Technologically-challenged – 031610

I’ve written previously about Mom’s difficulties using her phone, and about Pop’s incomprehension with voice-mail.  Well, Mom still has occasional lapses but has, for the most part, become as prolific a telephone conversationist as her younger self.  Pop?  He is still a telephone minimalist.  Last month’s cellular bill revealed that he spent fewer than ten minutes talking on it.  About once a week, I clear the few accumulated messages from his voice-mail.  Most of them are from me.

So the punchline for today’s little story should come as no surprise.

I told the folks that I am writing a blog.

Pop had claimed to be feeling spacey today, and didn’t react.  Mom had that blank look for a few moments before recovering just enough to ask, “What’s that?”

I told them, again, an abbreviated version of how I’ve been writing e-mails to Elizabeth and Michael and a few others as events in M&P’s lives warranted it.  (An unabbreviated explanation can be found at About the Blog.)  They faintly acknowledged having heard this before.  Then I explained that the term “blog” is a contraction of the words “Web” (as in world-wide web or internet), and “Log” (as in a report).  A web-log, or blog, I said, is a means of communicating in a new way.

Pop heard the words ‘new’ and ‘internet’, and snickered his disapproval; but only briefly.  Mom continued to look at me as if I had been speaking Swahili.

I told them about how I’ve taken the many e-mails written over the past few years, sterilized them of certain information to maintain their privacy and safety, and published it all in a place where many others could find and benefit from it.

After a few moments of silence, Pop looked up at Mom and asked, “You got that?”


We all laughed long and hard.  I kicked his chair and called him a “stinker”.  Pop was pleased with himself; he had won the best-reaction-of-the-day award hands down.

Otherwise, Pop continues to shave and dress and walk to the dining room (albeit at a snail’s pace) and sit in his armchair.  Mom continues to “walk him” for about fifteen minutes at about 3pm,  after which he sits some more to recover before dinner.  What he is not doing is watching news or sports on TV and he is not listening to classical music on his radio each evening.  He claims to not be interested.

By the way, he was stunned upon learning that Tiger Woods will be playing in The Masters tournament next month.  I strongly suspect that Pop (and much of the rest of the world) will be watching the play from Augusta with greater interest than usual.

Mom seems somehow energized by her ‘project’: the maintenance of her husband.  I think it gives her purpose.  Apart from her own obvious physical limitations, she seems quite well.  I have to remind myself occasionally that she is not whole, and that she must be treated in ways appropriate to her true condition.

Mom and Pop both have lapses in short-term memory; sometimes about the same thing.  A small example: they asserted that no one had come around today to refill their water jugs.  I sniffed around and discovered that Mom’s jug still had ice in it along with plenty of water.  Pop never gets ice, but there was still cold water in his jug.  It’s not a big deal, of course.  But it does reinforce the notion that neither of them are good sources of information.

This Thursday, Mom will join a few of her close friends for lunch at their favorite restaurant.  Brona will pick Mom up from Piedmont Place.  Early that morning, I will take Pop to his scheduled ophthalmologist appointment for his macular degeneration shot.  I asked him today if he’d like the use of a wheelchair for this excursion.  He said ‘No,’ that it wasn’t a great distance and that he’d try to walk under his own power.  It’s a good sign.


About FredMarx

Old enough to have wisdom; young enough to learn.
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