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Writer had a difficult week

I’ve had a difficult week.

It started when my reasonably new laptop did the “black screen with the blinking light” thing. If you have no idea what that previous sentence means, join the club. Until this week, I had no idea either. So I turned to the font of all wisdom – Facebook – and asked my “friends” what the black screen/blinking light meant. Basically every answer returned the same. “It’s not good.”

A text and a phone call to my computer guru, Nick, confirmed the Facebook diagnoses. My laptop was fried. The words, “new hard drive” struck fear into my heart and, no doubt a looming hit to my bank account. The good news is that Nick is not only a computer genius, he is a kind and caring person. He repaired my laptop at warp speed and charged me the “family rate.” Suddenly the world seemed ok again – for a day.

I called my daughter on my cell phone and after a short ring, the phone disconnected. I repeated the pattern several times with the same result. Having a bit of experience with fussy electronics, I followed the course of action that often solves such dilemmas, I removed the battery and waited. A few minutes later, I replaced the battery, fired up the phone and voila. My daughter and I were chatting away.

I was feeling pretty accomplished about my brilliant phone repair, until the next day when the errant phone pattern repeated. Again, I removed and replaced the battery, twice this time, and all was well… for another day.

At this point, I’m administering my battery resuscitation on a regular basis until I can get to the phone store for a better cure. Which brings me to my car.

The other day, I started up my car to go to work and it wouldn’t shift. There was no advance warning, no dashboard light telling me something was wrong. The gear shifter simply would not budge. As I sat in the driver’s seat and tried to entice the transmission to operate, I began to wonder if there was a black cloud over my head, or perhaps a voodoo doll being used against me.

Fortunately, as mysteriously as the gears seized, they released. I immediately drove the car to my service station savior, Frank, at Galina’s Auto Repair. As usual, he patiently listened to my tail of woe and then told me he’d take a look. With my car’s odometer sneaking up on one hundred and forty thousand miles, the unspoken words, “new transmission” dangled between us. Again feeling that “hit to the bank account” fear. I went home and waited for Frank’s diagnosis.

At day’s end, the magical mechanic called with the good news that an hour of labor and a few cable adjustments were all that was needed.

I’m now just a day away from ending this week of challenge. Thinking that I might be well served to lock the door, sit on the couch and let the next 24 hours pass.

For more information, contact Abt at

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