Old hard drive is like photos of forgotten faces
Published 01/16/2014 12:00 AM
Updated 01/16/2014 11:29 PM
The room was full of wedding leftovers from a year ago, and everything else we were too lazy to heft to the attic. Building anything in that room would be like trying to put together a picnic table in a microcar (they don't have back seats.) Intrigued, I left them to their task and did not peek.
Christmas morning the guestroom was the first gift all the kids wanted us to open. Taped to the door was a big red bow. When I opened that door what I saw was the stuff of my dreams. My daughter and son-in-law had built us an office.
With a double desk down the center of the room no longer would my writing projects be piled on the kitchen table and my husband's paperwork, (he is self employed), cover the big dining room table. We wouldn't have to balance plates in front of the TV in the living room with Diane Sawyer anymore. Like a real family we could eat at the kitchen table and watch her.
For one day the office was beautiful, clean, organized and artistically decorated. A week later, it looked lived in. It took me that long to cull through my things and make my half of the room my writing place. And when the last of what had been stored there went to the landfill, I realized what a step forward that special room is.
There had been an old computer in there, which I decided I would not designate to another corner of another room or up under the eaves in the attic. It was going to the town's transfer station. I wanted to retain the hard drive though, not because there was anything compromising on it, I wanted to hold close the bits and bytes of us as a family as we had traveled the beginnings of our digital path during the last century.
Saving the hard drive was like saving a box of brittle and faded photos of forgotten faces you never look at, but you know the moment was once important enough to snap a picture of it. That's what the hard drive was like for me, a snapshot of thoughts, ideas and dreams I will never research again but want to still hold on to. When I took it out of the housing the date on it said 1996. That was our second desk-top computer, I haven't a clue where the first one is, probably in the attic with the 8 Track and VCR.
I am amazed that I felt such affection for the heart of a gray Hewlett-Packard dust collector I haven't turned on in more than five years. I was one of those people who thought the personal home computer was an evil device out to empty your wallet and twist your mind. Now I consider my laptop an invaluable tool with science fiction-like qualities of communication and research. And it looks so nice in the office the kids built us.
For me having an office is no different than a crafter having a workroom, an artist having a studio or a wood worker having a shop in the basement or garage. My office is organized, peaceful and beautiful. Did I mention half of it is my husbands? Let's not tell him. Enough said.