Technology 101 and the real answers it holds |

Technology 101 and the real answers it holds

Elizabeth Chicoine

The kids and I scurried off to my father-in-law’s house today. The desire not to ask my husband one more time to make a video copy of the kids Christmas Recital had hit the mark of ” I can and will do this myself!” I have been telling my father in the Midwest since January, “The tape is in the mail!” Well dad, today, I can proudly say, “It is!” You seemy father-in-law had agreed to help me make all of my family videos. We worked for hours transferring tape today to make movies. The job is done!Empowered by the thought that today I conquered a major “To Do” from my list, I am equally urged to explain why this task became so important. The obituary of three-year-old Madison Salani riveted me to my core. The essence of mom is child. I can’t write this without tears. This mom, Kim, I know in the sense of occasional passing, memories of seeing her skiing with her daughter, parties, and routine social events. Unknowingly, I had connected with this mom. To realize the death of a mother’s child is defining. It unites us all.From the adversity of this, I felt an overwhelming need to get my memories collected, organized. Today.Seeking help from my father-in-law, whom we endearingly refer to as Paw-Paw, I felt sheepish. I need technology boot camp 101 to connect the camera to the player to the T.V. to make the tape. Paw-Paw worked me through the details, and the kids quieted into the background. They were seeing our family video of this past Christmas. All was new again. The question kept arising, “where is my________toy? I love that toy!” Christmas in July? You bet!The shared task of editing the tapes allowed Paw-Paw and me time to have a discussion. Big topics, small talk, much came to the table. But some mundane, but truly helpful things surfaced, too, such as, vinegar. Did you ever imagine all that vinegar could do for you? I have a horrible cold sore from allergies and blowing my nose every minute. A rub of vinegar a few timesand it is gone. Accordingly for good! Do a web search on vinegar to learn all of the amazing things yourself. Honestly! Small talk can do wonders for you.The big connection in our day is that Paw-Paw and I really talked. The task of making the videos pulled us together. We earnestly enjoyed the conversation and the time. This is no small feat for us. In-laws can be a challenge for all parties. Some healthy doses of family counseling have brought us such a long way. Talk Therapy, you may call it, was integral in helping us to trust and to genuinely care for the other.Our chat about vinegar rambled on from kitchen floors to age spots. These idle points helped us just to grow comfortable in conversation, which led to deeper thoughts. We talked about the little local three-year-old in the newspaper. How touched we were by the article. How deeply caring and courageous were her parents.Of course, when the day was done, my son wanted to know, “when is Christmas?” I said, “It’s July, son.” Perhaps, in light of Madison Salani’s passing, we should remember the spirit of Christmas daily. Each day is the celebration of life, and recording those moments is so precious. Memories are a stillness of time to be cherished. VTElizabeth H. Chicoine lives in the Valley and writes about issues important to the family for the Vail Trail. She can be reached for comment at

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