Friday, November 21, 2008

When the "I" is Mssng

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With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, I’d been praying and thinking of what to write in this column, and when I finally sat down at my computer to coax, wrangle, and create a column, a lesson occurred for me. After doing a bit of research online about the first Thanksgiving proclamation, I noticed that the “I” on my keyboard was not working. Do you know how many times an “I” is needed in a 500 word column?

If you keep reading, you’ll see what I worked out to get the “I” in the next few words. Since Hurricane Ike, my desk computer has not connected to the internet with any regularity or predictability. Of course nowadays, writers push a button and send off columns instead of handing in a hardcopy to an editor. Anyway, my wireless laptop has taken up the slack and has served me well these past few months, until today.

Home repairs sometimes work, so I flipped the plastic cover off the key that read “I”. Underneath, a tiny world existed that I knew nothing about and I saw a miniscule rubber cup lying on its side. It looked like the little cup should be turned upside down over the electronic circuit. Also, broken loose from the inside of the teensy cup was a piece of plastic two times larger than a grain of salt. I surmised that that gadget was what was supposed to touch the circuit and let it know that I wanted an “I” in a word.

I thought I might be able to put it back together, but by then other little pieces had come loose under the key pad, too. I didn’t know which tiny part went where. So, I flipped the cover off the “o” and promptly upset the tiny rubber cup under it. I did have the good sense to stop pulling off key covers. I know when I’ve been outwitted. I know when it’s time to get to the computer geeks, who can undo my home “repairs.”

So, I’ve written each “I” and “o” with the key covers off and by making sure the tiny rubber cups are over the circuit board and pressing ever so lightly on them, but they have a mind of their own and often bounce down to the spacebar or visit their neighbor “m”.

You can’t imagine how many times I’ve wanted to shout to Vanna White, “I’d like to buy a vowel. Give me an ‘I’. I’d like to buy anther vowel. Give me an ‘o’.” But still, I’m thankful for the other 24 letters of the alphabet who have behaved very well.

The thanksgiving point in all of this relates to the story Jesus told abut the ten lepers he healed. They all went away ecstatic, but only one got “I” out of the way and returned to say thank you to the source of blessing. When we quit focusing on “I” needs, it is easier to see all the bounty and good workings in the other 24 plus good thing in life.

Happy Thankgvng!


  1. Hi Cathy,
    Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by TGMT and offering your insight. I also wanted to say that I love your writing style. Your posts are insightful and I love how you weave a story through your lesson or take away point. I'll be coming back for more. :)

  2. Deb, thank you. Isn't it a thrill t meet others who are on the same parenting mission the title of your blog....Cathy