From School Bus to Mac

Likely you didn’t know that before I was known as SwitchingGranny or even as Switchy G to close friends. I was driving a school bus! And in between my bus routes I was working as an exercise instructor/personal trainer at the YMCA. Then on my free time I was pushing myself repetitively around a 3/4 mile circle trying to perfect the art of racewalking!

Life was different for sure then. And it was during these “before switching years” that I was introduced to the internet via webtv! Initially I was frustrated. So much to learn, I’m at the age that the entire concept was foreign. No computers in school for Granny. Heck Texas instruments didn’t mass produce the calculator until nearly my high school years!

Yet it became evident early on that this trip on the information hwy was going to become a favorite hang out of mine. On my webtv if there weren’t any graphics a page would load in less than 3 minutes. But if the URL included graphics it might take 5! No video. But oh the joy of sitting on my sofa and traveling beyond my door, my country! Loved it. I found e-mail lists with yahoogroups on that webtv. And made friends for life.

Later I was given a hand me down compaq machine. Honestly had I not had my initiation with the internet on webtv I may have become too overwhelmed with the pc to pursue the whole computing thing any further.

Dill files missing, registry overload, nothing was ever easy on that machine. Just getting it to “dial up” the internet was a major headache most days. And I couldn’t just leave it online because it was using our only phone line to connect. I’ll never forget how cool I thought I was when I found to take calls on my computer from folks trying to contact me when I was online.

Eventually I advanced to purchasing my first machine. Huge investment of nearly $1,500 dollars. And this was with a 40 Gig HD and 513 MB of ram. It was while researching for this purchase that I became desirous of an “Apple” machine. But my decision to switch was hindered as I considered my lack of geek. I thought if I had problems to fix I wouldn’t have anyone to turn to for help. So I did not get a mac then. And I did have plenty of problems to fix. Continually!

I was so grateful for the access to information as I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and trigeminal neuralgia in 2003. Knowing very little about MS and having never even heard of the latter, my internet searches gave me an over load of information.

Keep in mind that once the webtv was gone “computing” was confined to our office room besides taking up our telephone access. So I wasn’t online much during those days. Mostly for checking email and occasional research.

Fairly soon the MS diagnosis made me too much of a liability to drive a school bus. I felt that I had to resign because I could never place kiddos at risk and just the fact that I had a neurological diagnosis was reason to not be responsible for driving a 12 ton vehicle in traffic with very precious cargo inside.

This was huge because I’d driven for 17 years. The pay and benefits were extremely good in our county. I also had been experiencing an intolerance to heat due to the MS and became unable to get hot exercising. So soon I was saying bye to my dear dear friends at the YMCA. No more spinning classes .. no more wellness center. I’d lost contact with 1iterally hundreds of people on a daily basis.

I was blessed to have a HP laptop given to me from a “better tomorrow grant” through the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America! My world changed with that 6lb machine. We soon got high speed internet and wireless capabilities. I was back surfing on my sofa and finding the social interaction I’d been lacking since retiring from work.

Yet.. I’d already decided that I really wanted a mac. Did not know anyone personally with one. But I’ve always been one who marched to the beat of a different drummer. I knew that Mac’s weren’t utilized by the majority. And I knew that people who had Mac’s weren’t dealing with the daily headaches of unstable operating systems etc.

I’d joined some online forums like http://www.switchingtomac.com and my username was prayn4mac!
And one morning at prayer group (I joined several small groups when I quit working) I remember saying to the sisters there “This seems a selfish prayer request.. but I am really wanting a mac computer”. The ladies assured me that this was indeed something I could pray for. And although I am not a “name it – claim it” kind of Christian. That is exactly what happened on this particular morning. My cell phone had rang during prayer group. When I left I checked my messages. It was my Mother. And her words were ” Martha I’ve been thinking.. I know how badly you want a macbook and I think I can do this for you.. order it and I’ll buy it for you” WOW Praise the LORD.. needless to say I drove around the corner and went back to the prayer group and let them hear the message!! SWEET

I’m not going to go on too much here. But I need to mention that although I still knew no one personally who owned a mac, I was always able to get help from online fellow mac enthusiasts. This community is exceedingly helpful. Always. And between Mac user groups and Apple Care, I never had a problem that I couldn’t gain answers to. Switching was so simple. I found almost immediately that my biggest hindrance to my switch was not what I needed to learn, but what I’d already learned. I needed to unlearn all the complicated steps I’d been taking to deal with my windows machines. User friendly is exactly what I found with the Mac 0S!

Stable and reliable with great tech support always available. I very quickly became an evangelist regarding switching. And I desired especially to encourage folks who were in their mid-life that it is not too late to switch. Thus SwitchingGranny was born.

I tell folks that after my choice to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and my choice to marry my dear hubby at the age of 15; switching to mac is the best decision I’ve ever made!!


My little Grand daughter Breanna

My early morning prayer group

My recently deceased Mother.. the person used to answer my prayer for my first Mac!

One Response to “From School Bus to Mac”

  1. Kenny Kellogg November 25, 2008 at 12:20 AM #

    hi Switching Granny,

    I found your blog on a Google search for Trigeminal Neuralgia. My friend, Ben, and I started a website (http://www.livingwithtn.org/) where people who suffer from TN can meet. I really enjoyed your story. It sounds like you are past TN but if you want to share your story, come on over to livingwithtn.org

    Cheers,

    scott

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