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October 22 • 02:33 AM
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Unique and unexpected source for tech support


August 09, 2017
So I'm sitting at the kitchen table consulting with tech support.

It's the same kitchen table I spent at least 12 years of my life around—involved in boisterous banter while enjoying the most delicious, most authentic, freshest and by far most amazing Italian food I've ever eaten in my entire life.

Yep. It's the kitchen table at the folks' house. The table where sometimes the boisterousness was so over the top that we had to raise our hands classroom style before we could speak. This wasn't a punishment, it was a necessity when you get four rambunctions, vociferous girls with lots to get off our individual and collective chests. I swear sometimes I don't know how the folks lived through it.

Probably because they were always one step ahead of us, and interestingly enough, during this particular trip to the kitchen table, I'm finding this to still be true.

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You see, my mom is my tech support. Yep. My 85-year-old mother knows her way around modern technology in a manner that amazes me. With a mixture of jealousy and awe, I've turned to my mom for help setting up gmail on my Kindle. She also talked me through downloading the Pandora and YouTube apps—and in this latest endeavor, she's telling me that I can time an upcoming presentation I'm going make easily and simply on my cell phone.

"Really?" I ask.

"Yes. You have a timer on your cell phone," Mom responds.

I'm glaring down at the screen of my Android, not seeing anything that would even remotely resemble a timer. Brow knitted, I'm getting a little frustrated, and my mom does what any good tech support person would do.

"Here," she says, hand outstretched toward me. "Let me see your phone and I'll show you."

I pass the Android across the table. With one of the many styluses my mom always keeps on hand, she's pecking at the screen.

"It's in 'clock,'" she says, tapping the phone with the stylist.

"Oh, there it is. Yours is easier to get to than mine," she grins. "Let me know when you're ready to start."

I lift my jaw from the table top and grin. Mom's done it again. Introduced me to yet another marvel of modern technology that I had no clue existed.

My dad was always big on keeping up with technology. He always mastered whatever the latest offerings were, and he and my mom even took some classes at their local senior center.

Both have their own computer station in the office upstairs, though the equipment—like all things tech that weren't released yesterday—is becoming rapidly outdated.

Mom typed recipies and mailing lists on the computer, and sent and received emails and the like.

It wasn't until she got an IPad for Mother's Day that she really became tech saavy and completely fearless.

Put a device in her hand and she finds her way to whatever it is you're looking for. It's amazing and awe-inspiring, and a little bit humbling. I mean at this ripe age I'm still going to Momsie for help to get things done.

We go through the presentation, Mom's fingers on the newfound stopwatch, which reveals my initial draft is a little bit long.

She makes some suggestions—and they're good ones as always—and I cut the thing down so there's time to spare.

Technology? Amazing. Tech support Mom? Priceless.

Email Catherine at cminolli@pageone-inc.com

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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