Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

change is inevitable

 South Dakota Christmas 1901-- my grandmother is second from the right.

August on this farm was about the garden, heat, irrigation, smoke, hoped for rain, and computer problems. Since 2010, I had happily done all my writing on a laptop-- Windows Premium7. It's a great work machine or I should say was. I don't need a lot of frills. The important one for me was Corel Photo-Paint7 which did everything I needed to make covers. Corel is why I didn't update the machine to 8.1. None of the later Windows would let me use that program.

I have been through the computer rodeo enough times to know nothing lasts forever. So last summer, we bought a Win 8.1, with the idea I could eventually use it when my 7 failed. I left it though to Ranch Boss to do the adding of my stuff to it. Then it'd be ready when the day came.

For those who love every new technology, my Luddite attitude, toward keeping whatever I have as long as possible, probably makes little sense; but I am that way with everything. If I like something and works for me, I don't want to get rid of it, which explains 10+ year old jeans and sweaters.

What I didn't expect is that Microsoft itself would destroy my 7. They did it with their latest updates and the warning that they would no longer support 7. When I had one of their insisted necessary updates, and it caused the machine to fail, I looked toward what used to be my fail-safe program-- system restore. It no longer existed. By their planning, the crash took it out.

Grandpa is standing on the stump and grandma has that coy look on the front. Her mother with the silver hair is right behind her.

Although I had hoped we could find a fix for 7, it was looking like it was done. First though my rescue machine, the Windows 8.1, had to be updated to 10. For awhile, we tried simultaneously to fix the 7, but I am editing a manuscript and when 7 failed that-- I gave up. I had fortunately spent one week-end saving everything important to two new 128GB jump drives. It was tedious work, but with all of our photos preserved (my manuscripts were always updated regularly to the small drives), I was more sanguine about 7 failing. 

There are things I don't like as well with the Win10. I've had to get used to how it saves as it would be easy to over-write, but one of my big concerns was eased when I was able to buy a Corel Photo-Paint 7x and found it had most of the features I used. 

We ran into one final (I hope) problem, when in the midst of going to one of the photo places where I buy cover images, our Internet server refused me connection. Ranch Boss spent a lot of hours trying to get it back up. He finally resorted to calling our server. It turned out the technician there had been getting a lot of these calls in the weeks since 10 came out. He walked the computer through what needed to be done and for now, the Internet is back.

Frustrating to say the least especially since Microsoft could have told those with Windows 7-- don't update again even when we say you should for security. I am sure those with Macs are smirking about now-- but your day may also come. It's the nature of the Internet world that change is one constant.

My grandmother and great grandmother with no idea what year

My awareness that life is also that way was enhanced when I was saving those photos and saw again those of my grandmother, my father's mother. Mary's mother and father were born in Germany and immigrated. She was born August 22, 1887 in South Dakota. They were farmers and did well as her engagement and wedding photos seem to indicate. My other grandparents had no wedding photos at all let alone engagement photos. 

Mary and John were married August 23, 1903. I know more about her life after my father was born through his stories, but almost nothing about the girl she had been, what she wanted from life, what she experienced before she married. She was such a girl when she married. Was she crazy about him? I know she was after they married.

They had five children; lost one as an infant during a terrible South Dakota thunderstorm. I know that her reputation for a clean home was that you could eat off her kitchen floor. My father remembers watching her and his father at a barn dance, where the children were in the loft to supposedly sleep. She left her home in South Dakota to come to Oregon because of my grandfather's health.

They came first to an area not far from where I live today, but I never knew any of that until we moved here. I know when they were in Falls City, she nearly died from sleeping sickness, and had all her long hair cut off as evidently that was what they did in those days. When she finally woke, she cried over the hair loss-- or that's how my father remembered it. She later got breast cancer and survived it. She lost her husband with a stroke and wept on his casket. 

The thing that gets me now is I don't think I ever knew the woman she was, and I wish I had. She died April 1976 before I thought much about asking questions of her, before it seemed important to me, while I was very involved with raising my own children, and a year and a half before we moved to this farm.

my grandmother, uncle, grandfather and two relatives but not sure who

Much of the joy and fun I saw in her earlier photos, ones I only inherited when one of my younger cousins died, I can't say I knew. I did know her to always have long hair that she braided into a coronet around her head-- and if she ever wore a pair of pants, I never saw it. 

One of the things I have been most grateful for in my life is having had two such different grandmothers as examples of how women can be. I knew my mother's mother far better and heard her stories of her youth, her courtship, but the grandmother whose wedding photos I now have, well I don't think I really knew more than the image of her. It's a regret I can't undo now. 

I am not one to think often about my past or what has been. There is a reason for that. When I do, I feel sad and even teary as I miss what was. My growing up was good, and I am glad I knew it was good back then. The same with my years of raising children. I can't live there though and dwelling on the past just makes me feel bad in the present.

For this blog, I didn't know what I'd write and it seems ironic to me that it ended up being about the most modern of technologies and the oldest of mythologies-- who our ancestors really were.


Tabor said...

I wish I had the older photos, but since I was the one who moved far away, I did not get them. My Windows10 has made my PC slower, yet I notice it until weeks later. I have not tested my backup yet. I hate to upgrade technology, as you, when everything seems to be working just fine! I now can no longer use my workhorse of a printer as there is no W-10 driver and none to be made!!

Linda Kay said...

Just downloaded Windows 10, so don't have an opinion at the moment. I'm guessing it will be better as I use it more. Love the photos....my hubby is from South Dakota.

robin andrea said...

Welcome back to blogging! Nice to see you after two month hiatus. Love these photos and stories of your grandmothers.

I don't know very much about PCs, but I do know that updates and changes can wreak havoc on continuity.

Rain Trueax said...

Well, I am not sure how regular will be. For sure once a month but probably some in between. I have though benefited from the break because there was a LOT of editing and writing I needed to do and there is only so much time one can spend at the computer before it's unhealthy. Then too, when it comes to putting out books, there is promotion that has to be done. Some of this stuff is fun and some not so much. So we'll see how it goes.

bev said...

Good blog post, Rain. I enjoyed seeing the photos. So wonderful that you have at least a few.. Yes, change is inevitable. Sometimes we could use a little less of it.

Harold/AQ said...

I have 3 laptops for some reason, 2 now have Windows 10 and one has Windows 7.
I haven't been offered the Windows 10 upgrade on the Windows 7 machine, but I don't believe I'd do it anyway. There are wi-fi hotspots that the Windows 10 machines don't find, and it seems balky when I have a bunch of tabs open. (In my Red Cross work and in my genealogy that happens pretty often.)

Rain Trueax said...

not good on the wi-fi hot spots. We have not tested that with our hotspot from Verizon which we counted on before. I didn't want to work on the 8.1 though and the 7 totally failed. We ended up wiping it and will take it to the recycle center the next time we are in town. My recommendation on anyone with a 7 is don't do any microsoft updates and you might be able to keep it. My husband still has his. Mine though no longer worked with the internet and I needed the internet too.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I have two mac laptops that are pretty much unusable, both due to updates and batteries that won't hold a charge. Just thought I'd let you know, so you don't feel like maybe you're missing out.

I enjoyed reading about your grandmothers. I recently lost one of my grandmothers, and the other is fading slowly. Not fun. I do enjoy hearing stories of their lives way back when.