Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Letter From Fairhope

The first day I woke up and took a walk to the bay, camera in hand. Weather was what I expected--February here is not exactly like summertime--and the quiet old neighborhood had changed little in two years. But the view of the little pier and the sound of the ever-constant lapping of waves wove their eternal spell of peace and promise. I knew I had made a good decision.

Soon things began happening. Phone calls, lunch dates, a trip to nearby Florida for a book talk. All the while the temperature in the low 50's with an occasional dip and people apologizing to me for it. One night it actually was 27 degrees and snow was forecast for the next day. In some nearby towns there was an accumulation, but the snow we saw in Fairhope only lasted about five minutes and melted before it hit the ground.

My computer, which had showed signs of serious illness before I left Hoboken, was in the process of being repaired by a friend when we looked out the window and saw the flakes. He had spent Christmas with his family in Tulsa where there had been a big storm, and I, let's face it, had just escaped the blizzard conditions in Hoboken. We smiled at the Lower Alabama snow and went about trying to reassemble the computer, complete with a new hard drive.

Then the bad news. The new hard drive did nothing to resuscitate the computer. It wouldn't open. Back to the computer shop for major repairs on Saturday. Being the weekend, I would be waiting for a decision for a few more days.

Being without a computer in this day and time is like living without one of one's major organs. You do what you can to survive, knowing that people are trying to communicate with you, but immobilized. I didn't have everybody's phone number, and apparently nobody had my cell phone number. But, unlike the patient missing an organ, I knew a computer transplant was on the way and I would be up and running in a matter of days.

Bad news got badder. The old computer was not salvageable and I would have to buy a new one. Luckily I could do this without major financial hardship, and luckily I knew all along that the old one was probably surviving on borrowed time. However, even knowing this, I had not been smart enough to back up all my data and many great literary works will be lost to posterity as I don't even remember what I had started to write. I still have the old hard drive, and, if it becomes necessary, can pay to have the data retrieved--but I have the feeling that's not going to happen. I'm having too much fun with the new toy to recall what I loved so much about the old one. There may be a lesson in there somewhere, but I don't know what it is.

I'll probably post a time or two on my Fairhope blog before I leave on the first of March. I'm just hoping the weather holds out here...and that when I get back some of the snow will have melted there and spring will be on the way in New Jersey and New York.

In all, I'm having a wonderful time. I wish you were here.


abdominal snowman said...

Was the good decision to move to Hoboken? Or to snowbird for a month?

What about the Mardi Gras season there? TV clips don't show much.

Mary Lois said...

Sorry about your abdomen, sir. That's a great screen name, whoever you are. There will be more about this Fairhope vacation as it rolls on, but I only have a little more than a week left!

I made the right choice to live in Hoboken, but it's a good idea to take away one month, particularly this year with the brutal weather, and Fairhope is a pretty good place to spend February. I may just do it again.

As to Mardi Gras, people (not I) seem to be enjoying it, but it was not much to me since childhood when I lived in Mobile. Today is the big and final day.

abdominal snowman said...

A week! Why that is a lifetime to a snowman in the south. An exception could be to belly up to the ice cream parlor or icee
stand to extend melting time. At least down there, my relatives
won't suffer the ravages of grit, grime, bird droppings, fallen carrot, or lost head ball. Nobody seems to like an old snowman.

Mary Lois said...

Snowman, this is probably the fourth time I've read your second comment, and the first time I appreciated the poetry of it. You wouldn't last a day, sadly, in this part of the country, but you would be showered with adulation for your brief time here. The locals, particularly children, don't often see your kind.

Rupert Schmitt writers blog said...

Check your liability insurance. If the snowman melts because of your actions you might have a liability lawsuit. Of course your computor crashed. I know there is a service with apple for $100 a year that backups things way away in appleland. Thanks to your experience I will immediately back up the rewrite of my novel which is 56% completed. Thanks. write more about the sound of the waves.You might want to use flashdrives. You canget lots of stuff on an 8 gig flashdrive. That is the same capacity just about as much as a ten year old lap top.

abdominal snowman said...

Oh my, poetry found in a snowman could warm a heart to destruction.
Welcome home to a cold, cold hug. My relatives are revelling in their reincarnation up here, a snowy population explosion may greet youe return.

Mary Lois said...

Mysterious snowman.