Sunday, July 15, 2012

No Computer!

Life without a computer? Unthinkable these days! We depend on it.

Here I was with two computers on my desk—a new one with a big screen, and an old one that had slowed to a crawl. But how to transfer all my files?  There are many ways of doing it, and I managed to transfer files in duplicate and triplicate. 

Being without my computer for a few days strangely reminded me of being without a toothbrush many years ago. Czech soldiers had broken down the door to our mountain cabin. They lined us up against the wall, hands above our heads, and pointed their guns at us, and searched us. 

Apparently, World War II had ended and the region was no longer German, it belonged to Czechoslovakia now. They took us down the mountain with nothing but the clothes we wore. No toothbrush, not even a handkerchief to dry our tears.

Miraculously, we managed to traverse much of Germany's Russian Sector, mostly on foot—there were no trains or buses after the war.

This was no minor feat. Mother and Maria were both in their twenties, good-looking and female. We had to avoid the open roads and  hide in the woods and fields, away from Russian soldiers. Everyone knew they were lusting for adventure.

Mother had her two children in tow, my little brother and me, always hungry and close to collapse. There was practically no food to be found. The stores were empty. Even the phone service had shut down.

We were hoping to find father. Had he survived the war? Would we find him in the city where his business was?

Late one miraculous and wonderful evening we found him! Still alive!

Our city home had been bombed, but a part of it was still standing; it totally collapsed a few months later. There was no water and no electricity. But we had a home again, and a toothbrush.

Sadly, it was not to be for long. One grim morning Russian jeeps pulled up to take father away. We did not breathe. We did not wait. We did not think. We ran! We ran as fast as we could. We never looked back. We left with what we were wearing. Again without a toothbrush and no place to go. But we were alive, and still together with father.

No computer for a few days?  Big deal, I still got my toothbrush. That little toothbrush has put the ups and downs of life nicely into perspective.

Until next time,