In praise of great grandparents

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I want to put on record my delight and admiration for the efforts made by my parents and Peter’s parents in keeping up with all my emails and for plunging right in to the perils of cyberspace!

I love Dad’s description of mum and her wonderful friend, Eileen, as they spend many frustrating and sometimes successful hours getting messages read and written. He compares it to watching a couple of enthusiasts playing the pokies: “You push some buttons and wait for the numbers to come up. Sometimes they do, but more often they don’t. Sometimes you hit the jackpot and you get a free spin.” I like that description, because I know how much fun mum has playing the pokies, so I hope she is enjoying the computer just as much, and as most people also know, she does VERY WELL on the pokies, so I’m sure she’ll have this machine licked in no time as well.

Mum’s description of her cyberadventures is also as fascinating: “Eileen tells me, Now Dulce, we press this button to connect and this to bring up the program. We wait 5 minutes and nothing happens. Then she starts again & eventually up comes some info saying you have a letter from Majella. Well it may be 20 – 30 minutes later after switching on and off and pressing several buttons and we “may” get your letter… Then I say I will send an answer. Well, I write several pages, press gadget to “send”, my finger slips and I delete it all instead. Well, do I give up? NO never.”

Now occasionally, I do receive these gems, and they are of course a delight to me, but I had to admit I wasn’t fully aware of the blood, sweat and tears required to get each one on its way. I also reply to each one, but I’m sure some of those replies have never been received. Despite these frustrations and anxieties about viral attacks and extension cords, I know mum and dad are still almost considering the possibility of buying a computer. Just think, mum, of all the hours of fun you could have!!

Peter’s parents are of course, also made of stern stuff and have accepted the challenge of being digitally homeless with determination and doggedness. Jean’s efforts in particular are commendable. She writes about her description of her arduous efforts to attend a 5 hour computer training course at the Toowoomba School of Learning: “…the Toowoomba School of Learning is at the far end of Jellicoe St – any further and it would be on the downward side of the Range. I made enquiries of bus times but none connected so I caught ours into the Interchange and walked from there to the Toowoomba School of Learning (that’s several kilometres!!!). As I passed Mt Lofty I was dive-bombed by a vicious magpie. The only head covering I had was my handbag and everytime I put my arms down to rest, the clicking of his beak could be heard in attack. When I arrived at the place, Andrea gave me a great welcome, got me a cold drink of water and a chair to sit myself down.”

Jean faced the ordeal of fighting with the mouse before heading back to face the maleficent magpie and get a taxi home. Then she had to get back a couple of days later for the next session. What a great effort! Jean and Harvey have also now taken the more exciting (but hopefully less perilous) step of buying a computer. They are receiving lots of help from Sean, Emily, Hannah, and others. That much help might also be not dissimilar to being pecked to death by magpies, but I know everyone is very excited about their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents being prepared to take on a very real challenge.

I want to make a toast to Mum, Eileen, and Jean. You are my heroes! Bravo!! And good on Dad and Harvey for being great supporters of these fine women (and for being secret computer enthusiasts, I’m sure).

While I’m praising great grandparents, I should also include my regular email correspondents and technical whizzes from Texas, Murray and Genny, and also Nita and Merv who have been faithfully printing my emails for Jean and Harvey and the Webbs. I am abundantly blessed with family and friends who are forever young.