December 9, 2011


Seattle is known for its rain, but contrary to what you might think, it’s mostly just gray here and when the rain comes it comes in spurts. Occasionally though we get a squall — rain that just keeps coming, like the Dogs in sky decide to wring out every raincloud all at the same time. These squalls usually last three days. Yep, three long days of heavy rain — the kind that floods the streets, raises rivers, empties into basements and makes everyone very very grumpy.

We had such a squall on Thanksgiving day. It was the third day of constant rain, wet umbrellas, soggy shoes/feet, and that sound of squish squish squish whenever you dared to step onto grass or soil. The day after Thanksgiving the sun came out and everything felt clean and beautiful and the greens and blues and yellows and reds were so vibrant your eyes hurt.

But recently, we’ve had a  squall of an emotional kind. Our computer crashed and that was the beginning of “wet” technological-crisis days. It involved two hours on the phone with Apple Care (at a cost of $50 because our 3-year plan had run out), a trip to the computer store to find out that yes, the hard drive was dead dead dead, a long and involved sales pitch where so many decisions had to be made our eyes hurt (like what was actually LOST on the old computer and how might it get recovered from the external hard drive?), coming home to plug in the new computer only to find out it didn’t work (ARGH!), a trip back to the computer store only to find out that yes, they’d give us a new computer but wouldn’t (as they’d promised on the phone) transfer our information from the external hard drive to our new computer unless we bought a One-to-One plan (about $150!).

And this was only day one of the emotional squall.

I could go on and on. Three days was not enough to contain this miserable mess we found ourselves in. There were lost emails, lost photographs, passwords gone forever and every attempt we made to resolve the issues was thwarted by one thing or another. Gretchen spent hours on the phone with Apple tech folks and friends who know a heck of a lot more about Macs than we do.

Still it rained (in that metaphorical sense) and there was a time there when we thought we’d never be dry again.

And then the dishwasher died.

I think the dishwasher was the turning point. Gretchen was so uptight and frustrated that when she worked at her desk trying to problem solve all the computer glitches I slept in the living room. This is not where I usually spend my time when Gretchen is working. I usually spend my time under the desk offering suggestions and keeping her feet warm. But the living room was a much safer place to hang out during this squall and so there I laid … on the couch all curled up in a blanket shielding myself from the sputter of vulgarity that spilled from her mouth from time to time.

When the dishwasher wouldn’t work, she walked away from it, put on her shoes and coat, grabbed my leash and off we went — she grumbled the whole time. When we got home, she walked up to the dishwasher and literally gave it a swift kick and lo and behold, it started working.

Finally…FINALLY the clouds of our discontent were on their way to torment someone else. (We send that person or persons courage!)

Most of the photographs are back. Most of the emails, too. We found our passwords and the only “missing” items are those that didn’t get backed up because November was crazy and we didn’t take the time to plug in the external hard drive.

Now the external hard drive is permanently plugged in and every hour, from my normal spot under the desk, I hear it rev up and save all the changes from our computer.

Still, we morn the loss of a significant amount of data. For instance, all of November’s photos, which include work photos from dog walking, from the pool, and yes, from our personal life. Like the photos of Zoe who came to visit us from Michigan.

Yes, some of these photos are on this blog so we can rescue  those, but some of the ones that we never posted anywhere are lost for good.


You may have figured out, but this is why this blog post has no photographs. There are really none to share.

There’s still a lot of clean up to do. Many of our data files got thrown hither and tither when we transferred them over. Yesterday Gretchen spent about 2 hours hunting down photos that for some reason didn’t make it back into their proper folders. She has her work cut out for her this weekend as she’ll need to go through all those folders again and delete what she’d already deleted in November.Oh and all those documents she uses to prepare for taxes? Yeah well, she put those together in November and they never got backed up so she must start from scratch recreating the year of our work.

Double sigh.

I’ll be writing more this weekend and this time they’ll be photos. For now though, I’m going to go back to my warm blanket on the couch and wait for the last of the clouds to move on through.

Thanks for your patience…I promise to be more witty and upbeat soon,


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