Dear Fabgrandma: How do you stay close to family members that do not live nearby?
This is another good question that also pertains to my own family. My son has been in the Air Force, and stationed at places far away from me for almost twenty years now. His first child was born in Texas, when I lived in Georgia. His second child, my oldest granddaughter, was born in Guam. He now lives in Maryland, and I am back in Georgia. My oldest daughter lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My step-daughter and my youngest daughter both live in Georgia, but we were far away from both of them while we were traveling in our RV for thirteen years.
While none of us are good at writing letters, there were several things we have done over the years to keep in touch. My oldest grandson, Michael, is almost 18 years old now. When he was a baby, things like video conferencing and text messages were not as common as there are now. Since very little babies don’t get the concept of the telephone being put up to their ear, I bought my son a speaker phone so that my grandson could hear my voice. As he got a little older, he would sit next to the phone and talk to me. It worked fine for the era it was in use.
When Michael was turning 7, we had just gotten online with high speed internet in Texas, and signed up to use Yahoo Messenger. We could get online at the same time my son was online in England, and actually see each other as we talked. It was fun to see the grandchildren as they talked to us. I had asked Michael what he wanted for his birthday. He ran out of the room, and when he came back he had a book with pictures of crystals in it, so he could show me exactly what he wanted. I thought that was amazing! Now with Facebook chat and Google Hangouts, I can chat with any of the kids or groups of them all the time.
Another thing I did when Michael was a baby was rent a video camera (yeah, back then they were not everyday items like they are now). I put the camera on a tripod, and sat in my rocking chair, reading a story book to Michael. As I read the book, I showed the pictures to the camera. When I was finished reading the story, I burned the video on a CD, and mailed the book and CD to Michael and Sarah, my granddaughter. They could sit at the computer and play the CD, and follow along with me reading while they looked at the book in their hands. The next time Michael saw me, he said “You’re the lady on my movie!”
With all the technology we have today, there are so many ways to stay in touch, that it is almost impossible not to. What ways do you use to stay in touch with the people in your family? Your friends? Does your whole family get on Facebook? Or do you still send cards and letters?
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