For months, my MacBook was acting up in the manner of a surly teenager, refusing to do things when asked and dragging its feet when forced to fulfill my eminently reasonable requests. I spent a lot of time with the spinning ball, and despite its multi-colored festiveness, this did not endear it to me. Doing anything, even writing these simple missives and editing the visual aids to go with them, took an inordinate amount of time.

Patience is not, as you, one of my few virtues (what ARE those, anyway?), but my impatience was locked in a battle of wills with my innate reluctance to ever upgrade anything or buy a new anything until the previous anything died, usually of old age. Faithful readers may recall that my sister’s inability to deal with the limitations of my old phone drove her to replace it at her own expense earlier this year. Also that it took time (three long visits to the unenjoyable Verizon store) and money (nearly $22 hard-earned dollars!) to get things (allegedly) transferred to the new phone. I never did get all my contacts, and what I have is mostly outdated. Bet you’ll be amazed to hear that I have done exactly nothing about this.

Eventually, my hand was forced by the MacBook going behind my back and upgrading its operating system, thus rendering Word and Excel inoperable. They had a ghostly X over them. So my battered old computer with its shiny new operating system finally went for a visit to the computer repair folks, whose office is in the historic building that used to be the lumber company’s store back in the 19th century.

I should not have been surprised that it took longer than the promised two days to get my MacBook back. Even after all these years, I: a) believed them; and 2) completely ignored the Mendo Factor™. It took more like a week, and in the lengthy interim, I found having to write emails and do internet searches on my phone about as efficient and enjoyable as the spinning ball era on the computer. Like five days of the power shut off last fall, the computerlessness seemed to go on forever.

Eventually, it was ready, and of course I was notified when the shop was five minutes from closing. I raced over there from work. They had replaced the hard drive, transferred everything, reinstalled Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and relieved me of $309. The computer looked cleaner than it had in months, or possibly years.

When I got it home, I discovered that there was an issue with the trackpad, where the cursor wouldn’t move or got stuck. I managed to increase the speed in the preferences, and it worked well sometimes and not others. The computer guy said to clean the trackpad with rubbing alcohol and see if that did the trick. I didn’t point out that it was cleaner than it had been since it was new, and tried the rubbing alcohol anyway. There was no discernible difference, but I was reluctant to part with the computer yet again, so I just put up with it. Eventually, it started working fine, I know not why. I just know I’m glad it works. For now.

A YEAR AGO: The many joys of the County Fair, Part 1.

FIVE YEARS AGO: The Fair was beautiful and glamorous, two of my favorite things.