The cover has latches on the two sides of the screen and the two sides of the keyboard. It looks like a large box when it’s closed (latched). There is a handle to carry it to make it portable. I believe the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) was 2.5 MHz, 64K RAM, and it had a 9” green phosphor screen display with text only. It has a 5 ½ “floppy disk drive. It used the MS-DOS/PC DOS Microsoft programming languages.
There were so many codes that I don’t think anyone would have them memorized. But the codes were above and below the keyboard.
I worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor in downtown Los Angeles in the 1980s. But I wanted to go into education, so I was at California State University, Los Angeles, to get my Childhood Development Credential, and continued to get the Educational Administration Credential.
My ex worked for an airline in the Dallas Headquarters. He worked from Wednesday to Sunday and had Monday and Tuesday off. He wanted me to fly to Dallas every weekend and come back to LA On Sunday, then he flew to Dallas on Tuesday night.
I left the Rehabilitation Center at 4:00 p.m. every week and drove to LA International Airport carrying the heavy metal case computer. It was very sturdy. Frequently, there were no empty seats in the waiting area at the gate. I sat on the computer reading while waiting for boarding the plane.
He came back to LA after six months when the airline was about to cease to operate. I remember we replaced the computer with a Compaq Portable computer. It was not as heavy. It still runs on the MS-DOS program language. The codes came in a strip like a ruler that I put in front of the keyboard.
When I look at my keyboard at the present, I see the first row of keys is from F1 to F12, but you can also use Control + for that key to do shortcuts. The MS-DOS also used the F1-F? for shortcuts.
As far as the printer, we had a dot matrix printer with the sprocket-fed fan-fold paper used to move through the machines!
I should write a post about my first typewriter before the first computer! Okay, another time!
I was diagnosed with a rare melanoma cancer in July 2008. None of the doctors who treated me had seen it. It started with stage I or II but turned into stage IV within a few months. I completed the year-long bio-chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation on August 1, 2009. Today marks the 12th anniversary of remission. I’m thankful to be alive, enjoy my family and have the joy to watch the grandchildren grow. I have been writing about my cancer journey since 2016. The distance from the event allows me to have reflection and a proper perspective. It will be a part of my legacy to pass on to the generations to come. This was a one-day-at-a-time journey of faith, hope, and strength. It was a journey cheered and supported by family and friends.
To celebrate the 12th anniversary of my remission, I wanted to share an excerpt with you. The working title of my legacy is The Winding Road, and I’m working on the tagline.
The hysterectomy surgery was on July 31st, 2008. I wanted to rest for two or three weeks after the surgery before returning to work when the new school year began.
My husband, Lynton, drove me to St. Jude Medical Center which was 3 miles from home. He stayed with me until the hospital attendant transported me to the surgery room. After the attendant and nurses lifted me onto the surgical table, the anesthesiologist called my name and introduced himself to me and said Dr. Gray was on the way. Before I smiled at him, the blackness came upon me.
I woke up in the hospital room in the afternoon. There was no pain in the abdomen. Perhaps the anesthesia was not worn off yet. Lynton came with a bouquet almost the same time I woke up. He stayed with me until dinner time and said he would call me early in the morning. It was a relief that the fibroids I had for years were out for good.
At 10:00 p.m., Dr. Gray came to the room and greeted me with a smile. I returned a grin with apprehension because no doctors would visit patients late at night unless there was an emergency. He sat down by the bed. “The surgery went well,” he said, “and I wanted to share the pathology result with you.”
My puzzling grew but nodded and kept smiling.
“The pathology result shows that the vaginal mass was melanoma. I’ve never seen it before, not in vagina, so I did some research. The research shows that melanoma is the most aggressive, invasive and dangerous cancer.”
He detected the perplex on my face, and said, “It looks like it’s in stage I or II, the beginning stage and the cancer has not spread into other parts of the body yet.”
I wanted to ask questions, but my mind went blank. What questions could I ask? The moisture saturated my eyes.
“I have lined up the referrals for you to see the specialists for treatments. Call my cell phone if you have questions. I’ll start my vacation tomorrow.” He handed me a note with his phone number. It seemed like he did a lot of homework that afternoon.
“But you’ll be on vacation,” I said, still tried to find words.
“That’s what a cell phone is for.” he smiled. “I’m glad God put you in my care.”
His visit transported me to the thickest fog in the dark.
~ ~ ~
The next day, I still had no pain after the anesthesia was worn off.
Lynton called me around 9:00 a.m. to let me know he was coming to see me later that day. He told me his dad passed away, and he was on the phone with his siblings. His dad had been in Loma Linda ICU since last Wednesday with a heart-attack and a kidney infection. The infection went into the blood and his condition went downhill. After the infection was gone, he was on dialysis to give the kidney a break to see if it could be reversed. Lynton and I went to see him last Wednesday. He was unconscious when we got there. The entire family of twelve people were there talking to each other about the latest progress. Lynton’s dad heard our voices and opened his eyes. We went close to his bedside to hold his hands and spoke to him. His eyes sparked a little and then went back to unconsciousness. That was the last time I saw his dad.
“Would you ask your family to schedule the funeral service after I get home from the hospital? I want to be there.”
“Don’t worry. My family will consider that when they plan for the funeral service. I’m on my way to the hospital to see you.”
When he arrived, I gave him the news. He faced me with the brooding look and said he would research on melanoma as soon as he got home.
“How are you feeling?” the nurse came in to check on me.
“I’m feeling very well with no pain. Can I go home today?”
“The attending doctor is not here yet. Let me check your incision and change the dressing. I’ll let the doctor know of your condition. He has to authorize the discharge.”
The doctor came in an hour later. After checking my progress, he authorized the discharge.
“Thank you, doctor,” I said to him while my mind spun at a record speed, miles into the search engine, chasing the meaning of melanoma.
April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of poets and poetry.
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.
Each April, the Academy offers activities, initiatives, and resources so that anyone can join in National Poetry Month online and at home. Please visit National Poetry Month for a list of activities.
In 2014, I joined the Poetry for Pleasure group, which is part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program for the retirees or age 50+ individuals.
The Poetry for Pleasure group meets once a week for two hours during the regular quarters and intersessions at the California State University, Fullerton. We study the lives of the poets, classic and contemporary, and their works. Members signed up to lead each session. The leader would share the introduction, then the members would take turned to share and read a poem by that poet. Besides studying the poets and their works, we study types or themes of poetry such as humorous poems, poems from a 4-legged point of view, or poetry about love, family, and seasons.
In the second hour of the meeting, members would read their own poems. One member had been in that group for many years prior to my attendance. She was 90 years old when I first met her. She still wrote new poems until early 2021 at 96+ years old when she died of Covid complication. I remember her citing poems she wrote at age 6. It was an inspiration to watch her coming to the poetry group every week reading poetry of her own and others.
The group publishes an Anthology once a year. Each member has a share of eight pages to publish their unpublished poems. The last section of the Anthology is a themed poetry contributed by anyone in the group. One year, the theme was I Am From. The poems could refer to an actual location or a mental, physical, and emotional state, or a family origin. Such as…
I am from Boston where…
I am from a family of seven…
The following was my poem contributed to the anthology.
I Am From –
From a familiar land of Hong Kong, I came forty-some years ago –
to a land of the unknown in Portland, Oregon, following the rainbow.
From a dramatic scene of a skyscraper jungle crowded with people –
to a forest like of sky-reaching trees and behold the first snow.
From restaurants filled with muffled noises drowning my own voices –
to cafes so quiet I could hear the whispering and chewing of Époisses
From television, music, and chattering sounds saturated everywhere –
to air filled with crispy rubbing leaves and whooshing wind brushed my hair.
My surprising discovery was the intermittent tinnitus in my left ear –
which was masked by the environs from my discovery for many years.
The foreign land of the unknown now became my home.
Even when I traveled to places around the globe,
I long for coming back to my bed in my present home.
I will post poetry related posts during this month including the poets and their works, selection of my published or new poems, and other poetry projects.
What would you write if you were writing a poem or a thought on I Am From…? I would love to hear from you!
A beautiful tribute to Sue Vincent from Jim Webster. Thank you, Jim, for speaking for all of us and let Sue know what you were doing before her passing. She held all our love and appreciation with her.
Sue lived a courageous life. She was still writing when her legs were too weak to stand up. She showed us to be true to ourselves and be vulnerable. She didn’t complain about her dying but continued to value her living.
Sue, you lived a life greater than life itself. We all missed you tremendously and we’re thankful for the precious words you left behind!
There are times when a poet must make a stand and say, “This has happened without my cognisance and I will not accept it!” Today has not been the best of days. Today I got a note from a patron. Common enough, especially from her, as she was always quick to praise, swift to encourage. But today the note had a bitter flavour. She was sitting awaiting death. A week? Longer?
And what can a poet do? A poet can protest, a poet can stand tall and say firmly that this will not do. A poet can bang the table with his wine glass obvious of the fact it has shattered and the pieces lie glistening but incoherent, shards of dreams never now to be dreamt.
Others have known Sue for longer than I, others will doubtless feel the grief more keenly, will mourn longer, but my job as a…
This week, as we are approaching the end of 2020, Amy invited us to share some of the precious moments we have had, before or during the pandemic.
I love travel. I know I won’t return to many places I had been and always treasure the experiences of being there and seeing those places. Yet if I must choose between travel and spend time with family and friends, I choose the latter. It is the relationship that makes the moments precious.
Our family photo which was taken in 2006. One young girl on the left got married a few years ago and now has a baby daughter. The other one on the left just got married last month. The three little ones are in college. Lynton’s dad, second from the right, died 12 years ago.
Eight years ago, we took our family trip to China and stopped by Hong Kong to see my family. Seven of us were in the middle of this photo, with my siblings and their families on the left and right sides. Will’s mom (behind Will, in green) died three years after the trip. My sister, third from right, died last year when we were in Hong Kong for my nephew’s wedding.
This is a group of my lovely lady friends celebrating Christmas in 2019. We missed each other tremendously.
“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” — Elisabeth Foley
Many of my friends and I were in this chorale last year singing in the annual performance of Messiah. The past weekend would have been the usual schedule for the performance. It didn’t happen this year.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore
This precious photo was taken with my daughter Mercy and granddaughter Autumn last year. We cancelled our trip this year because the Covid cases were worse than when it started.
This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #122, we are excited to have Ann as the guest host. Ann invited us to look at the theme, “The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow.”
I follow the theme to meditate on the sun will come out tomorrow. This thought also led me to contemplate the idea that on a cloudy day, the sun is shining bright in the sky even when we don’t see it.
“What I know for sure is that every sunrise is like a new page, a chance to right ourselves and receive each day in all its glory. Each day is a wonder.” – Opera Winfrey
When something went wrong, instead of spending too much time asking why it happened, I found myself asking, “What should we do next?” It’s valuable to assess what went wrong so we could avoid making the same mistake. Staying in the pity pit for too long and we could be drowned.
“Hope abides; therefore, I abide. Hope abides; therefore, I bide. Countless frustrations have not cowed me. I am still alive, vibrant with life. The black cloud will disappear, the morning sun will appear once again in all its supernal glory.” – Sri Chinmoy
On one Maui trip, we drove up to the Haleakalā or the East Maui Volcano. The tallest peak of Haleakalā (“house of the sun”), at 10,023 feet (3,055 m), is Puʻu ʻUlaʻula (Red Hill). Halfway up the mountain, the black clouds gathered, and it started to rain. We droved past the low clouds. I saw the bright sun in the clear sky. It was an experience I never forget. How often do I stay below to see the black cloud and forget the sun is still there even though I don’t see it at the moment? The similar experience applied to traveling on the plane. I could see the sun above the fluffy black clouds.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some people say they don’t have any pleasant memories in their lives. I wonder if we could create a good memory today. When tomorrow come, we would have one day of good memory. It’s like making a deposit of one positive day at a time to the “Good Memory” bank.
“Grace comes into the soul as the morning sun into the world: there is first a dawning, then a mean light, and at last the sun in his excellent brightness.” – Thomas Adams
My husband Lynton said to me, “I kiss you and tell you ‘I love you’ before we go to bed every night because I don’t know if we would die asleep. I hold you tight in the morning because I’m happy that we are alive to welcome a new day.”
“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” – Helen Keller
There’s no doubt we have shadows in our life, the matter is our choice. We choose to face the sun and focus on the energy that carry us through the darkness.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge theme from Amy for this week is “Under the Sun.” It’s about photo captures anywhere under the sun. I applied the theme to both indoor and outdoor.
Last year in June I babysat my granddaughter, Autumn, by myself while my daughter, Mercy, and her husband went to Iceland on vacation. Some friends said I was brave. Some said it would tire me, but I could handle it. The advice was, “When she sleeps, you sleep.”
Mercy made a spreadsheet of suggested daily schedule and activities, a list of her friends and phone numbers, the doctor and phone number. My mind was at ease without worrying of what to do to fill the days. They rented a car even though I wasn’t planning on driving.
They took a late afternoon flight to arrive early the next day to make the most of their trip.
“I missed Autumn already. Please send us a lot of pictures.” Before boarding, Mercy sent me a message.
“I will do that.” I returned her message.
When Autumn woke up in the morning, she looked for mommy and daddy. I said, “Mommy will be back. Daddy will be back.” She said, “Daddy went to work. Mommy went to work. Daddy will be back. Mommy will be back.”
We went to the park in the afternoon. There were kids playing with the water feature. I looked at the backpack, there was a change of clothes, no I let Autumn play with other kids.
The next day before nap time, Autumn had a temperature of 101.2. After she woke up from the nap, the temperature went up to 103. I kept Mercy updated. Deep down, I regretted to let Autumn play with the water for too long on the previous day. I hoped her temperature wouldn’t prolong. Most of all, I didn’t want Mercy to cut their vacation short.
I called Mercy’s friends to pick up a few items from the store for me. They came after work. One of them was a nurse. She checked on Autumn and wrote some instruction for me. The other friend bought what I needed, plus some Popsicle.
Autumn had a good night sleep. I put her on a soft diet, plus the Popsicle. We didn’t go to the park and just did some quiet activities around the house. By the afternoon, her temperature came back to normal. It was such a tremendous relief for me. My first-time babysitting Autumn full time was okay. I’m glad Mercy didn’t have to cut their vacation short.
“It seems to be a 24-hour thing.” Mercy messaged me.
“I think so. I’m glad it was a 24-hour thing.” I returned the message.
The remaining days, we went to the park, the library, and walked around the neighborhood.
Mercy and Will had a fabulous trip. We exchange messages and photos many times a day. They got home in the late evening on their return. Autumn was excited to see Mommy and Daddy when she woke up the next day.
This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #107, Ann-Christine invited us to look at the difference in the winter when we compare the Northern Hemisphere with the Southern Hemisphere.
The first time I saw snow was my first year in Portland, Oregon. It was in November. I walked along the hallway from one classroom to the next. My eyes glanced through the floor to ceiling window. A thin layer of white stuff drifting down in the air. I stopped and observed. Each layer above seemed to get thicker and whiter. I realized what happened and called out while jumping up and down, “It’s snowing. It’s snowing!” Some male students walked by and looked at me. Probably the last time they saw and heard of it was from their little kids.
When I finished school in Portland, I went on to Seattle Pacific University for my second graduate study. The city welcomed me with seven inches of snow. When the snow came to a pause, I put on my knee high, custom made leather boots and my leather gloves to make the first snowman. The leather gloves got hard and stiff after they were dry. My boots were fine, probably they were made differently.
Is winter warmor cold? I think winter is warm because it’s the time for events such as Christmas concert, Christmas light cruise, Christmas parties with family and friends, and my daughter’s birthday the day after Christmas.
One New Year, we visited my sister’s family in Vancouver B.C. We couldn’t go skiing in Whistler B.C. because the heavy fog came in. We managed going to a nearby mountain for my husband, niece, and nephew to do snowboarding.
Back home in southern California, our chorale started rehearsing for the Messiah concert first week of November, leading to the two performances before Christmas. This is the highlight of the year for me.
The adult fellowship group at church has many Christmas parties. One year we had a catering dinner at a deluxe retirement home. The chef built a gingerbread village every year. He made one gingerbread house at a time throughout the year and froze them. By early December, he assembled the village with a train track and an electrical train going around it.
The last two years, we went on the Christmas Light Cruise and watched the Christmas Boat Parade.
Two years ago was the first-time snow and Christmas met. My husband and I went to Portland, Oregon to spend the holiday with my daughter’s family. I saw snow before the plane landed and was so excited to have a white Christmas.
Most exciting of all during Christmas time is my daughter’s birthday on the day after Christmas. Here, Mercy opened the birthday card from her daughter Autumn.
Is winter warm or cold in your part of the world? I would like to hear from you.
Today we start a series of four posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the first one I would like to share with you. This week I thought we might find out a little more about Miriam and this post was in response to a prompt on Cee’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018
Share Your World by Miriam Hurdle.
Cee posts excellent questions in this week’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018.
I had written a post about my sister Canty’s Home going on January 29 when I returned from Hong Kong.
It was my nephew Enoch’s wedding on January 19, 2019. Mercy, Will, Autumn, Lynton and I traveled to Hong Kong to share his joyous beginning journey of marriage. We arrived on January 12. Three days later, I got a message from sister #12 Yolanda, the mother-in-law to be, letting me know that sister #8 Canty was in the hospital. Later that day, Canty’s son messaged me that his mom had liver inflammation and hydrocephalus, congestive heart failure.
Sister #13 Queenie was also traveling from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to attend the wedding. I had scheduled the visit of Canty as soon as Queenie arrived.
On the 17th, the third day of being in the hospital, Canty’s condition made a sharp decline at noon. We all rushed to the hospital by taxi. She was unconscious when we were by her bedside. We took turns to massage her head and hands, speaking to her. She seemed to hear us as the muscles of the forehead gradually relaxed.
Queenie arrived in that early evening and made her way to the hospital. By that time, the monitor couldn’t detect the blood pressure. The doctor said she was on 100% oxygen and received mediation to sustain her heart. Her breathing and heartbeat were artificial for some hours.
After Queenie spoke to her, I went close to the bed and saw the blood coming out of her nose. I got the attention of the nurse. The nurse couldn’t stop the bleeding and informed us that, “It’s time.” Before the nurse closed the drape around her bed, I saw the blood gushing out of her nostrils.
~ ~ ~ Canty was a Ballroom Dance instructor in her early years. She continued to be active in dancing. She participated in the Dance Championship on November 4, 2018 and received an award. She posted some photos on social media. I messaged her on January 4, 2019, saying I wanted to see her dancing. She sent me the video clip of her Championship dancing. I said, “See you next week.” It was saddened to say good-bye to her within two weeks of sharing her thrilling moments.