“Did you ever have one of those days, boys? Did you ever have one of those days when nothing was right from morning till night? Did you ever have one of those days?”
Is there anybody else out there old enough to remember this classic Elvis song? It’s booming in my head right now, reminding me of the kind of day I’ve had.
A good 45 minutes ago, my finished, polished column disappeared into cyberspace. Gone! Defunct! Kaflooie! I’d worked on it for a couple of hours and was pleased with my progress. My finished product was in sight and almost ready for the October 16th edition of the Baxley News Banner and the clock read 8 p.m. Occasionally I do tend to procrastinate. It’s a habit I’m trying to break, but I usually decide to mend my ways starting next week. After all, I am the president of the Procrastinators’ Club. This week, however, I was doing much better when Fate laughed and reached out a bony finger to intervene.
I tapped the Save as command under File and the program froze. So did I. I’d worked so hard and now my column sat there frozen. I promise you I could see that silly paper clip office assistant grinning at me from the top corner of the computer screen. I did everything I could think of to save my work, but to no avail.
I assured myself that Microsoft Word would be able to recover it for me, but it didn’t. I longed for Stuart, my computer literate grandson, but he moved off to Atlanta and left me on my own. Bless his little electronic heart, he tried valiantly, and saved me so many times. I wonder if that had anything to do with his moving away.
In frustration, I left the *&^&*()$#% computer and went off to read my book to calm me down a bit before starting again. Five pages in, I remembered that I’m currently reading Ghost Story by Peter Straub, our book club selection for this month. Many things have been said about Straub, but he’s never been accused of calming his readers down; the direct opposite is his forte. I traveled with his characters for a few minutes, saw some shopping going on, and sympathized with that poor little girl; however, my mind kept wandering back to my own dilemma. I had no choice except to return to this computer.
The really sad part of this story is the echo in my mind from my many years of teaching. I see myself standing in front of a classroom reminding the students again and again to save their work.
“Save it often,” I reiterate again and again. “You never know when something will happen. The power might go off. The program might freeze. Save your work.”
But I hadn’t. And that column was excellent.
My morning wasn’t too terribly smooth either. I’d carefully slipped past Josie, our newest rescue puppy, and gone outside the gate to put some trash into the bin. When I opened the gate to come back in, that little brown puppy darted right between my ankles and out the gate. I called and cajoled, but she dashed all around the front yard, then checked the car doors to see if they were closed— she’s fond of riding. When I called her, she just grinned at me and pranced just out of my reach. I hate for a dog to outsmart me. I pretended to ignore her and played ball with Charlie for a few minutes. Josie was having a fine old time frolicking about the yard just outside the open gate.
Finally, an idea popped into my head.
“Come on, Charlie. Let’s go inside and get your treat for being a good boy.”
We headed for the back door and when I opened it, Josie dashed in ahead of Charlie, wagging her tail and grinning again. She was ready for her treat, too.
“Well, young lady, who’s smarter now, huh?” I asked her, grinning a bit myself.
Now this column is about finished and you can bet I’ve been saving my work practically after every word. But that first one—why I do believe it was the best I’ve ever written-- probably worthy of a Pulitzer Prize at the very least.