On the benefits of a Saturday in community

I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided to update our eight year-old iMac to the Yosemite operating system. Midway through the install, the screen went blank and there appeared to be nobody at all home — and no apparent way to ring the door bell.

imac 2Googling the problem showed many others had suffered the same fate, without any clear path to recovery. I really needed that machine in prepping for the teaching I’m doing this week in Vienna, but didn’t have the time to haul it down Boylston to the Apple store.

And then I spotted Sumner, a former housie, sitting in the kitchen. Sumner is a programmer who continues helping his former housemates in all sorts of ways — honchoing our workdays, tweaking our new high speed wireless and more. So much so that I was reluctant to impose on him for volunteer tech support on a Saturday morning.

“No problem,” he said when I went ahead and asked anyway. With his phone he discovered a possible solution that had eluded me. “But hold down your hopes,” he cautioned as I headed upstairs muttering Hail Marys and hoping, despite his cautions, that the old beast might somehow come back from the dead. 

And voila, amazing the magic that a reboot while holding down the shift key can yield. iMac, back in action. Thank you, Sumner!

A while later, housemate Jan sent an email alerting all of us that she’d be moving out of the house at the end of the month — but was still searching for a place that would accept her cat. Since our MLS email feed had just listed such a place for rent in a cool neighborhood in Brookline, I passed it along. Before the day was out, Jan had nailed down the deal.

Carol spent much of the day at a funeral (yes, another one) requiring a 90 minute drive back and forth to Holyoke. She and fellow housie, Lilah, had talked about making dinner, though, and she got back from the funeral (with a stop at the grocery) just in time to make it happen. Lucas and Hannah made a salad, the rest of us played dishcrew and a great chicken dinner (with veg option) was enjoyed by eight housies and four guests.

Our Sunday through Thursday night house dinners, prepared by kitchen manager Myles, shape the BHFH calendar in ongoing, important ways. But we’re finding that impromptu weekend dinners, often assembled at the last minute by a motley but talented crew, provide a bright burst of energy to the life of the house. Kind of like what that unexpected gift of tech support did for me at the beginning of the day.

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