Monday, February 17, 2014

Facebook, Friendship, and Face Time

The wonderful thing about Facebook for us baby-boomers, is the ability to reconnect with old friends from our childhood and younger years.  My heart is warmed when I can reconnect with someone I used to see, hug, share with on a daily basis, but whom I may not have seen or heard from in 20, 30 even 40 years.  But there is a downside to this wonderfulness.

When we don't connect on a physical level, something is missing.  Nuances, verbal asides, even idle gossip, can inform our friends of events we might not otherwise broadcast in a post.  For example, you might not post "I haven't been feeling well",  but if I see you every day, i might notice that you are looking pale, or have the sniffles, or not eating. 

I have enough Facebook friends, that, if we don't interact on a regular basis, I might not even see a post from you.  If I am your friend, but not a friend to your grown children whom I have never met, I might not see interactions that indicate that something's up.  

I am musing about these things because In the last six weeks two of my much loved Facebook friends, with whom I was actual friends with during my teenaged years and early twenties, have died.  Another dear one went in for surgery and asked for prayers.  I didn't even know my two departed friends weren't feeling well, much less suffering from a terminal disease.  I was terrified to hear of a hospital visit, but, thankfully, in that last case, I was able to private message a relative and find out that the hospital visit was for a benign issue.  Needless to say, I was shocked and saddened when I found out about each event so suddenly.

I don't know how to name my feelings about these events.  It makes me yearn to travel, that's for sure, and personally visit each and every one of you whom I loved long ago, in person.  

When I was a young woman I was pretty footloose and fancy free:  moving around, traveling from house to house, city to city and state to state, before settling down thirty years ago, far from my California and Colorado friends.  

This is to tell each of you that I love you.  

I Love You. Over the years of space and time and change, I love you.  I have always loved you.   

I was so happy to find you, and I am filled with gratitude that I can see your "Likes" and "comments" and photos.  I want to hold you all close to me in any way possible.  So if you aren't feeling well, or are going through a divorce, or having minor surgery, I want to know. Really.   I want to know you.  When you are sad, or ill, or lonely, I want to know so  that I can send my love to you, and hold you and your loved ones close, in my heart, if not in my arms.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finally, Snow!

I like snow. I grew up in Cleveland, where when it snows, it snows.  The “lake effect” of the cold air moving over the warm waters of Lake Erie produce enormous buckets of the stuff… plenty to play in, plenty to wade through up to your knees.

Outside my window when I was a little girl there was a huge Elm tree.  On cold January mornings, the first thing I would look for when I woke up was the branches of that tree. I rejoiced if there was an inch or so of the white stuff.  It looked like the icing on a cake.  Hooray! Out of bed I would jump. Ready to start the day, ready to play.

 I can remember being stuffed into a light blue one-piece snow suit, wrapping a scarf around my neck, then being sent off to play in the beautiful snow. My sister and would try to make words with our feet, writing our names in the fresh snow. We would drag sleds out into the yard, where we had a hill just steep enough for a short ride.
I would sometimes go out in our expansive back yard by myself, probably in the morning. It was especially wonderful on bright sunny mornings, the day after a big storm. The clean, unmarked new snow would sparkle in the sunshine like little jewels.

I live in Nebraska now. There’s not much snow during a “normal” winter (whatever that is these days), but this winter has been especially lacking. For a few weeks last month it we had a week of sub-zero temperatures and it was cold and windy and brown. Brown. Really? When it’s that cold, wouldn’t you feel warmer if there was snow banked up on the sides of the house? Even in normal winters when it’s that cold we might have a few inches of bitter, stinging snow pellets blowing around. Once the weather reporter actually said it would be difficult to measure how much snow had fallen because it was so windy it wouldn’t stay on the ground long enough to stick in a ruler to measure it.

 Now I am old, I know I’m supposed to hate winter. It makes it hard to drive, etc etc etc. All that may be true, But anyone who truly understands me, knows that when there’s a winter storm warning, I get a little excited. When I say “it’s a winter wonderland!” I’m not really being ironic. In Nebraska it is rare to have the kind of snowfall with big white flakes floating down covering everything, like soft down.
A fresh snowfall can make the most mundane of landscapes seem like a sweet, sugary dessert of fluffiness.

 Today we are having a snowstorm. It is cold and windy and bitter. But it is so beautiful. A day to stay home and watch the world outside my window transform.

Okay, I lied a little bit.  I really Love snow.