Saturday, February 23, 2008

Techno-Withdrawal?

The last few days we’ve been staying in an RV resort that is situated in a canyon east of San Diego. We have very limited access to internet/e-mail as well as very spotty cell phone service due to the resort location. Pack it up When we want to get on the internet, we have to pack up the laptop and go over to the gate house or club house to have access. Then the access time is limited to 15 minutes a session and one is only to do e-mail, not surf the web. Find a signal When we want to use the cell phone, we have to go to the parking lot near the clubhouse or go into town where we can get a decent signal. We cannot get a signal at our camp site and in many parts of the resort. Life is rather quiet without the ring of the phone several times a day. Is this withdrawal? Here I sit feeling like I’m in withdrawal or maybe being deprived of a basic right. But wait! The fact is that I am doing fine. I am not suffering any physical distress and the earth has not fallen apart because I don’t have easy access to the internet and the numerous forwarded stories that fill my inbox most days. (I know this because we can get satellite TV at our camp site and the national news reports activities of life are proceeding about the same as they were two weeks ago when I had easy internet and cell phone access.) E-mail solution We seldom get urgent e-mails anyway, so if I check e-mail every two to three days, I’ll be able to pull out the ones that require response and handle them in a timely way. The forwarded stories can wait until we move to another resort where service is easier to access. Phone solution Walking over to the club house a couple of times each day to check voice mail and respond to calls provides some good exercise. That is something I need anyway, so what’s the big deal in that? We’re spoiled How spoiled we’ve become with our unlimited access to technology in the last few years! We’ve allowed ourselves to become rather dependent on surfing the web for hours at a time and on having a cell phone glued to our ears no matter where we are. While technology is certainly useful for keeping in touch with family and friends and for gathering all sorts of information, life proceeds very well without the constant access to these two modes of communication. Shucks! I think I’ll just relax and enjoy the resort --and maybe a good book.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friendship

Friends! What would life be without them? I've read that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” Isn't that a great way to think of friendship? We don't have a choice about the family into which we were born and at times we’d just as soon not claim some of our kinfolks. However, friends are chosen to be a part of our life because of the bond that grows as we get to know one another. As I think of friendship, I realize there are varying degrees of friendship that we experience in our interactions with others. We enjoy visiting with some people and consider them friends in the general sense, but we do not seem to develop a deep level of interaction. But, sometimes we meet a person with whom we just hit it off and soon find we have many things in common. Little by little a seed of conversation develops into a deep friendship that enriches both our lives. These are very special friendships that span a long time—and they are a special blessing from God. (See "What is a Friend? http://sclew.journalspace.com/) A friend named May… Many years ago Hubby and I moved to Idaho. We had been foster parents in Oakland and we applied to be foster parents in Idaho. Soon after we applied, the foster care coordinator invited me to a monthly meeting of foster parents. She even arranged for another foster parent to pick me up for the meeting. I can’t remember what happened at the meeting, but I remember that May and I really clicked. We sat in her car in the driveway and talked for a long time when she stopped to drop me off at home after the meeting. That was the start of a very special friendship with many wonderful memories. May was twenty years older than me, but we became fast friends. I learned a lot about working with children from her and I always knew she would give me good advice to help solve any problem that arose with foster children. She was an amazing woman who had a great love for children. She and her husband became honorary grandparents for our children when we adopted. A few weeks ago when I was in Idaho, I visited May in the memory care center where she now resides. She has dementia and often doesn’t remember who people are. Though we used to joke about how she could “talk a blue streak,” she no longer can carry on a conversation. I was prepared for her not to recognize who I was, but she seemed to know. She even told one of the caregivers “This is my best friend.” I only wish I had told her more often how much I value our friendship when she was able to understand it. A friend who understands... Some years later through our adoption worker, I met Jo. She was also an adoptive mother and we became dear friends as we worked through many difficult times with our adopted children and their emotional baggage. There were times when our friendship helped us keep our sanity amid the multifaceted problems that came along with older children whom we adopted. We have discussed many problems over a cup of coffee. What balm it is to one’s spirit to know someone truly understands what you are going through! Though our children are now grown and out on their own, our friendship continues unhindered by time and distance, thanks to e-mail and cell phones. These are only two examples from several special friendships I’ve experienced in my lifetime. One of the joys of such friendships is that time and distance do not nullify these relationships. Whenever we get together in person, by e-mail, or on the phone, that special bond is there and it is still strong. We understand each other and we relate easily. Act now If there is one thing about friendship to remember, I’d say it is to tell your friends you appreciate their friendship and that you value having them in your life. Have you ever told your friends you value their friendship? Well, what are you waiting for? There are no guarantees that your friend will be alive tomorrow for you to tell them. People die of heart attacks and accidents every day, you know. NOW is a good time to acknowledge to special friends how much you treasure their friendships. NOW is a good time to thank God for these special friends and to pray for their needs. How is your life enriched by special friendships?

Follow by Email