Sunday, August 27, 2006

Never Too Late

While visiting in Detroit, we bought my 91-year-old mother-in-law her first computer – an Apple MacBook. I’m listening to Laptop 101 at about 10 decibels above normal as my husband teaches her the rudiments of using her new toy.

Why did she want a computer? Her hearing has been degenerating for years and it has become impossible to carry on a conversation on the phone, our only link when we are in DC and she is here. Recently her 90-year-old alterations lady told her that the computer had virtually saved her life, giving her a lifeline to the outside world and a never-ending source of amusement. So she greeted my husband with "I think I need a computer."

As my husband explained the concept of a bookmark and showed her the one he had created for the local weather, her face lit up with the realization that she could check the weather 24x7. She immediately jumped to the idea of being able to check our weather as well. You see, “the weather” has dominated any conversation we have ever had with my mother-in-law. The weather dictates her entire approach to life – what she will wear, the real need for the ever-present umbrella, etc.

Her first challenge was to learn how to use the track-pad. But she is a quick and eager student and in no time at all she was rolling and clicking. She sent e-mail messages to her granddaughter and her great-neice. Both of whom were astounded to learn of her new-found Internet savvy.

I hope when I am 91 I will be up for learning something new. I wonder what the exciting new technology will be when I reach that age.

(The second picture above is of my husband at the kids’ table in the Apple Store in Detroit where we took turns reading our e-mail after making the big purchase.)


Blogger Old Lady said...

Knowledge is the oil that keeps our joints greased and running smoothly.
Great story.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Cee said...

That's so cool. I hope I will be as adventurous at that age as well.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is amazing! My 85 year-old aunt does all kinds of things on hers and it is her absolute lifeline!
I don't doubt for a second that you'll have as much initiative as your mother-in-law at 91!!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

She's 91? Wow, she looks great. You and David are heroes, bringing her the means to keep communicating. Bravo!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

My dad (67) bought a computer a few months back. Ostensibly to do design work on. It is primarily used for playing card games, tetris, and chess.

On the plus side, it is easier to share photos with my parents now.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Yes, she's really 91 and she does look good for her age. Lousy bones, but a sharp mind. The real test will be how much she can remember without David there to look over her shoulder. It may require a trip for remedial training, but I have made my yearly pilgrimage to Motown and I got full credit for it!

7:37 PM  
Blogger Dsquared said...

she also loved the 3d bridge game, which i must admit is very cool. as far as looking her age, she got a job at the age of around 62 as a Hospital receptionist. She lied on the application and told them she was 47. Everyone bought it.

10:10 PM  

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