I have always been interested in computers. Never dreaming I would ever own one, or learn how to use one.

When my granddaughter Rita called me in October of 1999 and ask me if I would be interested in their spare computer, I told her

I was too old, that I had neither the time nor the space, and it was just too complicated for me to learn. She refused to take no for an answer saying Gata (is what she calls me), "it will be so good for you."

Less than a week later Rita, her husband Paul and my daughter Norma were here with the computer. My granddaughter Heather had donated a desk for me. Our first obstacle was the phone jack as it was in my husband's room and he did not like changes. Finally he agreed to let us switch bed rooms. It took several hours to dismantle his hospital bed and change the furniture around.

It was late when they left and as Rita went out the door she said she would give me my first lesson Saturday . She also said to practice using the mouse playing solitaire. Saturday true to her word, she was here. For my first lesson Rita went over everything several times and so did I .She was so proud of me and so was I.   The next day when I sat at my computer, alone, my mind was a total blank and I remembered very little.

For the second lesson I had a notebook and wrote every thing that was taught me. I still do and use my notes often. The second obstacle that we did not expect was my husband Kenneth. He resented the computer and the lessons. He told Rita he had lost his bedroom and now he was going to lose his wife.

He often looked over our shoulders and even picked up the phone to disconnect us from internet. There were times we had to just quit. I told Rita maybe we should just stop and maybe she needed to take the computer back. She refused. Finally, I was on my own but Rita was only a phone call away.

My cousin Bob (Nita's father) and I would write to each other often. He had a computer and wrote about it and the friends he emailed. He was as excited as I was hearing I had a computer. So he was the first person I sent an email to. Then my husband's daughter in Iowa, Carlyn and her husband Jay and their three children were exchanging email and some real good advice.

I would read these letters to my husband and he was accepting the computer and even bragged about me knowing how to use the it. Life was so good. I did not want to go any further than my email as it was so easy. This is a mistake some senior citizens make.

Rita kept encouraging me to go on internet and when I did it opened a whole new world for me. So much knowledge at my finger tips. Email became second place with me. 

My granddaughter Julia and her husband Matt gave me my second computer as it is faster. It acts up some times, but I am in hopes it will outlive me. I often wonder what life would have been like without my computer as it has opened a whole new world for me. I have been so blessed with the computers and all the help and encouragement I have received and I am so thankful. I feel so sorry for senior citizens that their children or grandchildren give them computers without any lessons. I know a few. I think that has to be a sin. I am always eager to help anyone and in doing so I feel like I am giving something back.

Dorothy Tweedt