Saturday, November 18, 2006

An Evening at Home

What happened tonight at our house. . .

. . .that doesn't usually happen:

All family members sat down for dinner together--at the dinner table. It wasn't fast food or any other form of take out.

After said meal, the table was cleared and dirty dishes put in the dishwasher.

. . .that sometimes happens:

Marley was bathed with a hair wash and in bed at 8:00 pm.

. . .that usually happens:

After Marley was in bed, we each went to our proverbial corners and settled in with a computer. Tonight that consisted of Colin listening to music and playing solitaire on one computer, Paul on another laptop perusing music equipment, and me on yet a third checking email, reading blogs and being a perfect little NaBloPoMo participant posting before midnight. In the background, the television played a Star Trek marathon. Oh yes, Nibbler and Smokey, guinea pigs extraordinaire hung out in the living room leading a most unplugged life eating hay and occasionally racing around the guinea pig condo like wind up cars.

We are an electronically-indulged family. We have only paid for one computer and two televisions. However, because of the nature of Paul's job, we have two laptops--his current work one and his old work one. Actually, we have a second desktop computer that we had out for Marley to play computer games on. I just had Paul take that one down because it is too ridiculous that we could all four of us be on a computer at the same time. We also have a fancy-schmancy flat screen television that lives with us except for two trade shows a year.

I am very ambivalent about all this. I love television. Television practically raised me. I love the computer, obviously. But free or not, all this begins to get a little absurd. As I said, I recently had Paul take down the spare desktop that was a hand-me down from his parents. And the laptop I am currently working on is not typically in day-to-day use. I had it out recently to work on a project for church which required use of Microsoft Publisher which only this one has.

We also have limitations about our television and computer set up. While our son has a tv and dvd player in his room, there is no cable or internet hook up in his room. Nor will there ever be while he is a minor and living at home. (If you are reading this, sorry dude.) The desktop is in the living room where anyone can see what is on the screen at any given time.

I can't help but think, though, that if we weren't so electronically-indulged, what usually doesn't happen on a Saturday night and what usually happens might be reversed.

In other news, Jessi, in the comments to my last post wondered what the picture was that Colin renamed as "not allowed on blog." It was merely an ordinary picture of him carving pumpkins at a Halloween party with our friends. You see, the men in my family are afflicted with a rare condition in which they do not like to have their pictures taken. When I say "do not like" you should interpret that as something like they detest it with a hate that burns like a thousand suns. Someone took the Halloween picture of my son and sent it to me. Renaming the photo file was my son's subtle way of reminding me of his affliction which, of course, extends to an abhorrence of any picture being shown. Ever. Anywhere.

My daugher has a remitting/relapsing form of this condition so I get more pictures of her. If you ever check out my family blog, you will notice the pictures are almost exclusively of Marley. Oh well. I take what I can get.

Until tomorrow,


Post Script: My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of B.J. Kilpatrick. Many of us in the blog'verse have been following her story which began a couple of weeks ago when she was admitted to the hospital with a terrible infection. She succombed to a stroke and died yesterday. B.J. and her husband had/have a blog, AtomicTumor, and as the events unfolded, more and more people talked about it on their blogs and her husband posted every day, along with their friends and so now many, many people "know" this family.

People get sick and die everyday. Sometimes however, one story gets your attention. One story makes you stop and think. One story simultaneously pulls you out of your own self-absorbed life to think about someone else's and brings you an appreciation and awareness of the blessings in your life. This is one of those stories.

18 down, 12 to go


Elizabeth said...

I've followed AT's story pretty thoroughly since discovering his blog a few weeks ago, so I know what you mean. Logically, I know this stuff must happen all the time... but BJ's story is a scary reminder that we never know when our time is up.

I'm pretty sure they just renewed their vows a month or so ago, too. Can't imagine what he's going through.

Kristen said...

I just heard about the Atomic Tumor story yesterday when someone posted about B.J.'s death. I'm so very sad for them.

Oh - and I'm so with you on not allowing the teenagers to have internet access in their bedrooms. Hannah doesn't either. When she gets online, it's in John's office, with permission.