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At -15 degrees, with a-30 to -50 degrees windchill, what’s an older person to do? Take a walk and get frostbitten? No, stay home and enjoy the view. Here’s mine this morning:

Morning Sun over Lake Michigan in Chicago

Morning Sun over Lake Michigan in Chicago

But, as time passed, the day deteriorated. I worked on my computer for three hours trying to sync one thing with another. Much frustration. I concluded I’m unsynchable.

Wanting some relaxing pleasure, I tried once again to put the disc in that my daughter gave us several years ago depicting a crackling fireplace. I thought I might feel warmer if I could see flames, real or not, on my TV.

As usual, I got a message reading “disc error.” Disgusted, I was about to throw it away, when my mind snapped alive! The fake fireplace was on a DVD, not a CD, and I was inserting it into the CD player! All these years!

Gloating over my sudden brilliance, I took a photo of the TV fireplace and texted it to my daughter. What follows is a slightly edited version of our texting. For one, I left out zillions of exclamation points.

Me: Cozy and warm.


Her: Very nice.

Me: I figured out why it didn’t work other years. I was reading “disc error” when I put it in. I  put it into the CD slot.

Her: Again…I let out a huge GROAN.

Me: Funny, huh. I didn’t know how to blink off the English sign though.

Her: Just click on English.

Me: How? With regular remote, what do I push?

Her: Where’s your DVD remote?

Me: I just found it.

Her: Good. Just highlight English, then hit enter.

Me: I think the batteries are dead. I’ll try later.

Her: Good grief.

Me: Hahahaha. Back to my computer problems of this morning.

Her: Back to my mess over here.

Minutes later-

Me: Got it. Mozart in the background and everything. You have to point the remote at the DVD player, not the TV. How bright I am.


Her: Unreal.

Me: Not really. Consider the source.

So, I hope you are keeping warm and happy and away from technology. As a friend of mine said last week, “Remember the days when there was just one knob to turn things on and off? Why do we need all this stuff we don’t use?” She then told us how she and her husband managed, on hands and knees, to reconnect four cords to their new TV when they found they’d been mysteriously threaded between the legs of a chair. She was determined not to call offspring for help.

Joining the same conversation, another friend said, “I got a new TV for Christmas and did something to it, and now all I have is snow. When I told my daughter, she said, ‘Don’t touch it. Don’t even touch it until I come over.'”

We don’t necessarily like driving our daughters bats, but we sure do laugh about our technical mishaps. And, to save my daughter from further mother-angst today, I’m not telling her that the songs sung along with the Mozart on my TV fireplace were in German.