Tech Savvy Nanie

Old Lady Art - Computer Class by Judy Kirouac

A year and a half ago, I packed up what I thought was the most essential items for moving to Asia. One thousand Q-tips were of the first items in the suitcase. I hate those flimsy plastic ones and I couldn’t risk having itchy ears. I also packed my favorite tea. Yes, moving to Asia and I brought tea from America. I like it because it has affirmations on the tag.  Like “ It’s not life that matters, it is the courage that we bring to it.” I also brought my pillow. You can handle just about anything if you are well rested.

Along with checking off other items on my must buy and pack list, I felt the need to buy my 82 year old mother a Macbook.  I was taking two of her grandchildren with me and thought it was important to explore all possible ways of staying in touch. She had grown accustom to my sister printing an interesting email, stories that get forwarded a millions times and entries from Caring Bridge, you know that blog like site when people are ill. She is someone who reads the local paper, always clipping and saving articles for me, watches the news and is game for a good cup of coffee and a long chat. She does not drive and life can become very isolating when you are limited to what shows up in the mail box, what is on TV and who walks through the door.  By buying her a computer, my hope was that she would at least learn how to click the stamp on the doc and open an email. Talk about Messing Around. We call her a “Skype Stalker”.  You have to be careful not to leave your skype icon on green. My son, who is 6th grader in a one to one program, has had to decline Nanie’s calls during class several times. Thank god for the time difference and her need for sleep. She has a Facebook account. She has figured out how to watch missed episodes of her soaps and she can download recipes from afternoon talk shows. But what I enjoy most is the look of pure determination on her face while I am skyping with her 6000 miles away and she wants so badly to have my face “full screen”. I still laugh about the day I had to draw a picture of the volume button on a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera for her to see. She loves to click and scroll and when she gets “lost”, she just hits the power button and restarts. Messing Around has opened up a whole new world for a woman who is slow on her feet, but not in her mind. Just this morning, she told me she was tired because she stayed up late watching a high school hockey tournament. There was a player who had got hurt and the team was going to “win it” for him. She had been following his story on facebook.   Now if I could just get her to adjust her screen so I can look at more than just her forehead, but I guess that is better than having to look at her boobs.


  1. Jo, that is a beautiful story and your sense of humor brought a smile to my face as I was reading it. I can totally empathize. I went with my mom to buy her a MacBook Pro about 15 months ago and she declined the Apple Care – she told the salesman she would just “Skype with her daughter in Singapore” if she had a problem. I asked her what her favorite tv shows were and put the Hulu bookmarks on her toolbar. About 3 months later she told me that the “Apple people” were so smart that they’d known her favorite shows. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’d done it. Now that my mom has discovered the sharing screen feature on Skype, as soon as we log on she wants to share her screen with me so that she can ask me a question about iPhoto or something like that. Messing around is not just for teenagers!

  2. We should give our mom’s each others skype addresses so they can be tech support for each other. While I was writing this blog, I had to ask my kids the proper names for things. My mom calls the curser, “that little bug”.

  3. LOL – this is so funny!! I love how these Mom’s are … my Mom also does screen share to have me do tech support! Jo I love your “voice” and your writing – great sharing, thanks so much!

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