Ye Olden Weekend With Technology Of Yore

So my daddy is notoriously frugal. And I say frugal, but what I really mean is cheap, though it’s not considered polite to call one’s father cheap, so I’m using the word frugal, but please don’t doubt for one second what I really mean. And it’s not an insult at all, because I would tell Daddy that he’s cheap if he were standing here right now, and he would grin, because it would make him sort of proud.

Daddy has always been able to stretch a nickel eighteen ways to Sunday. He has lived by the mantra that you control your money – your money doesn’t control you – and as a result, he retired at 55, got all three young’uns in and out of college without borrowing a single dime, and as far as I know, aside from a mortgage, has never paid interest on anything in his life.

But Daddy has surprised us all since he and Mama sold our childhood home and downsized last summer. He has coughed up the funds for all manner of custom draperies and new furniture and beautiful doors and fancy refrigerators. He and Mama are getting ready to re-do their kitchen countertops, and Daddy is in complete agreement with all the changes and costs and whathaveyou – as far as I know, he hasn’t even blinked. Hasn’t even thought about blinking, and on top of that, hasn’t had that pulsing vein in his forehead that I knew so well when I was younger. It’s fun to see Mama and Daddy finally – FINALLY – enjoying their hard-earned money (well, to see Daddy enjoy it – Mama has NEVER had a problem with enjoying money).

However, the internet is very much The Last Frontier in terms of Daddy’s frugality. He has always been ahead of the computer curve in terms of recognizing the conveniences computers offer, and he jumped on the PC bandwagon pretty early on. But he will not – WILL not – will NOT – let go of dial-up. It’s almost like he thinks he’s not deserving of such a luxurious expenditure, like everyone who has cable or DSL is just Mr. or Miss Fancy McBritches and would do just as well to take that $40 each month and throw it out of the window.

I say all of that so you know that I will be in the Technological Desert, aka my parents’ house, this weekend. Dial up. No DirecTV. No TiVo. Now I’ll hardly be “roughing it,” but I want to be very clear that this is as close to camping as I’ll ever get. You need to understand that about me.

There are a couple of reasons for our trip, but one of them is something I haven’t mentioned on the blog because, well, I just haven’t. Last Friday night my uncle, who lives in the same town as my parents, had a stroke, and Monday the doctors had to put him on a ventilator. It’s been an exhausting week for my aunt and my cousins, to say the least. Joe (or, as Alex says, “JOE!”) seems to have rebounded pretty well from the stroke, but right now his heart is the doctors’ major concern. At this point I could get very sentimental about Joe – he has always been “the fun uncle” for Sister, Brother and me – but instead I’m just going to ask y’all to please pray for him and his family.

Because I will be stranded in the land of dial-up, I may post my LBY stuff a little early today…I’m going to try to get it done this morning. If I don’t finish it before we leave, I’ll get D. to post it tonight, since he’ll be remaining here in the land of DSL to prepare for all the Businessman Business-y Business that’s coming up next week.

Finally, I want to share one of my weekend goals with you. My plan is to take copious mental notes of a conversation with my mother-in-law, transcribe it, and post it upon my return, because I know that you people don’t believe me when I tell you about her. If I only knew how to put an audio file on this blog, I really would record her (with her consent, of course – it’s probably not a very good idea to make secret recordings of one’s mother-in-law and then post them on the interweb).

As a teaser, I will tell you what my mother-in-law said a couple of nights ago when she called to see if my uncle was doing any better. I gave Martha all the information I knew, and she said, “Oh, well, sugar, I know that [my aunt] is exhausted, she must be simply exhausted, and I know she’s worn out and probably just wants to sit down, don’t you think she just needs to sit down and rest for awhile and she probably just wants to sit down and have a cup of coffee or a glass of tea or some ice water or a Coca-Cola!”

And that is my mother-in-law. She not only empathizes – she lists all of the hypothetical beverage options.

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  1. Even if we can’t actually hear her, just reading it is quite funny! :D

    I’ll be praying for you guys and uncle JOE!!! Enjoy your visit all the same. :)

  2. You know I will be in prayer for all of y’all. Have a safe trip!

    PS– I wish I lived in Martha’s world where a beverage could solve all of your problems. Oh wait– I think I might have moved to that zip code with my new-found love of the Diet Dr. Pepper. :-)

  3. Praying for Joe and Choxie and your family, and for you and Alex as you travel. :-)

    Tell me, does Martha also pronounce it, “Co-Cola”? ‘Cause you really need to pronounce it that way, you know. And all carbonated drinks are Cokes around here, unless you specify. That’s if they’re not “sodies”, that is. ;-)

  4. Your MIL sounds like a treat. I like the hidden tape recorder idea. Hmm….I should tape mine at the next holiday!! :) Have a good trip!