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On Sunny Lane: Jump Right In

Sweetheart and I watched a DVD one night last week. I know. You're thinking, "What's so great about that?" Well, we haven't been able to watch a DVD for ten years--at least not all the way through to the end.

I have put many a DVD in the VCR/DVD player and watched all the way through to the exciting conclusion and the disk freezes. I have been left hanging more times than I can count.

The first time it happened I thought the disk was bad, so I threw it out. After buying and renting other DVDs, I discovered the same issue. I was disappointed, to say the least.

One time I was watching the movie, "A Man Called Horse," on television. It was getting closer and closer to my bedtime and my eyes were getting heavier and heavier. Eventually, I fell asleep on the couch and missed the second half of the movie.

Through the years I have searched through thrift stores, flea markets and variety stores looking for that movie without success.

I finally rented it from the library and watched it almost to the end and the disk froze again. What a bummer! I had to return it to the library without seeing the conclusion.

I thought about trying to get the VCR/DVD player fixed, but had no idea where to find someone to do it. It seems that people don't fix electronics and appliances much any more. It's usually cheaper and easier to buy a new one.

Sweetheart and I picked up a VCR, DVD player and a VCR/DVD player at some auctions, but still lacked the expertise to hook any of them up. And we don't have an eighth grader who would do it for us.

We stored the units in the loft for years, trying to find someone with the expertise to connect one of them. I went to a local electronics store and asked if they had an employee who could come to the house and do the honors, but they did not.

The associate did give me instructions as to how I could do it, however. I felt unqualified and inept.

I put a notice in the local advertiser, asking for someone to come and hook it up. We did get an answer, but it didn't work out.

Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and try to hook it up myself. How hard could it be? You take the wires out of the old unit and plug them into the same holes in the new unit. And, so I did.

Well, lo and behold! It works! Sweetheart and I had to watch that DVD last week just to make sure the player plays all of the way to the end.

What a glorious moment! On the other hand, we have missed years of entertainment and suffered through countless reruns on television because I was too afraid to try something unfamiliar. Or, maybe, I was too lazy and didn't want to accept responsibility if something didn't go right.

The whole problem was I was dreading something that I didn't need to dread--except I didn't know it at the time. How often do we do that?

There are two ways to get into a cold pool of water to go swimming: one toe and ankle at a time, or plunge right in. Sometimes the initial shock is worth it. And, maybe, the water isn't as cold as you thought it was.


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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