*Warning: Long post after no computer!
I was making a comment on Angie's blog on December 19 when the phone rang. After I answered the phone and relayed the message to Ram, the computer was dead. I yelled at the boys for "pushing buttons" but they responded they did not do it and if anyone did it was Lamb 3. Lamb 3 wasn't even in the same room. When I tried to restart the computer it acted like it would fire up and then said "going to sleep". Viruses have been nasty in this area so I assumed it was a virus. We had been recommended a man 15 miles away to fix computers. 12/19 we couldn't reach this man. 12/20 was a really busy day at our churches, but Ram found time to drop off the computer. The man realized it was important to us to have a computer because Ram is a pastor. After a few days he reported that it wasn't a virus and everything was still there. We had backed everything up at Thanksgiving so we weren't extremely worried about losing anything valuable, but after crashing a computer a few years ago we know that it is a pain to reenter info in. So this was a relief that it wasn't a virus. The fix it man asked for a few more days to figure out what was wrong. We were hoping to have the computer back by Christmas. Then we had a blizzard and there was no way to pick up the computer even if it was repaired. After Christmas we found out he needed to order a part that had broken and he was waiting on the shipping company which was being slow because of the holidays. A part had broken that caused the fan to not work that caused the computer to shut down instead of overheating. I still can't understand how a part can break inside your computer when you don't move the computer. We started our daily phone calls to check if the part was here yet. Finally the man had the idea on 1/5 that he could temporarily fix the computer and when the part came in (he had to reorder the part because it never arrived) we'll take the computer back to him to be fixed permanently. I don't know why he didn't do that from the beginning but none of us expected it to take so long. While he waited on the part he cleaned up our computer and defraged it and everything because computers DO NOT like to be shut down the way ours was. So we are in good shape on our computer again.
Ram was nice enough to go pick up the computer last night for me before he left for a trip (more on that later). I spent last night skimming our 350 e-mails and responding to a few of them. On tonight's agenda after the Lambs go to bed is to read some of the many blog posts I missed.
It is an understatement to say it was terrible to be without a computer or internet. If you don't live as rural as we do, there is no way you could understand. It wasn't just the "fun" part of not reading blogs. We gave up TV and had no internet and when the weather is bad we can't get local radio stations inside the house. Over Christmas we had a blizzard and we had no way to get weather info. We live 7 miles from the library and they are open very little hours because of budget and open even less over the holidays. We don't know anyone in our town of 113 that has internet that we know well enough to let us borrow. Ram has an ancient computer to write his sermons on but it hasn't had internet for over 7 years on it and it wasn't worth the slow connection or chance of virus or downloading all the updates. Being without computer didn't bother Ram that much. He just read more books. When I said I was going crazy, he reminded me of all the women in this area that raised more children than I am without a computer. But I think when you don't have something (or even know it exists) that you don't miss something as much as someone that has it and loses it.
I had read e-mail and blogs and made a few comments and even pre-posted one more blog post the night before our computer broke. So I wasn't behind on that before this all started. But my problems already began on 12/19. My mom had e-mailed me a few recipes for the potluck the next day and I hadn't printed them out so I had to make something else for the potluck. Ram gets his prayers for church by e-mail and he hadn't printed any of those out in advance. Thankfully Ram had already e-mailed all the Christmas bulletins to the secretaries. Thankfully my dad is a pastor and he printed the prayers out and snail mailed them to Ram. There were a few church members that didn't realize our e-mail was down and e-mailed us questions or announcements instead of calling us. I had to answer them last night that we never received those e-mails. I had mailed a lot of Christmas presents and other items before our computer broke and I had no idea if people had received them and some of those people I didn't even have phone numbers for. I'm sure everyone with computer problems says this, but I regretted not doing some things before our computer broke and the whole time the computer was down I said to myself, "If I only would have known the computer was going to break I would have done....before it broke." We haven't started our Christmas letter or sent any Christmas cards without a computer. I had planned to order a few things online and get some sales and I missed all that. Oh well, there will be sales again. My parents were nice enough to keep a watch on a few blogs to find out that Kristy is having a boy and Pam didn't have her twin girls yet. I called them almost daily to get updates. Thanks mom and dad for doing this.
Much happened while our computer was down. I list a few of the highlights here and hopefully I can still post more about some of these in later posts.
*We had a blizzard and all church services were canceled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I remember being sick on Christmas Eve once but I still went to church even though I didn't feel well. So this was the first time in my life that I didn't attend several services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Remember my post complaining about dreading Christmas Eve at our tri-parish? It ended up not mattering because none of that happened. It was so strange to stay home from church and all our presents were opened before 8am on Christmas Day. It was a very relaxing Christmas as a family. I even had time to start reading many of the books I got for Christmas! Even though it was relaxing, I hope I never have to go another Christmas in my life without going to church.
*Our one church rescheduled the Christmas Eve program to New Year's Eve. So we still had a rushed New Year's Eve to have the Lambs in the Christmas Eve program at one church and then make it to church at the second church for New Year's Eve service. The Lambs did well and said their lines loudly and sang well too. I'm so proud of them, especially shy Lamb 1!
*Because of weather one church canceled on Dec. 27, but the other two churches had church. Even with the cold wind chill, all 3 churches had church on Jan. 3.
*We celebrated our 8th anniversary on December 29. The roads were clear so we took a family trip to Sioux Falls to eat out and shop. We did it all in one day and got home very late. We were tired after that, but had a good day as a family.
*Ram's parents gave us a new camera for an anniversary present. I have been trying to read a little of the book with my camera in hands and trying out some features daily. Ram could care less about cameras, but I am very excited. I'll do a whole post about my new camera.
*My parents had furnace troubles and their house could have burned down on Christmas Eve. Thankfully my sister was home and insisted that my dad call the repair man when she heard a strange sound. That sound wasn't a big deal, but the repair man found something else that was. My dad didn't want to pay a repair bill until he heard how serious it was. Then he gladly paid the bill and was even glad that he had stayed home from church to meet the repair man.
*A family friend of Ram's family died and we heard the news on New Years Eve. Ram flew home today, will attend the funeral tomorrow, and will fly home on Friday. Please keep the Baker family (leaves behind a wife, 6 kids and their spouses, several grandkids) in your prayers. Please keep Ram's safety and the weather for flying in your prayers. Please keep me in your prayers as I am here in MN with 3 boys during another blizzard. The man that died was a second father to Ram as he spent much of high school at their house with his best friend. I will post more about this on another post.