Meet Millennium Woman

You know about the “Millennial Generation”? The kids who don’t remember a world without computers, right? My beach urchins are millennials. We bought a personal computer, the loverly Apple II+, before they were born. Lizard Breath would play Sticky Bear ABC on it. Mouse used to stand on a chair and play Concentration on our MacPlus. At 2-1/2, she could navigate the File menu to start a new game. Fun times.

Their grandmother was born well before computers. In fact she was born before television, way back in the days of the party-line telephone and hand-cranked automotive vee-hickles. Actually I may be overstating that last a little bit. I don’t have a good grasp on automobile history. But maybe you get the point. At any rate, my mother was definitely *not* one of those folks who couldn’t learn a new trick or two in her later years and I will never forget the day I got my first email message from her! Actually I think it was from “Fran and Jack”, even though The Old Coot never did get comfortable with the idea of a computer and preferred to watch her use the “generator” from the doorway. Don’t get too close, dad, it might blow up…

The thing was, The Engineer and I had been kind of bugging The Commander to buy a computer and, although she seemed interested, it didn’t seem like we were making much progress. As it turned out, *that* was because she went out and *hired* a tech-type person to help her choose one, set it up, and show her how to use it. Without telling us. Of course, I was so flabbergasted about receiving that email message that I immediately bombarded her with replies, only to find out that she really didn’t know how to get back into her email program to reply to ME. But she *learned* and for quite a few years, we would exchange email messages. She was also probably my most frequent blahg reader, right up until the last couple of months.

In the last year of my mom’s life, I heard her tell a story from her teaching career over and over and over. It was in the 1970s and the Sault High administration was going to provide training for [select] teachers to learn to use computers. You might guess that those computers weren’t anything like my laptop or my iPhone or even that first Apple II+ computer that we bought before our beach urchins were born. It didn’t matter. The Commander was *interested*! But. Guess what? (Can you guess?) When she approached the neanderthal in charge, he expressed the opinion that home economics teachers (read: women) didn’t have any NEED to “learn computers”. I remember that particular administrator and about all I’ve got to say is, “Move over Rush Limbo!”

And so, the photoooo is of an emergency room, not technology right? As I have said before, starting last fall, I began to get calls that Freighter View had transported mom to the emergency room. I won’t go into detail about all of those calls. The one shown in the photooo actually had a very good ending. Mom had been futzing around in her apartment and she somehow fell backwards onto her walker. She was okay… Except for the big gash on the back of her head. Can we just say there was a lot of blood? The Freighter View staff did not have the tools to make the blood stop and they had a really hard time convincing her to go to the ER. Finally, a staff member offered to drive her over there (i.e., no ambulance) and she agreed. As it turned out, this trip turned out to be “fun”. Doc Rob was on duty and the ER wasn’t busy so they put a couple staples in her head and shipped her back to FV (which is just a few blocks away) in less than two hours.

And there was this nurse who The Comm bonded with. So, at the end of it all, The Commander handed somebody her *iPhone* and asked that person to take pictures of her. She wanted to send them to her daughter! That would be me. There’s this one with the nurse and there’s another very looovvvverrrrly one of the back of her head with a bandage on it and a LOT of blood.

But yes (and I’ve said this before), The Commander had an iPhone. She *asked* us to help her obtain one and although I won’t say there weren’t challenges, she could *use* it!

I have to wonder what The Commander’s life might have been like if that neanderthal had allowed her to participate in that computer class… (Not that she didn’t have a good life…)

3 Responses to “Meet Millennium Woman”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’m not even sure that I could use an iPhone–without a lot of frustration, that is!! I love these stories about your mom. She sounds tough, smart and daring. Someone who wanted to grow along with the times instead of lamenting those (supposedly) good old days and never wanting any change.

  2. Pooh Says:

    Whenever I see this picture of Fran, I keep thinking she should be playing a fife!

  3. Tonya Watkins Says:

    I was in high school during the early-mid 1970s and I remember they started a “computer lab.” The prerequisites for it were advanced calculus and trig, at least two years of a foreign language, and at least two years of advanced science, such as chemistry and physics. Needless to say, it was a very small group. Of boys.