March 26/13

Spring Break

For my children - along with most of the kids around here - spring break started yesterday. They went out to play at a campground with some of their friends. Today, they're off on another play date. Kids are kids: they get used to spring break very quickly.

One theme I harp on, however, is the difference between kids and adults. While my kids run through spring break like a shallow part of a river bed, I have a more contemplative relationship with this holiday. It started back in 2008. I don't know why; perhaps that was the first year the younger was big enough to spend days away.

All of a sudden, I was alone. The kids were over at this friend's house, or at their grandparents' house, with their mother. They would leave early in the morning, not returning until after dark or sometimes not at all.

That was the first time I put a web page up. Back then, we were with a company that offered some free web space to its internet customers. One of those spring break nights, here in the dark, I called the place and asked how to access that space: I wanted to experiment putting up a web site.

"Yeah, I see where it says that," the guy agreed. "But I'll have to get back to you. Nobody has ever asked me how to make use of it."

I waited in the dark, tweaking my test page on my own computer, then checking it with Internet Explorer. The phone rang. "OK: Here's what to do...."

Reading articles online, I discovered that ie has ftp on the terminal. It took me a couple of articles to learn it, but finally I loaded the html file, then went to the site...eventually, it worked!

Although the wife and kids were gone, I wasn't totally alone. The K-1 class rabbit needed a place to stay that spring break; my son generously volunteered us.

I'm not much for pets, but that rabbit and I made a good team. Her cage was in the kitchen; I penned off the door and let her roam free in here. (I'm writing to you from the same kitchen, but the rabbit's not here anymore, since our kids are in later grades now.) In the blue darkness of the room lit only by a computer screen (I don't use lights much), I'd pass her the odd treat or give her a pet. In the sixteen total days she was here, we spent at least half the evenings that way. I spent more time with her than anyone; I even cleaned her cage. In a way, she became my rabbit, even though I knew her the least when she arrived here.

I was a bit sad when spring break ended. A whole way of life had sprung up around the computer and the rabbit in the dark. I think she returned to our house the following year; the same routine developed again.

I didn't draw back then. Instead, I was concentrating on html, java, and javascript. Later came other languages. Drawing was a relatively late arrival to the mix. I learned to draw in order to generate content for my web page.

Another spring break night: once again, the wife and kids are gone. I'm really alone this time; the rabbit hasn't been here for years. I've had plenty to do today, anyway: vacuuming, dusting, and other clean up. I confess to enjoying a couple of glasses of sherry.

By the way: the weather has turned spring, too. I was out tanning yesterday. The sun is still high in the sky, even though it's already 6:50 pm.

To the lovely lady at the right: Kate Roberts (later, diMera) from Days. I drew her from a picture taken at a totally different point of view. (Her) right eye is risky, I know. I like it so much, I can't change it.

I have other news - about running and such - but I'll tell you some of that next time. Have a great night:)

Kate Roberts (aka diMera) of Days Back
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