Everyday Life, Family Life

Episode 49 – Reports

“I have to write a report for work.”

“I just do it quickly and get it done. I have to do reports for my work too. The less time I spend on them, the more time I have for the things I have to do. The more time I spend, the less time I have to do the things that this is all about.”

“It’s the annual report. The big one. This is what they will be checking out to see if I deserve more hours.”

“Just do it in point form. It doesn’t have to be a big essay.”

“No, actually it doesn’t. I just got a sample sent to me and it was done in point form. Actually I’ve got about half of it done.” I check out a notebook with my daily ‘to do list.’ It will be a helpful reference.

Denny and I are drinking ginger tea. Denny came home late from work. It’s eight o’clock. The tea has been steeping for an hour.

“This is good tea. It doesn’t have any caffeine in it, does it?”

“Nope. Just pure ginger. And I can keep adding water to it. It doesn’t lose it’s flavor like lemon does,” I pour more hot water on the chunks of ginger in the glass teapot. The teapot is sitting on a glass stand with a tea light flickering in it, kind of like a potpourri stand.

I had a good day at work today. Yesterday was a day from…somewhere else. I still don’t know what hit me.

We had cabbage rolls for dinner tonight. Denny re-heated them. He bought them yesterday and baked them. I love cabbage rolls. I love them best homemade, but lately I haven’t been making too many homemade dishes.

“I think I’ll update my phone tonight. There’s a new update out,” Denny tells me.

I suggested a movie earlier. Denny isn’t a big fan of movies anymore. They are too long. He likes shows under an hour. We’ve watched Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple, Columbo.

Since Denny doesn’t want to watch anything I go back to working on my report.

“I learned something new again on the computer today. I learned that you can have white boarders. That’s the explanation for not being able to make them visible or change the point size. They are white. They can also be gray, or half black and half white. I didn’t know all of this.”

“Was it one of those files you imported to your computer?”

“Yes it was.”

Denny is asking about the computer problem I was having yesterday because I imported a file from a Windows computer to my Mac. I finally called him from work and asked him to come over and help me because my computer wasn’t saving any changes.

The problem seemed to be that the reason why my computer wouldn’t save my changes was because I made the changes in Excel and it saved them in Numbers. I kept creating and losing changes and files until I thought I was losing my mind.

Denny was very gracious and understanding. He could tell I was having a bad day. A really bad day.

“Don’t do that,” he told me when I covered my face with my hands in frustration.

Reluctantly I looked up at the computer again. So there really was an explanation. I wasn’t losing it.

“Sometimes the best thing is just to start over from the ground up. Copy the file and then delete the old one. Even computer programers will start over from the ground up. Start with a clean slate. They do that, you know. It’s easier than trying to fix something old.”

It occurs to me, that is exactly what I am doing with my book. I’ve spent too many years trying to fix it. It is refreshing to work on something new.

As I sit in the living room, with my computer on my lap, I consider my book and am tempted to start writing. But I go back to working on my report.

Denny looks in the fridge and pulls out some fried mushrooms, “What is this?”

“Fried mushrooms and onions. You can have some. I was thinking of making mushroom pork chops tomorrow, but you can have them. I fried them this morning.”

“No, I’ll save them for tomorrow. I’ll put them right back beside the ice cream.”

Denny is grinning as he turns and looks over his shoulder at me. This morning I found the ice cream in the refrigerator. I wasn’t the last one to have ice cream.

“I’m getting concerned about you,” I grin back at him. I mention that he left the stove on the other day.

“You’re always concerned about me,” he smiles. He doesn’t mind me fussing over him. He closes the fridge and I see him cutting an apple for himself. A few minutes later he sits down across from me with a bowl heaped with apples and cottage cheese.

Two things essential to Denny’s diet are dairy and tuna. Denny had a tin of tuna on his cabbage rolls this evening. “Balancing my protein,” he told me.

“I get it for ninety-nine cents at Superstore when it’s on sale. It’s regular around a dollar forty-nine. I get their no-name brand. I’ve seen it as high as two-forty-nine or even more. You have to watch your prices.”

An hour later I’m surprised that I’ve finished my report. I brush off an uneasy feeling. At my last job my single-spaced full page report was slashed to one four-line paragraph by senior staff.

Forget that. My report’s done. And if I may say so myself, it looks pretty impressive.

I snap shut my computer.

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