For most of this week I've been without Internet access, partly because I have been on the road traveling from one place to another and partly because I fried my motherboard. Early on Tuesday I went outside to see if I could find a wireless signal somewhere. It was raining lightly so I sat under a canopy for a few minutes while I fiddled with the computer. A few drops of water must have gotten on the keyboard because when I went back inside, i was typing something when I heard a pop and the computer went dead. Dead as a doornail. So dead it wouldn't do anything. No power up, no whirring, no clicking, nothing on the screen. Totally, absolutely dead. There are few feelings in life more frustrating than that. On one hand, I had backed up my key files a week or so ago, which is actually uncharacteristic of me since I hadn't done it for a few months. But I lost all my email addresses plus a year's worth of email plus all my email files plus all the digital pictures we have taken since last October. (If you sent me an email Sunday-Wednesday, I lost it.)

I took the computer into the shop and asked them to see what they could do. This afternoon they reported that the motherboard is totally fried. When it shorted out, the electricity burned holes in the board. It will cost $950 to repair it, which is more than a lot of new laptops would cost. The good news is they think they can retrieve the data on the hard drive. We were already thinking of buying a laptop for Marlene so we found a decent one for a little over $500. Now we're going to buy a second one that I can use when I travel.

Besides the money, there is the aggravation of spending hours to set up a new computer with all the right programs, files, etc. Compared to the real problems of the world, this one doesn't rate very high, but it is the small things that tend to sap our strength and raise our blood pressure and make us frustrated. There is a lesson here, something about not sitting under a canopy when it rains, trying to check your email using a borrowed wireless signal. I don't think I'll do that again.

You can reach the author at  ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.