Monday, July 27, 2015

12 cassettes down

Digitized 12 cassette tapes so far. Almost half way through the most important ones. There are dozens more I could do but not sure it's worth it. My husband said it would be nice to have some of them digitized too. I was not amused. Tempted to tell him if he wants them done he can do them himself. Got to thinking this morning tho' maybe I could use it as leverage: "If I digitize these tapes then I expect you to go through those boxes; or scan those slides; or get rid of X number of books!"

I finally listened to my Grandfather's "memorial" service. It was nothing like I remembered--(I really was there, I guess my sadness at the time clouded my memories. And it was 24 years ago!) It was more of a celebration and a good old fashioned hymn sing, complete with clapping! Started with the hymn, "When we all get to heaven," followed by "What a day that will be". Why don't we ever sing those songs anymore?

The sermon was beautiful hope-filled thoughts from Rev 21:1-7 about what will happen when God makes everything new. No more tears, pain or death! And "God himself will be with them and be their God".

Hard to feel sad after that. I'm glad I listened to it*. Especially since I found out a few hours later that my Father-in-law had passed away. We knew it was coming. I'm glad my husband was able to get to Australia in time to see him at the end. We are most thankful, tho', that Dad had long ago trusted in Christ as his Savior and really walked with God ever since.  We trust that he is no longer suffering. He is in a much better place. And we will see him again.

* good thing I enjoyed it because I bungled it and have to do it over again. I'm "learning by doing" (as any good Cal Poly Alum should :-) ). 

Revelation 21:1-7 (NIV)

"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children."

Friday, July 10, 2015


I want to start blogging again. I also want to make more progress with downsizing. So maybe I could blog about downsizing. It might become a virtuous cycle. Who knows!

Downsizing is hard. No wonder most people don’t do it until they are old and need a nursing home. By then they’re too sickly to do it themselves, so their kids have to come and do it for them. Being childless we don’t have that luxury.  So here we are. Wanting to start early before we are too decrepit to do it ourselves and still healthy enough to enjoy the results when we’re done. 

We started off well. My husband, J, even seemed enthusiastic. He bought a slide scanner and even scanned a few slides. That was a couple of months ago. I haven’t seen him doing it since. He said not to nag. He’ll be more likely to do it if I don’t. (To be fair he has been building a retaining wall on one side of our house for several weeks.)

Meanwhile I have managed to donate several boxes of books and miscellany to the youth rummage sale in May; and I recently finished shredding a large pile of old documents—both ours and my Mom’s. I’ve made several attempts to go through old letters and other keepsakes. Those have been less successful and fraught with emotional currents that wore me out and kept pulling me off track. 

So maybe my next main project should be to digitize my old cassette tapes. I already donated some to the youth rummage sale. Come to think, I don’t remember seeing any of them at the sale. I wonder if they just went straight into the big rubbish bin in the parking lot at church. Quite a few went into our rubbish bin before that. They were so distorted I was annoyed I had bothered to keep them all these years and I knew no one else would ever want them—even if they had a cassette player and weren’t too embarrassed to listen to something so old fashioned and out of date. 

I thought I would start with important irreplaceable ones such as my Dad’s and Grandpa’s memorial services, J’s sermons, his Dad’s sermon and several similar. So far I have digitized three of those. But I keep putting off doing the memorial services. Maybe I just need to bite the proverbial bullet and do them next. After all why keep the tapes if I never want to listen to them? (Unlike digitizing cd’s, cassette digitizing involves actually listening to the recording. ) I was at both memorial services so I did hear them the first time. What did people do before technology? They just remembered what they could and didn't worry about the rest. But since I have them, I know I could never bring myself to dispose of them without making a digital copy first. So there you are, the double edged blessing of technology.

I may digitize some of the music, but probably only if it’s not available on Itunes. 

I do wonder though about digitizing in general. From articles I’ve read on-line it seems the usual way people downsize now—digitize everything. It seems sort of like cheating--not as many hard decisions. 

It also takes a lot of time. And then you end up with hard drives full of files (or whatever people currently use.) Will we ever look at the stuff again? Will we be able to find something when we want it? And what happens when technology changes? How much time and money will it take to convert the files to the new technology? 

For example, we have a large box of floppy disks (remember those?) that will need to be converted over sometime soon or it won’t even be possible anymore. It may not be now. Do we still have a working floppy drive? And what about the software needed to convert them? Is it still available? And how many hours will that take? My carpal tunnel won’t let me do it. Besides it’s mostly my husband’s stuff. When I brought it up he sort of groaned.  I know, I know-- don’t nag!.