Continuing with chronological approach to reading through the Bible in a year.Also, I finished the memoir Buying a Piece of Paris, a light, predictable summer read. I thought that I might reach the end and long for a Paris apartment of my own, but no such desire awakened in me. I guess I’m a simple girl with simple tastes, a bit too enthralled with my RV to be seduced by la vie à Paris.I’m also continuing What Your Childhood Memories Say about You . . . and What You Can Do about It.
For over 20 years, I relied on a paper Dayrunner calendar clicked into a small three-ring notebook that I carried with me everywhere. I called it my external hard drive, an extension of my mainframe computer—referring, at that point, to my brain.If one of the kids told me about an event or appointment, I would plug my ears and say, “Until it’s recorded on my external hard drive, it’s as if we never had this conversation.” Only when an event was inked onto the calendar could a family member ensure something would take place.Late last summer, As our family approached the start of the 2011-2012 school year, our schedules were shifting a lot. I would record someone’s appointment only to be told of a reschedule. Again and again I’d scratch out the original entry and rewrite it on another page or draw an arrow from one day to the next. Eventually my Dayrunner pages looked like a preschooler took hold of a Spirograph and created a stringy, illegible series of scribbles.The Belgian Wonder urged me to switch to an electronic calendar. I resisted. He insisted I try.Finally, I gave in. I started typing in appointments, color-coding entries to match up events with family members. I reluctantly acknowledged several advantages, but I felt lost without my notebook.Shortly after the launch of this e-calendar experiment, one of the kids announced that a practice was rescheduled. After a brief sigh, I simply dragged the appointment to the new day and time. Boom. It was neatly recorded.No scribbles. No mess.I started to embrace the new gadget; to rely on it like a personal assistant. These days, I’d go so far as to admit that I cling to it like a lifeline.Some of its many advantages:
- My husband and kids can access it from their computers.
- If I type an event onto the computer calendar, it syncs to my phone.
- Ten minutes before an appointment, a polite sound alerts me to get ready. I can adjust the alarm if I need more time to prepare or travel to an event.
- I can bring up the app on my phone at the dentist office and schedule a follow-up appointment with a few taps on the screen.
- When I record an event on my phone, it syncs to the computer.
- I have a master-calendar in multiple places at once.
The external hard drive comparison is more literal than ever. When I relied on the notebook, I’d panic if I lost track of it because it replaced my memory and I had no backup—now I only panic if I can’t find my phone, which I would panic about regardless of the calendar app. If I lost my phone forever, I would still have my calendar online.Managing a family of six is never easy, but switching to an electronic calendar has made it easier. Thanks to this new mode of organization, I’m looking forward to fall without an accompanying sense of dread over how to keep everything straight.
We invited friends over for a cookout on the Fourth of July.They brought half the food, including steak, which made my husband very happy.
I picked up a magazine the other day in the doctor’s office waiting room and read about a family that rented out their house and drove off in an RV to see the country. The husband’s work allows him to work remotely, so they try to ensure quality Internet along the way. Because of their flexible schedule, they can drive for a day, arrive at a destination, and then stay for long stretches to really see the area. They homeschool their three girls, and meet up with friends along the way.I’m ready to follow in their tracks.Unfortunately, my husband’s job won’t allow him to work remotely…yet.Also, my kids aren’t keen on the idea.But the husband of the RV adventure mentioned the movie “Up.” He didn’t elaborate on how the movie affected their decision, but I keep thinking about the blank pages saved up in Ellie’s secret Adventure Book, marked: “Stuff I’m going to do.” In the beginning of the movie, Ellie looked forward to a life of travel and adventures with Carl, but everyday challenges siphoned away their savings and instead, they lived a quiet, simple life together.After Carl’s adventures throughout the film, he comes across Ellie’s book. He flips through the scrapbook and reminisces, then stops at her note “Stuff I’m going to do,” assuming those pages are blank. He knew they never went on those adventures she dreamed of, that she didn’t do the stuff she wanted to do.But the pages weren’t blank.She filled those pages with photos that chronicled their life together, simple as it was.She bloomed where she was planted, living a thankful, rich life with her husband. And even though she couldn’t accompany him, she thanked him for their shared adventure and sent him off to have new ones.I want to have that mindset, grateful for the life I’m living now, simple as it is, embracing as much adventure as possible with limited resources.It’s doubtful our family will be able to travel for months at a time any time soon, but I’m going to dream a little and plan as much as the family can and will support. I intend to move ahead with balance and sensitivity, wanting neither to force my hopes and dreams on them, nor to abandon my dreams in order to fulfill theirs.One day, I hope we’ll be posting photos from all over this nation, on an adventure of our own. In the meantime I’ll be building my list of “Stuff I’m going to do.”
Nothing to report.
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All images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.