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Today in My History
2000: High Stepping
2001: In the Arms of the Angel
2002: Dubya, Rudy and Jed
2005: Hit Me with a Meme
2006: 'Tis the Season
Poopiest Puppy Ever
2008: Hope and Disappointment
2009: When Friends Write Books
2010: Merry Christmas
2011: Loss and Grief
"Macbeth: the Radio Play"
Books Read in 2012
"The Year of Magical Thinking"
Most Recent on My
The Paul Picnic
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CREATIVE WRITING - PART 2
2 November 2012
Dinner was perfect, of course. The chicken cacciatore was so tender
it melted in your mouth and the spaghetti was cooked al dente, just the way Laura liked
it. She made a big caesar salad, but left out the anchovies because she knew Tim hated
anchovies. Tim opened a nice bottle of chianti and made a toast to Moms new
Laura went out into the kitchen to get the Parmesan cheese, so they couldnt see the
look on her face.
She kept up a lively conversation at dinner, talking about her volunteer work at the SPCA
thrift store and about all the adorable dogs and cats that were up for adoption. She had
thought of bringing home one herself, but Peanut was getting old and she didnt want
to disrupt his quiet way of life by bringing a youngster into the house. There would be
time enough for that after he was gone, if she even wanted another dog. She was happy with
the dog she had. She didnt want a new one.
And she didnt want a new contraption to learn either, but she didnt say that.
Here, Mom, let me help you clear the table, said Jenna. Then we can show you
Dont you want ice cream? Laura asked. She was a big one for dessert and
she was desperately hoping to prolong the moment when she had to sit at
...that...that...thing as long as possible.
Not yet, Mom, Jenna laughed. Im still full from dinner. Besides,
were so anxious to show you how your computer works. You wont believe what fun
youll have with it and how easy it is to use! We can have dessert later.
There was no getting around it. Laura was going to have to let her children teach her how
to use her new computer. She didnt have to actually use it after they left, but she
had to let them teach her how to use it.
Even the look of it bothered her. It didnt match the decor of her room at all. All
that metal didnt blend into the lovely dark wood of her den. It stood out like a
sore thumb. Maybe she could make a nice quilted cover to go over it so it wouldnt
look so out of place, she thought.
Now cmon, Mom. You sit down here and Ill sit next to you and Ill
show you just how to work the computer, said Tim.
He showed her the button to turn the machine on. That was easy. All sorts of pictures came
up on the screen as it started. She was looking at a cute picture of Alexis, her 5 year
old granddaughter, that sweet smile Laura loved so much on her face and what looked like
cookie crumbs around her mouth, blending into the freckles that dotted her nose and
spilled over down her cheeks. Her red hair was muted in the photo, but it made Laura
Tim showed her the parts of the computer. That thing they called a mouse and something
about clicks and double clicks and then there were programs and graphics and the Internet
and e-mail and Lauras brain began to swim. She couldnt understand anything he
said. The more excited he became in teaching her, the more her brain shut down. She pushed
all the buttons he told her to push and watched what happened, but she couldnt
remember any of it. Tim would learn, when he got to be her age, that its harder to
retain new information and he was throwing an encyclopedia at her.
They sat at the computer for what seemed like hours, with Tim giving her instructions and
Jenna clapping in delight every time Laura did something right. She tried to share their
excitement, but the longer things went on, the more confused she got.
Im getting kind of tired, kids, she said. Maybe we should call it
a night and take it up again some other time. Is anybody ready for ice cream now?
she asked, hopefully.
It was mint chocolate chip, her favorite. She dished up a couple of scoops for each of
them and put them in the little crystal dishes her mother had given her as part of her
wedding present. She added a homemade chocolate chip cookie and used the good dessert
spoons from her sterling silver set.
They sat in the living room with their ice cream. Tim and Jenna babbled on about all the
fun things Laura would be able to do now that she had her own computer. They talked about
keeping in touch with the relatives in Ireland, and getting pictures of her grandchildren
by e-mail. Laura just smiled, sat back and ate her ice cream.
She would never touch that ...thing... again, once her kids were out of the house.