VHS tape of Mema Smith cooking

VHS tape I took of Mema Smith cooking

After Tuesday’s blog on lemons, I said, “I have the perfect post for #TBT. I have a video of Mom (Mema Smith) baking her famous lemon meringue pie.” That was the good intention.

So, here’s what was going to have to happen to bring that special piece of history to life on your screen:
1) find the VHS tape
2) figure out how I was going to get the VHS dubbed to a DVD

Okay. I can do that. I’m tech savvy (but I’m not that organized when it comes to where in the world would I have put that tape). It only took about 3 hours of digging to find the tape. Hurray!!

Now to Step 2. Found online that Walgreen’s can transfer the data. Great. On Tuesday, when I was out running errands, I ran into Walgreens. They don’t do it there. They ship it off and can have it back in 3-4 weeks. That won’t work. So, the mission has now changed to “finding a VHS to Mac transfer”. I won’t go into the pain of that escapade. Finally found what I needed at Best Buy.

Yesterday, I’m ready to rock-and-roll. Oops. I need a VCR. Dig, dig, dig. Found it. Huh. This machine actually says on the front “easy dub from VHS to DVD”. Golly. Gold mine. No instructions, so find a similar machine user manual online. Have to hook it up to TV. One hour and a half later, I never did get the TV to even recognize the machine. Okay, move VCR into the computer area to hook it up to my computer.

Two hours later, I was still staring at a green screen where the historical event of watching my mother bake should be. It’s no longer about writing a blog for Thursday. It’s all about making sure I don’t let this important part of our family tradition get lost in the technology maze. In fact, I had traveled to Oklahoma some years back (I need to find out exactly when I did this) with the one mission of video-taping Mother cooking. I have a tape of her making lemon meringue pie, chicken fried rice, sour dough bread and sand plum jelly.

My final determination is that the software is operating properly, it’s the VCR that isn’t working right. Somewhere in this house is a Video Camera that I should be able to utilize. An hour search hasn’t turned up the camera.

So, the best I can do today is post a picture of the actual VHS tape and tell you that someday soon I will have all this figured out and will share these digital delights. In the meantime, watch what you say! As Mom and *Ben Jonson says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

This episode has also made me doubly committed to making an idea we have come to life. We want to create a series of lessons, encouragement and tips on  “Remaining Relevant in a High Tech World.” It can be very frustrating to try and figure out some of the technology challenges we face everyday. We want to create a system and environment to provide you the tools and encouragement to win that battle.


*Ben Jonson c. 11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 was an English playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy.