Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to the Land of the Internets

Xen Master Xander says "Do not look outside yourself
 for the internets; the internets are inside you."

Last Monday my mother had major surgery.  At my wonderful wife's prompting, I had spoken with my parents beforehand and offered to drive from NC to DC to stay with them for a few days.  Despite still getting around pretty well, they are "getting up there in years" and we figured they could do with someone there to help out and cut out some of the stress.

I took a half-day from work on Wednesday and drove the 5+ hours to their place.  Mom was doing considerably better than I had expected by the time I arrived, so much so that I wondered if being there was even necessary.  That was the good part.

The bad part was a freak, severe storm that hit the DC area in the middle of Wednesday night.  Thousands of people around the area lost power.  We didn't lose power but we did lose the internet.

That nice, new fiber optic line my father had recently installed had been pulled apart with one half dangling across the sidewalk and the other half draped over my car across the street.  It was a sad, sad sight.

Now, being August in DC, losing the internets was a relatively minor inconvenience.  In fact, as my brother pointed out, it really was like coming back home again after I'd first left home -- no internet at all!

On the other hand, I missed out entirely on Day Three of WriteOnCon and reading some of the additional comments made to the query I posted there for review.  And emailing my wife.   And updating this blog with my favorite WriteOnCon segments.

Instead, I spent a lot of time scanning parts of the old family photo albums, thinking about editing my query and hanging out with mom and dad and my brother (who dropped by for a long afternoon.  We had our first meal back at the old family dining room table in decades*.  How weird is that?).  I spent part of Friday night watching the Redskins pre-season opener with my dad, another thing I hadn't done in decades.

Mom continues to do well.  Dad even thanked me before I left, saying I had been more help than he had thought I'd be.  I drove home early Saturday morning, fighting vacation beach traffic, eager to get back to my wonderful wife, our cats and my own home.

-- Tom

* The Betty Crocker "Potatoes AuGratin" were just as awful as I remembered them.  As was my mother's taste in white wine.


  1. That was awesome of you to do for your mom. Also, I know the timing wasn't great with Write On Con, but sometimes it's great to unplug and just go through old photo albums--it's one of my favorite things to do when I go home to visit. I'm glad your mom is doing well! :)

  2. Hi Kristi,

    Thanks for the comment. Family needs to come first, doesn't it? Spending the time with my parents was the right thing to do and I'm glad I was able to do so. (Driving back to my wonderful wife and our cats was also the right thing to do and I'm glad I was able to do that as well!)

    -- Tom

  3. Glad your parents are doing better and it's great that you could be there for your mom. Some of the best days are those spent with the people you love and reminicing about good times. Good thing writeoncon will stay up for a while!

  4. True, true, true and true.

    I hope your daughter is better and stays well!

    -- Tom