I have to praise

Stone and I were in the kitchen talking. Joy was on my laptop and Jet was playing a video game. We had been moving all weekend. We rode bikes on trails and went to a nearby skate park. It was late and Stone and I were working on dinner and chatting. There was a hum running through the room … the dog whimpering and groaning (because she just does), video game music, fireplace blower filling the room with warm air, crackle and roar of logs in the fireplace, talking, birds chirping
when I heard it:

I wasn’t sure I could identify the noise, but it sounded similar to a book hitting the floor. I stepped around the refrigerator to see Joy was leaving the room. I couldn’t see what was in her arms as she had her back to me and was moving into the hall. She had been on my laptop and was now walking. I asked, “Did you drop my laptop?”  She said, “No,” and kept walking. I looked around the room and tried to figure out what the sound might have been. I couldn’t easily identify an item on the floor. Maybe a book fell off a table? Maybe something fell over? I searched.

A few minutes later, Joy enters the room and says, “Mom, your laptop isn’t working right.”

Having been home full time for twenty-five years with three little ones underfoot, God has taught me
to be calm.
It’s just stuff and it’s all His ….
and this is His $1,800 Macbook Pro.

My first thought when Joy came out
was disappointment ….
NOT in the fact that my laptop was malfunctioning,
but in the fact that
she quickly, easily, calmly
lied to me
about something H.U.G.E
and kept walking.
Later, she said that she thought that I knew that her tone of voice
was sarcastic. She thought that I had seen her holding it and knew that she had dropped it.
I knew no such.

She’s been working on her science fair project
slowly. It was due today, Wednesday, January 18th. All of her data
was stored on my laptop.
We took the Mac to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store
on Monday afternoon. One of my favorite Genius’ guys, Mercer,  helped me.
He’s so patient, knowledgeable and helpful.
He set me up so that I could access my information and pull it off my computer
to an external hard drive.
I was able to pull off Joy’s science fair data and
begin on my photos.

I kicked myself.
This is not the first time I have been in this position …
something incredibly dear to me – photos – being held hostage
in a place I might not be able to reach.
I know better.
I had not backed up my music
or my photos
in at least a year.
My laptop has almost 9,000 photos and
7,000 songs in its memory.

I stood at the bar talking to Mercer and
felt lightheaded
and nauseous at the same time.
I wondered if I might throw up.
But, I didn’t yell
or cry ….
I wasn’t angry with Joy …
I was just hurt
that she would lie to me so easily.

I have spent two days at the Genius bar. Mercer has helped set me up so that I can slowly, meticulously pull my photos, one album at a time, off my computer. I probably won’t be able to save them all, but I’ve made a dent in them. Most important to me are probably swim team photos and camping shots from this summer. I will continue to go in and work, as long as my computer continues to boot up when turned on. Once I save all that I can, I’ll hand over the machine for repair. Mercer believes it will need a new logic board and hard drive, i.e., completely new guts.

I feel a pressing need to give thanks
I am a richly blessed woman,
this I know.

I give thanks for ….

428. my laptop … which has been a dependable tool for my “craft”
429. a new camera that takes photos that makes my heart swell, swoon and sway
430. the incredible beauty of God’s creation all around … in beautiful reds, blues and greens, browns, purples and yellows
431. the ability to walk, bend and run without pain
432. three individually, independently gorgeous children that bless my life and fill it with interest
433. the presence of Stone in my life … and all of the complexity that comes along with the blending of families
434. a cat who is not irritating … because, truly, so many cats are!

435. the rich, mellow sound of the cello. The sound of a cello warms my soul.
436. skin that has been more supple this winter than any other before.
437. epson salt for bathing
438. Yardley soap with all its yummy, natural goodness. It soothes my rough edges and helps winters be less painful
439. fresh spinach in omelets, lasagna, salad and, yes, creamed440. WordPress, the host publisher for this blog. I love WordPress
441. the fact that Stone is only 2.5 hours away …. not too far …. but far enough that we continue to walk slowly
442. holiday coffee cups with cornucopias, snowflakes, or hearts
443. green house plants that continue to live and bring oxygen indoors
444. daffodils, bright and happy
445. cold weather
446. the bravery to run even the temps are in the 30’s

447. my parents and their years of patient love
448. creating art with letters. I love typography
449. a calm, uneasily ruffled spirit
450. the fact that God never gives up on me and His mercies are new every moment
451. the number three. it is my favorite number
452. red, white and blue
453. my Otterbox – it protects my iPhone from life
454.  Goodwill
455. weight loss that has been constant and maintained
456. shadows and light that dance and flicker
457. freedom
458. Glory … who freely loans me her laptop when I need
(and car …. and clothes …. and money …. and anything thing that I ask for …. because she’ just grand that way)

So, for now, I am still without a computer.
And, for now, I continue to give thanks for so much.


4 thoughts on “I have to praise

  1. Karen, Your ability to stay steady and push through such a “set back” is inspiring, I am too often derailed by glitches in my day. Thanks!

    I am sharing some beautiful words from someone special. I know they will be as meaningful to you as they are to me. I copied them from another mom’s website — they aren’t her words but she posted them, and I am going to hug them to my chest through the entire year:

    “Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don’t have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

    I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better – and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength.

    In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.”

    ― Pope Benedict XVI

    Wow, huh? Others have always made me feel embarrassed about my joy. I remember being teased by various folks for enthusiasm about blooming irises or clouds in the sky. The result is I hold it in, and as a result, I diminish my own joy. 2012 will so be about JOY for me. I know you’ve claimed it yourself already!



  2. I love this; and I love both of you, Karen and Lorin! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t ever diminish your joy! It encourages me so! 🙂


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