Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Welcome to the 21st Century

My grandpa was born in 1899. When I was a kid we sat and tried to imagine the year 2000. He told me that he wouldn't see it. I couldn't imagine seeing the year 2000 myself.

Gramps had 12 grandchildren he called the Dirty Dozen. In his later years, we celebrated his birthdays by gathering every year at his tiny house for a picnic. By that time, Gramps had begun to acquire great-grandchildren. I enjoyed these birthday parties with my cousins, whom I hadn't seen much since we were all little kids.

Gramps didn't make it to the year 2000. He died in his mid-seventies in the mid-seventies. He was the first person close to me to die. I refused to look at his body in the coffin, preferring to remember Gramps as a living human being who missed his wife who died too young. Who let me put peanuts in his glass of beer and watch the bubbles rise to the top. Who told me stories of growing up on the farm with his German speaking parents. My stubborn, sweet, living Gramps.

Yesterday I made a leap into modernity. I installed the Firefox browser. I know, I know, I should have been using it already. Change is hard for me. I had everything in IE just where I wanted it. But I'm getting around fine in Firefox minus the annoying things that made me want to dump IE in the first place.

I was drug reluctantly, browser-wise, into the 21st century. But I made it. And like midnight on December 31, 1999, when we were all propelled into the new millennium*, afraid of the Y2K computer glitch that would throw the world into utter chaos, I thought of Gramps.

*Please, no arguments about when the new millennium actually began. I do not care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have met Gramps. I felt like an outkast b/c my sister and everyone else who was older got to meet him. Not fair I tell you! However, I am told the stubbornness from him got passed on to my gramps but whenever I hear stories about Gramps I never here how difficult he was like his sons. :)