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It is now 2 AM and I am experimenting to see if I can successfully write and send this column to the paper when my neighbors are asleep and not likely to be using their cell phones. My problems with both my phone and my computer have become worse than ever and the consensus among the multiple experts who have been analyzing the situation seems to be that somehow my phone and computer lines are twisted into some sort of nightmarish mess.
I have spent hours trying to get some help from the telephone company with whom I am unfortunately connected with both phone and computer. The tech help people involved are all in India or the Philippines and hard as they try to speak English and hard as I try to understand their accents, we do not communicate very well.
After four unfruitful hours and their decision that something was wrong with the computer, I hung up and called the computer expert whom I know. He came to the house and spent another four hours working like a specialist at the Mayo Clinic. He left, assuring me that the problem was solved, the problem being that nothing could be successfully sent through the e-mail.
Today, I sat down to do my writing only to find that the problem had not gone away. I called the expert again, and while we were talking my phone acted up, screeching and suddenly there were two other people having a conversation which he and I both could hear. At last, a witness to the awful things that have been going on with my phone for weeks and it was the person trying to figure out what was happening with the computer.
So now, it appears that the problem is caused by my telephone lines and the neighbors both of whom have cell phones which I do not. Tomorrow I have to gird my arthritic loins and go into battle with the phone company once more. Right now it's like being on a party line and if you've ever had experience with one of those you know what it means - no privacy whatsoever. Apparently, if my phone line is messed up, my computer will be too.
As if my electronic troubles weren't enough for the past two weeks, there's been the emotional trauma of having Adele and Chuck leaving for their new life in Florida. It took a lot of gumption for Adele to make the move. Her married son lives there and she feels strongly that Chuck needs his big brother and she will need some backup when Chuck turns 13 next October.
I agree with her and think she has made a wise decision, which doesn't lessen my sense of loss. I was determined to keep up a jolly, supportive front which I did until the door shut behind them when they left. Even then I would have had a grip until I went into the living room and saw the wicker basket full of "stones" that Chuck had collected for me ever since he was two. It's quite a collection, every thing from rocks from a beach to pieces of road paving he would pick up and proudly give me as a special gift. I have always kept them and always will. They had a cleaning of sorts as I wept over them.
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