Thursday, June 21, 2012

artifacts of a life - my lap desk

My brother is divorcing from his wife and last month he sold the house where they had lived for about 8 years. This sort of transition always results in unwanted stuff, and he brought a carload of it to my Mom’s house in anticipation of my niece’s yard sale (which has yet to happen). He welcomed us to take anything that might be useful, so, as I was helping him unload the car, I picked up the lap desk and put it straight into the passenger seat of my own car.

It’s a simple thing that you can buy at Target, which is probably where he got it. The desk side is a nice orangey wood color, contoured to fit in your lap – meaning there is a curve to accommodate your belly. There is an oval hole cut out to serve as a handle for carrying the desk around. A thin black velvet cushion is secured with velco to the bottom so the desk sits comfortably on your lap. And that’s all there is to it, simple, elegant, exactly what I wanted.

In the winter, I was content to work on my laptop at the kitchen table. Plenty of space to work, convenient to the coffee pot and easy to take breaks to do laundry or other household chores. But once Spring arrived and the porch furniture was set up, I took both laptop and coffee cup out there to work. I like writing with the laptop on my lap, appropriate to its name. But, My little MacBook Air is not actually designed to sit right on my lap. The keyboard is so small my wrist quickly became sore from resting on the edge. Then, I’d tire out trying to hold my hand up. I vowed to skip ice coffees for two weeks to buy a lap desk that would support my wrists.

My brother’s desk fell into my lap after less than a week of coffee depravation.

So now, nearly every day, I set myself up on the porch, books and magazines cluttering the table, my backpack leaning against the couch, coffee cup refreshed, and start to write. Some days I type away on my lap for over an hour without stopping; others I spend more time reading blogs than writing posts; but whatever I’m doing, it’s in comfort, with well supported wrists.

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