Changing times

Ruth Griffiths

Where does the time go? I took a vacation from writing this column and enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing summer. All too soon the leaves are golden and the geese are loudly honking the arrival of fall.

I have been writing this column for a quarter of a century, first as Editor for Rural Roots and more recently as a freelance columnist.  

I had become tired of writing a column every week and look forward to a restful summer break. However several people said they were missing my column and hoped that I would pick it up again this fall. So here I am taking my regular spot on Thursday in Rural Roots, speaking to you about anything that catches my fancy at the moment.

This has been a year of many changes for me:

  • I stopped teaching fitness classes for the City at the end of 2022.
  • I sold my car in the spring.
  • I sold my house in June and I am now living with a friend until I’m able to move into Abbey House.
  • Most of these changes in my life are because of my diminishing vision. I could no longer see the participants in the back of the gym so I was not a competent fitness instructor. I could no longer see well enough to drive safely so my car sat idle in the garage until the battery went dead so it was time to sell the car. Gardening is one of the great joys of my life but I could no longer see well enough to maintain my large yard. I was one person rattling around in a house built for many people. The housing market in Prince Albert is hot right so it sold in three days. I’m glad it is now home for a growomg family.

Another joy in my life is teaching chair-assisted yoga which I continue to do twice a week.

I thought writing this column would have to come to an end because I didn’t have access to my usual desktop computer. Then I remembered the instruction I had received from the tech support person at CNIB in Saskatoon. She told me about the dictation programs available for my Macintosh computer. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I had never looked at using a voice-to-text option. However faced with the challenge of writing a farewell column for the Herald, I got my computer out of storage, installed the free dictation program and the rest, as they say, is history.

Most of my columns in the past have been somewhat stream of consciousness. This may be even more so in the future because I am dictating them.

I’m embarrassed it has taken me this long to explore adaptive technology. But I think I’m not alone waiting until I am pushed over the edge before I actually take action to change.

I gave up my landline and have a lovely new iPhone. My sister also got a new phone and we have been enjoying texting each other … learning the joys and frustrations of a new communication system.

The good folks at SaskTel must cringe when they see me coming because I have been there so many times to get help to make my phone work for me despite my deafness and low vision. However I have talked to people who have had a cellular phone for many years but do not use many of the features I now enjoy using on my phone. I guess I’m not the only one who has to be pushed to learn to use new ways of doing things.

So I’m back to writing this column, for better or worse, hoping to maintain the connection I have had with my readers over the past decades. At least one thing didn’t change for me this year!