Sunday, January 08, 2012

Reflections: one year with my iPad

Number One surprised me at Christmas with one last year. It has become such a part of my life since, and I have been thinking of writing a post about it.

I often begin the day by using the Magnificat app. Because the iPad screen is lit, I need not to turn on the lamp, and it all can be done very quietly. In the dark of the early morning, the screen light can be considerably dimmed. This wonderful app has the simplified prayers of the day including the Mass readings.

In the kitchen, after making the coffee and Husband's lunch, I scan the news and may make this and that comment as Number Five and Husband prepare to leave. Sometimes the comment is more like, "give me a five-letter word with X and F ending with N". You get the picture. I may also use it to update this blog although it is usually done on the larger, desktop machine.

At the homeschool table, the iPad has been used a myriad of ways: to look up word definitions, to find rivers in southern Asia, to see pictures of an unfamiliar object, to access the homeschool group's site with the coop homework assignments. The possibilities multiply.

During breaks, the girls and I may play a game. There are several good ones, besides the excellent Scrabble app, that we enjoy: Ticket to Ride is a favorite, and so is a new Tintin game based on the new movie.

During errands in the car we hook up the iPad to the sound system and enjoy audio books. We will never look back: no longer the need to insert new tapes or CDs, to deal with the skipping and other mechanical issues, and unfortunate things such as returning library sets with missing parts. The girls and I are listening to Pride and Prejudice and James Herriot, and we also listened to many of Number Seven's literature assignments this past fall: Padraic Colum's The Children's Homer and Fitzgerald's The Great Brain were both very enjoyable! Many of these are free or next to free from Audible or other sources. (Husband has been listening to massive classic after massive classic on his own iPad during his commute to and from work, having already listened to such titles as War and PeaceMoby Dick and The Brothers Karamazov among others.)

In the kitchen, at supper time, the iPad turns into the handiest of cookbooks: it is easy to scroll down recipe variations until I find one that uses the ingredients I have at hand. Plus it plays music on Pandora for me, or the very occasional NPR interesting news story.

And at night, as we gather for family prayer before bedtime, the iPad has become essential. The young girls play the audio bite from "The saint of the Day" app., which we have enjoyed and loved from day one! The audio is very pleasant, professional, and the text relevant and interesting. These are produced by the Franciscan-run Saint Anthony Messenger Press for Catholic radio. I highly recommend it! Historical, humorous, profound and inspirational all at once, we look forward to listen to the stories of these holy people who have endured so much and who are able to inspire us every day to be more faithful to God, generous, loving, strong. We have also been using the night prayer text from Magnificat and the kids really enjoy that. What a wonderful way to end the day, saying the words of the night prayer said all around the world!

The iPad has been a continually-giving gift. I thank God for a generous son. If it doesn't make the best-gift ever, it is because there was a Christmas morning, many years ago, when Number Two and Husband surprised me with an unexpected gift: they had me look through the sunny window, into the snowy Christmas morning, to see the sturdy, solid garden statue of Our Lady gleaming happily between the frozen mounds of dormant day-lilies, and making spontaneous tears of happiness and gratitude flow. I cannot but think of Number Two every time I tend the Mary garden, of how much the gift meant and continues to mean, of her generous then-teenager heart, spending her hard-earned money. How I have missed her this Christmas. May God bring comfort and consolation through His presence in prayer.


Grace said...

Yes, it truly is a constantly giving gift! I received one for my birthday last month. It is wonderful and we use it all the time for various things like you listed. Have you seen the under-counter mount? I am thinking about how handy it would be when I use the iPad for recipes in the kitchen and reading things while I cook. It would eliminate the space on the counter it takes up and wouldn't get dusty with flour like it has been.:( I'm happy you are enjoying yours....such a practical gift!

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

I behaves well when lodged in my bread basket... ;-)

Grace said...

Too funny.;) I ought to try that....if I had a bread basket.