Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Touching Base


The past few years has been a challenge for many of us. The pandemic, no matter which way you feel, has shut down many of our lives and cut down on social activities and family togetherness. I couldn't imagine having gone through something like this even 30 years ago before the age of computers, cell phones, and VISUAL communications. The Spanish Flu and the Polio outbreaks must have been unbearable even if one didn't get sick without the plethora of communication devices we have now.


When my husband and I made our move to our retirement home, it was a move about an hour and a half from where we used to live which was not too far from our children and their spouses. Even with their busy schedules, drive-by visits (even at a distance) were easy. We made our move for our needs, the area, economy, an easier life… and our offspring remained where they were for their jobs, their friends, and their homes.


In the beginning the distance didn't seem so great. If none of us felt like making the drive, or didn't have enough time, we could plan to meet at a mutually convenient restaurant or other venue. When the pandemic began everything closed and it's only recently that places are opening up — and even then, there are still restrictions. We have seen each other, but it certainly has been less often than we had hoped.


I've gotten used to a life of "video visits" and text messages, and I consider myself quite fortunate. Our kids have kept in touch with us and several times a week we get to "communicate" — sometimes it's not even in real time. I'll pick up my (cell) phone to open a message, sometimes two, from one or more. Sometimes when I am thinking of them I send a message out, or if I have something newsy to share, I can jot a note on my phone.


I also have nieces and nephews that I get to keep in touch with, most of them are not local enough to do a day trip. Sometimes we'll gather on ZOOM for holiday dinners. This past New Year's I got to ring in 2022 with my son and daughter-in-law, through the airwaves, and then we spent some time with my nephew and his family 1300-miles away.


I remember as a child mailing letters to my grandmother and receiving letters back. It was indeed contact, but the rare long-distance phone call when I got to hear her voice was so exciting. So, for now, I will certainly enjoy my electronic visits with my kids and seeing their faces and hearing their voices. Who knows, hopefully SOON we will have the time, safety and convenience of actually seeing more of each other in person.


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