louder still as a huge freight train with two enormous engines came roaring through the gap just below where we were standing. We couldn’t talk, we couldn’t think, we couldn’t do anything except feel the thunder of that massive monster in our feet and our chests, and in our minds. It went on and on.
And then? The last car passed by, the thunder gradually diminished until finally...it was gone.
Dave let that blessed silence rest for a few long moments. Then he looked at us. And grinned. “I kind of like the trains,” he said. “They remind me of life. Some huge problem comes booming into your life and takes over. You can't think about anything else. You can barely breathe. It goes on and on. It’s all too much. Then, finally, it begins to lessen a little and—.” He paused, a little bemused. “Then it’s gone. Like it never happened.”
That's was our experience this week. We are very grateful.
May the loud, LOUDER, and LOUDEST trains in your life thunder off into the distance as soon as possible, leaving you with a lovely sense of quiet, and gratitude.
Until next time,
Keyboard eater, unknown
Guardian angel technician, JC-REMC
Train tracks, unknown
Computer cat, Catherine Heath, unSplash