SOL Day 13: New Technology and Old(er) Parents

I knew, even before anything happened, that I would be slicing about the visit to my parents’ house today.

That’s because I headed there to help my dad set up his new computer and new wi-fi range extenders.  I’m pretty sure my dad loves “tekkie” things (new phone, new smart TV, new computer, etc.), but he hates reading the directions and he absolutely hates trying to figure out how to set it up.  Give him a car or actually any appliance, and he could probably tell you what’s wrong with it just by listening to the noise that it makes.  But anything new?  Yeah, just forget it.  He knows not to start even before he begins.

But he swears that’s why he had me.  I’m the one who reads the directions thoroughly and has the patience (sometimes) to put things together.  Which is why he called me, even before he ordered the computer, to come help him with his new gadgets.  We (me?) started by downloading all the things he needed from his old computer so we could eventually put them on the new computer.  I asked him if he had a flash drive to download everything onto, and he asked me what that was.  He pulled out his CD-Rs and asked if we could put it on there.  I haven’t had a CD-R drive in the last 2 computers I had, mainly because you’re either able to stream it online or save it on a smaller and more convenient flash drive.  I had to check that his new computer had a CD-R drive on it before I started downloading (it did).

Then it came time to unplug the old computer and put in the new.  Having had a laptop for awhile now, the tangled mess of cords that met me when I pulled out the computer was shocking.  I asked him if he knew what most of the wires were for and he said no.  I’m pretty sure we spent more time figuring cords out than we did booting up and downloading the updates to the new computer.  When all was said and done, we got rid of 4 cords and moved 2 on the side that didn’t seem to be plugged into anything but he was sure had a purpose.

We then moved on to plugging in the new computer, moving all the files onto it and getting it ready for him to use.  Which, as always, is easier said than done.  He wanted to know where some of the ports were, how to hook up the wi-fi range extender and how it worked.  I didn’t know most of his answers, as I’m not quite sure how things work myself, but I tried to explain that through the magic of wi-fi, it would work.

When the computer was ready to go, Microsoft Office downloaded and installed, Google Chrome set as his default browser and all his icons in the same spot as on the old computer, he said, “Now, the most important thing…where do I find my solitaire game?”  I burst out laughing.  “What’s so funny?” he said.  “Of all the things we’ve done today and all the questions you’ve asked, the thing you were the most worried about was a card game?” I couldn’t help but tease.  He smiled back and said, “Just tell me where to find it.  And then put it over here.” he said as he pointed to the bottom of the screen.

I realized that as technology gets newer, my parents’ age starts to show and they get older.  And I hate being reminded of this.  I wish I could keep them young and here with me forever.  But I know I can’t.  So I’ll settle for spending all my time with them by helping them hook up their new technology.  Because it’s moments like these that you can’t get back.

My parents – in the days when the hardest part of technology was when you actually had to rewind the tape:


About legerboc

A learner, a teacher, a mom and a wife. Pretty good at the first two and working on the last two, every single day.
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11 Responses to SOL Day 13: New Technology and Old(er) Parents

  1. Sarah Parker says:

    I agree completely. The last computer purchase was their “last one” they said, if only to avoid the painful transition. I don’t think my dad even used the new computer for the first month, it was so painful. This had me in stitches!

    • legerboc says:

      Glad you had a good laugh! Helping my parents out with the tech stuff always makes me laugh! I know what you mean though…I’m pretty sure my mom uses her iPad to play Bejeweled! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. Adrienne says:

    I was behind an elderly gentleman at the grocery store yesterday. He was having trouble paying by card. The whole chip thing seemed to baffle him. It got me thinking about what I will be like at his age. I am always patient behind seniors because I know that one day, that could be me.

    • legerboc says:

      Oh, me too! It’s why I always try to be patient with my parents…I know I will be in their shoes one day! There are even some things now that, when I watch the kids in school, confuse me! With the way technology is, I’m worried my time where I’ll be lost will come sooner than later! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. arjeha says:

    I look at all the features my new car has and wonder If I will ever figure out what they are and how they work. Maybe I need to hire a 12 year old to teach me. Glad you were there to help your father,

  4. Funny post, and such a good description of all the steps and pitfalls.
    I can relate to your Dad’s concern for the icon for his Solitaire. Funny what we really mostly use our technology for. Glad your story had laughter not impatient words- you are a great daughter!
    PS- we still have bags of old cords my husband swears are worth keeping.

    • legerboc says:

      Haha! It’s funny that you say that about the cords…even though we knew we didn’t need them, my dad bagged them up and put them in the closet. Not sure what for, but same as your husband…I’m sure he thinks he’ll need them! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Veronica says:

    Oh my, thoroughly enjoyed this post so much — mainly because I lost my Dad’s memory to Alzheimer’s and I never got to do any of these simple things for him. I’d moved away and tech hadn’t evolved to the crazy way it is now before his mind dimmed.

    I laughed, I cried, I lived vicariously for a moment.

    Thank you for giving this to a daughter who misses her Dad. 🙂

    (Phenomenal voice, perfect pacing, btw!)

    • legerboc says:

      Thank you for sharing this! Sometimes you just write about life and things that happen without any awareness of other people that will read it. I appreciate you sharing this and I’m sorry about your dad. I watched my mom deal with both her parents near the end (one had Dementia and the other had Alzheimer’s). My grandfather sang and played the ʻukulele, yet stopped talking about 2 years before he actually passed. She always says she missed hearing his singing the most (as do I). I am glad that, even if for a moment, you were able to relive a small moment with your dad. Love and hugs from across the Pacific Ocean!

  6. Vanessa Worrell says:

    I love this picture of you parents and the cute and funny slice of your father’s very important use for his computer… solitaire. You have a knack for writing a narrative. The details helped me feel like I was there watching it all!

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