Going with the Flow by Robin Trimingham
I have just returned from spending a few days with my Dad – the 85-year-old I aspire to be someday. As usual, he was in quite good spirits and still has no idea at all just how agile and unique he is compared to most of his peers.
What I find most refreshing about his outlook on his circumstances is his willingness to adopt modern conveniences and technology which enhance his life on his own terms.
He has, for example, absolutely no interest in learning to type, or emailing anyone. Ever. But he is quite interested in “googling” just about any subject you can name and uses the google search by voice feature extensively to research the things that interest him.
He has become so adept at using search by voice, that he is now about to start learning how to use the Microsoft speech to text feature to dictate a book manuscript into his computer. This will take a little time for him to get used to, but he does have the time and the patience to practice.
The trick is to speak slowly enough and clearly enough that the computer microphone can pick up what he is saying without inserting too many incorrect words. (You can try this in Windows 10 by clicking the Start Button, scrolling all the way down to Windows Ease of Access and clicking on Windows Speech Recognition).
Until now, believe it or not, my Dad has continued to clean his own two-bedroom condominium on a regular basis. Far from what you might think, his place is absolutely spotless in comparison to my own (where the dust bunnies under the side board have been known to elbow each other for a better view of Netflix on a Friday night). Recently, however, he has begun to feel that vacuuming has become more of a drag than it used to be and it might finally be time to enlist some professional help.
If you are assuming that means he is considering employing a cleaning lady or part time caregiver, you could not be more wrong.
Nope, not my Dad.
He has been reading consumer reports regarding two different manufacturers of robotic vacuums (which he found on google) and has even been to a showroom twice for a demonstration of his preferred choice.
Never one to make rash decisions, he is not rushing out to purchase one of these pricey little space age cleaning machines just yet, but have no doubt that by the next time I visit him I will need a hall pass to cross from the bedroom to the kitchen if R2D2 is making his rounds.
He also still drives his own car on short trips during the daytime but recognizes that he might have to give this up at some point, which worries him a little because he is fiercely independent.
I told him not to worry, if he hangs in there for just a couple more years he can get a self-driving car. Far from telling me that this was an absurd idea, he got oddly silent and I could see the beginning a google search being formulated in his head …
By Robin Trimingham