Concentric Circles

 

My fingers are popping on the flat key board of a red laptop that my mom gave me as backup for when my work computer failed. I’m holding my wrists up to avoid the sensitive mouse pad. One brush on that surface could be fatal to my post.

The round pine table serving as my desk I purchased from our local online garage sale for $60. It is sturdy, with two little chairs whose microfiber padding needed a good scrubbing to get rid of the smoke smell. The address for the item turned out to be a trailer park, in a part of town with a dicey reputation, but I didn’t even inquire about smoke exposure when I pulled up. I needed a table right away, since my parents were going to be visiting. I put cushions on the chairs after they dried out, and I do not regret the purchase.

The room in my new place is bright orange, with black trim and blue ceiling. The explanation for these bold hues is that I’m living in a family of artists. It’s in all of their blood, and the daughter in the family who inhabited this room for a short time clearly eschewed soft, muted colors. I admit it’s a little dark in here, but it’s a cozy retreat. I’m thinking about adding a few plants, and maybe one of those decorative bulletin boards with places for keys and mail to cover up some wall space.

The room is one of two in a spacious basement apartment I share with the mother of the owner. It’s a place of tile, stone, and wood trim, with hallways and doorways extra wide to accommodate a wheelchair, should one ever be needed. On the walls are my roommate’s paintings of family heirlooms and scenery. She was an art teacher once.

From the solid, multi-storied house above us, we hear piano practice, footsteps, indistinct voices. The home, designed and built by the owners, is the last one on a long dirt driveway, on the top of a high hill. Outside, the air is fresh and the view ringed by vivid snowy mountains. We see the whole valley floor, the town and its outlying areas, from up here. Sometimes, on my way down to work, I am compelled to stop and take pictures with my phone. When I do so, I am disturbing no one; I’m usually the only one this high on the road.

I have something of a commute into town, but if I think about it, no worse and maybe better than other locations I’ve lived. We are far flung in this vast state, and many of us navigate dirt roads, sinuous rural routes, a new bypass, and finally the stoplight-studded town before we get to work, church, or shopping. I drive twenty minutes to one office to work my online job, and then another ten minutes to another part of town to work a new, second job.

West of town, after a long drive on a narrow, two-lane road and up three miles of dirt is the light brown house with cocoa roof where my daughters and I will be be spending Thanksgiving weekend. Whenever I pull up, a three-legged black and white dog wags her tail, walks stiffly over, and sometimes offers me a stick for tug of war. It’s our home, yet we were elsewhere last November. But now our fractured family is healing, and I have hope for complete restoration. Our daughters are looking forward to coming up from college and staying a few days. It will be time free of frenetic cooking–we’re invited to eat with a neighbor who makes delicious food. I’m up for it.

 

 

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  1. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    For complicated reasons, I’m using a notebook now.  I discovered that you can turn the touchpad off.

    • #1
  2. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    For complicated reasons, I’m using a notebook now. I discovered that you can turn the touchpad off.

    I’ve done that before, but don’t have an extra mouse right now. I almost did wipe out my post more than once, or parts of it. I can’t seem to keep my palms away from that zone.

    • #2
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    That’s a lovely piece you wrote. Wishing you and your family blessings this Thanksgiving.

    • #3
  4. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    That’s a lovely piece your wrote. Wishing you and your family blessings this Thanksgiving.

    Thank you, Gossamer Cat!

    • #4
  5. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    I think I would go batty in that room. Maybe they will let you paint it an eggshell white all over, at your expense, then hang your own art work.

    Have you been over since I got all the boxes out of the living room, and installed all the book cases? Stop by when you get a moment extra.

    I think my grandsons are taking me to their mother for Thanksgiving, who by the way is coming along quite nicely with her shattered hip. It’s going to be interesting as there are 3 young men doing the prep, cooking and cleanup. Oldest grandson who nearly blew his hand off last New Year’s eve with fireworks, 21 year old grandson who still has problems from broken leg while skate boarding; and newest addition, a great grandson who will be 17 on Dec 11th. He is recently out of the hospital from chemo having had Hodgkin Leukemia.

    If I don’t see you before T-day, have a very merry day.

    (Edited for spelling, additions and other corrections. Must have been tired last night.)

    • #5
  6. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you and yours. 

    • #6
  7. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    sawatdeeka: I drive twenty minutes to one office to work my online job, and then another ten minutes to another part of town to work a new, second job.

    I left for my job about 30 minutes before starting, even though it normally took about 20 minutes. Traffic can slow down for accidents or weather.

    At 17 minutes, your state has one of the lowest average commute times, as this “concentric circle” graphic shows:

     

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    sawatdeeka: The room in my new place is bright orange, with black trim and blue ceiling. The explanation for these bold hues is that I’m living in a family of artists. It’s in all of their blood, and the daughter in the family who inhabited this room for a short time clearly eschewed soft, muted colors.

    A former coworker about ten years ago painted a room for his then-teenaged daughter a with bold orange and black geometric patterns. He too was an artist (though working in an administrative position in a large corporation), and his daughter had artistic sensibilities. 

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    For complicated reasons, I’m using a notebook now. I discovered that you can turn the touchpad off.

    I use an external mouse and keyboard with both of my laptops, keeping the touchpad as a backup.  I also use external monitors when not traveling.

    I can’t use the keyboard on any laptop without accidently hitting the touchpad.  On top of that, I type so hard it sets off the tapping function if I can’t disable it.  Besides, most laptops use the “Chiclet” keys, which feel spongy to me.

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Stad (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    For complicated reasons, I’m using a notebook now. I discovered that you can turn the touchpad off.

    I use an external mouse and keyboard with both of my laptops, keeping the touchpad as a backup. I also use external monitors when not traveling.

    I can’t use the keyboard on any laptop without accidently hitting the touchpad. On top of that, I type so hard it sets off the tapping function if I can’t disable it. Besides, most laptops use the “Chiclet” keys, which feel spongy to me.

    On Windows 10 you can set the touchpad to be automatically disabled when a mouse is connected, and vice versa. I use a mouse almost all the time, even when traveling. The only time I regularly use the touchpad is when I put my computer on the over-the-handlebars desk on my bicycle trainer. There isn’t a lot of room for a mouse there, and I can get along without it. 

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    For complicated reasons, I’m using a notebook now. I discovered that you can turn the touchpad off.

    I use an external mouse and keyboard with both of my laptops, keeping the touchpad as a backup. I also use external monitors when not traveling.

    I can’t use the keyboard on any laptop without accidently hitting the touchpad. On top of that, I type so hard it sets off the tapping function if I can’t disable it. Besides, most laptops use the “Chiclet” keys, which feel spongy to me.

    On Windows 10 you can set the touchpad to be automatically disabled when a mouse is connected, and vice versa. I use a mouse almost all the time, even when traveling. The only time I regularly use the touchpad is when I put my computer on the over-the-handlebars desk on my bicycle trainer. There isn’t a lot of room for a mouse there, and I can get along without it.

    I leave the touchpad enabled.  I fold the top down when using an external monitor, so the touchpad is covered.  Even when I’m traveling and leave the lid up, I use the external keyboard and mouse, so my hands never get near the touchpad.

    • #11
  12. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    sawatdeeka: One brush on that surface could be fatal to my post.

    Been there, done that.

    sawatdeeka: I’m usually the only one this high on the road.

    Uh, that has various interpretations.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Sawatdeeka.

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Your environs may seem dark, but you always bring light, wherever you are, @sawatdeeka. Thank you for sharing the season with us.

    • #13
  14. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    I was going to write a Comment, because I wanted to say what a lovely piece this was.  We all give  Thanks for your presence here.

    But others have already said that, and I’m trying to give up being wordy, so I’m not going to send this.

    • #14
  15. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    I was going to write a Comment, because I wanted to say what a lovely piece this was. We all give Thanks for your presence here.

    But others have already said that, and I’m trying to give up being wordy, so I’m not going to send this.

    Thank you, Mark!  I’m glad you sent it anyway!  

    And thank you all, for the kind comments and best wishes. 

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Sawatdeeka.

    Ditto from me!

    • #16
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Wishing you all good things, Sawatdeeka.

    • #17
  18. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Sawatdeeka, if you send me a PM with your mailing address, I’m pretty sure I can find a mouse in the closet I can send you.

    • #18

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