Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gray Saturday

No snow on show today--valley stratus clouds so nice even monotone of gray overhead.  Started the morning off by replying to a great newsy email from a Dear Friend & Loyal Blog Reader (LBR for you acronym lovers).
Getting long, newsy emails is pretty much a thing of the past.  Hardly anyone writes long emails any more.  Most emails are like electronic grunts.  Twitter, of course, is the classic example of such a phenomena--140 characters max content.  Heck, that's mere electronic flatulence!  Anyway, I probably spent at least 30 minutes preparing a reply to that email.  I suspect one reason people don't send long emails any more is the sheer amount of time it takes to write them.

Our Dear Friend Betty M. is 87 years young and is now in an assisted living facility.  Betty still hand writes out these beautiful letters that look like they are from the Victorian Era.  Her cursive writing is as crisp as the day she learned it in grade school back in the 1930's.  She still carries on long and caring correspondence with girlfriends she made in SECOND GRADE!  Getting one of those hand written letters from Betty is like finding a gold nugget in your mailbox.

Once in awhile--a great while--we get long emails from a few people.  One of our Dear Friends likes to tell a story now and then.  Out of the clear blue sky, this individual will decide to write a complete short story--just like the stories they made us write in high school.  It will have a beginning, a middle and an end.  It will have a theme, a point and all of the various adverbs and adjectives will match up correctly.  Heck, if you used sentence diagramming on one of those stories, it would probably look like a piece of classical artwork.

I must admit I am one of the worst offenders in not sending long emails these days--I spend all of my "free" writing time on this and a few other blogs.  Unless I reply right away to one of those long emails, I usually don't.  Here's what happens--I think, "Gee, that email really deserves an equally long reply but I don't have time now."  Then time passes.  Meanwhile, I begin to feel terribly guilty about my inability to reply.  As more time passes, I become incapable of a reply because I am so guilt ridden.  It's a vicious cycle. Whatever.

I have a lot of stuff to recap for Friday.  I am thinking that doing so in this post would make it far too long so maybe I will make a different post for all of yesterday's stuff.

Since we have been discussing communication this morning, I would like to tell you yet another story--it's about cell phones.  Cell phones are NOT like land lines.  Somehow, though, as time has passed, I tend to think of a cell phone like a landline.  If I call a cell number and hear a familiar voice, I leave a message and expect a call back--sooner or later.  Well, it doesn't work that way with cell phones--they aren't like hardwired answering machines sitting in someone's house.  Case in point:  We have a Dear Friend in a very faraway State.  We've been calling that individual's cell phone for weeks and leaving messages with no reply.
As time has passed, our minds have conjured up all sorts of dire scenarios.  Yesterday, I finally decided to send an email.  Duh.   Naturally, I received an almost instant reply, even though this Dear Friend is down with the seasonal flu.  Naturally, this individual's cell phone hasn't been working and isn't in use any more.  So, we made some unwarranted and foolish assumptions about the lack of a call back that were simply due to a dysfunctional cell phone, not a dysfunctional individual!

Some of you will remember when we lived out at the remote Bowery Guard Station.  We got our hands on old-fashioned typewriters and actually wrote letters with them--lots of letters.  People loved it--we rec'd more positive feedback from those old fashioned letters than we've ever received from ANY email in our history with email dating back to 1994.  Since we are going to have a lot more time on our hands in the future, I think that we need to put some old-fashioned communication back into our social networking mix.  Real letters on real paper using real (expensive) stamps sounds like a real good idea.

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