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Then: Tool Wall

Now: Tool Bar

My father used to have a workshop with a million different tools.  They hung on the wall, each on its on hook, neatly arranged by size and function.  It was an impressive sight.  And to this day I can still picture walking into his shop, smelling the sawdust, hearing the whir of the machines and knowing that something concrete was being created.

Years later, my husband had the same set up with pegs and tools.  

When he was a toddler, my stepson used to carry around a toolbox with his screwdriver, hammer, nails and wrench.      

And now my grandson plays with all those same instruments for fixing and building things.  

Hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, saws, nails - those were the tools I grew up around.  

But now, well, tools can be something so different from those tangible items hanging on my dad's corkboard or inside a metal box.  At the age of eighty-eight, my dad can't even comprehend their purpose.  

Yes - I'm talking about that toolbar at the top of the very screen that I am now typing on.  Edit. View. Insert. Track changes.  Spelling.  Autoscan.  Merge. Customize. Format.  Bullets.  There is a tool for everything.  In fact, I wouldn't doubt if future tools include: stir martini, fix dinner, do dishes.    

Sometimes these tools on the computer toolbar are hard to find, even harder to understand and yet so easy to delete.

One simple click of the mouse and whoosh, whatever you were trying to find is gone!  According to my computer techie (genius that he is) it's still there, but I've done something wrong.   Been over anxious.  Clicked too fast.  Moved it off the screen.  Well, if it's off the screen, then it's not here!  It's gone missing.      

Before when my dad couldn't find his tape measure, it was usually somewhere in his workshop.  Maybe under some wood or shoved in the corner.  It certainly hadn't vanished into thin air.  And most definitely, the entire workshop never disappeared.    

Which is what just happened while I was writing this column.  I've lost my entire toolbar.  I have no idea where it went.  Off into Cyberspace, a place that really can't be touched because it's out there somewhere.  So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look for it.

It may have gone into the kitchen.  But if not, I know I can get an ice cold martini which will make searching for my missing tools that much easier.

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