Archives for posts with tag: Facebook

Looking back over the holiday season, starting with Halloween, it’s been a different one.  For sure.  Nothing was the way it usually is in my life up until Christmas Day, which was its typical madhouse of family and fun.  Thank goodness for that.

Maybe I’m more aware these days, now that I’m not caught up in all the things I did in my past lives, things like racing four children around to Christmas programs and parties, cooking madly every day, sending out Christmas cards, running a retail store during the holidays, preparing for a Christmas fundraiser (several times at various stages of my life), or wrapping a million presents.  I still do cook and shop and wrap presents, although I don’t have to run around town or the whole state looking for a rare Star Wars character or a special purse or all the “had to have” gifts for my kids that we had to physically look for in the olden days.  I shop both local and online, so I can find what I want pretty quickly, unless I don’t have a clue what to get.  Still a problem.

Thanks to Facebook, I traveled the holidays with friends far and near, watching the preparations of the younger families, sharing memories with my older friends, delighting in masses of photos of how the kids and grandkids are growing.  It’s a gift that keeps on giving, this sharing of lives.  Thanks for Mark Zuckerberg and whoever invented Instagram for that and don’t let me hear your gripes.  It is what it is and you don’t have to be a part of it if it’s not your cup of tea.

Mostly, I’m taken with the people I know who have suffered through the holidays, suffered with loneliness, depression, health issues, grief, anger and bitterness, debilitating illness.  There are a lot of people battling demons during the season in which we are supposed to be jolly.  There were political issues and divides and scary world threats and all kinds of things that should have made the season not so great.  No matter how hard we try, we can’t make the world perfect even for a few days to celebrate the rituals of our faith or the beginning of a new year that we hope will be more perfect.

But, we keep trying.  I watched as people I love reached for the joy of the season to stave off the realities of the days that will follow, days of realization that a loved one is gone, days of facing new situations in life due to job loss or illness or more days of loneliness ahead.  Some are beaten too far down to lift up for the holidays at all.  They suffer through, waiting for it to all be over.  Our hearts are touched, even in our own days of celebration.

So, we’re mostly past the season of being jolly, just waiting for the end of this year, waiting for the new year that will bring us…well, we really don’t know what it will bring us, do we?  So the message is to celebrate each day we are here, celebrate the good things in our lives, reach out to those who need us to be there for them.  There are no guarantees in this life and we really have no idea what lies ahead, no matter how much in control we think we are.    The best we can do is to love – love life, love nature, love others, love ourselves.  The love of this season and every season and every day is the message.

I hope your 2014 was good and that your 2015 is the best!

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While cleaning up piles of whatevers, I read a quick funny article by Dave Barry on how his son had to ask how to mail a letter, including how to buy a stamp, what to do with it, etc.  I then opened a box on the table and found an envelope full of letters from my grandmother.  The times, they are a’changin’…

My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was widowed in her 20s during the depression and raised her three children with much strength and humor.  She grew up on a farm in southern Oklahoma, married young to an older man, and lived her life as it was.  I was the oldest of her grandchildren and spent time with her from my early infancy, when the story goes that she came to visit and took me home.  I may have been a couple of months old, which doesn’t surprise me.  My mother loved me very much, but she admitted that she didn’t know what to do with this little premature baby and never thought that she shouldn’t let me go with my grandmother.  Anyway, that was the first of my many visits to Ardmore and her visits to Tulsa through my childhood and into my young adult years before my grandmother had to move to a nursing home near us.  She gave me a lot of unconditional love, a lot of wonderful memories, and a lot of everyday wisdom from her simple life.  Here I am when I was 13 on a trip across the border to Mexico with my mother and grandmother.

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Growing up in the 50s, we communicated by mail with occasional phone calls.  It was a big deal to make a long distance call, so they weren’t something you did often.  You had to call the operator and give her (always a female) the number so she could ring it.  I remember what a big deal direct dial was – I think I was in college when we got that.  I can remember the first time I made a long distance call.  I snuck into the little closet in the living room where we had the phone and called the operator and gave her my grandmother’s number.  I wasn’t supposed to be doing this and felt very bold.  It cost money and I surely knew my parents would find out and I did it anyway.  I may have been eight.

Anyway, we mostly communicated by letters and we all wrote letters back then.  I kept most of them from my parents when they were traveling, from my grandparents, from my friends, and, especially, from my boyfriend who became my husband as we wrote during college and his Navy years.  The envelope I found yesterday had cards and letters from my Aunt Georgia and Uncle Bill, who sent me cards for my birthdays, and mostly from my grandmother.

I remember so well how exciting it was to get a real letter in the mail.  You waited for the postman, hoping for something addressed to you.  My grandmothers both wrote to me through the years, bless their sweet hearts.  This grandmother wrote often, maybe because she lived alone.  She printed letters to me when I was little, telling me about her day, mostly telling me how much she missed me.  They didn’t have to say much really.  It was the feeling of holding that paper or postcard with the familiar writing that brought up feelings of love.  Here’s one from when I was about 9 years old, telling me about dogs and chickens and her new teeth as only she could.

Scan 4Amazingly, most of the letters in this envelope were written when I was away at college, from my freshman year through my married years.  She didn’t have much money, but she would sometimes include a dollar bill, telling me to get a coke or a hamburger.  Even then I knew that $1 was special.  I think how much those letters must have meant to me as I entered those unknown years away from home, then as I married and became a young mother.  She was always there, sending me notes, often scribbled outside the post office, sometimes written on stationery I had given her for Christmas.  Three cent stamps became five cent stamps as time went on.  She wrote about her quiet world and it brightened my day.

Reading those letters now, when I’m almost as old as she was when she was writing them, I have more of a feeling of how much the letters I wrote to her meant.  She always said how proud she was to get my letters.  How proud.  I don’t know if anyone says that today.  I wrote her all the time during my life and my letters couldn’t have been much more interesting that hers, but I can feel how they brightened her day.  She wasn’t someone I would call lonely although she always lived alone.  I don’t think she would have understood that word.  Her generation wouldn’t have been that self-involved and my grandmother would have said to get out there and do something.

On another note, my grandmother stayed with us when my parents traveled, which they did several times a year.  She would come to Tulsa by bus and we would walk or take the bus downtown while she was with us.  I can remember her saying, “What don’t your parents want us to do?” or “Let’s go do something.”  No sitting around with her.

I’m thinking of the mail I get today, most of which goes directly into the recycling bin.  A couple of times a year I get a note from a friend, but even our generation uses email and Facebook to contact each other.  Why not?  It’s instant and easy.  The term “snail mail” even resonates with us old ‘uns who don’t have much time left and we don’t want to miss anything we can get today!

On the other hand, I’m sad for my grandchildren who don’t know the joy of getting actual mail, something you can hold in your hand, something you can box up to read decades later.  They haven’t learned to cherish handwriting and stamps, opting instead for text messages and Instagram.  Everything is short.  My generation loves Facebook for all the options we have.  My grandchildren like Instagram because they don’t have to express themselves at all except in short, coded messages.  Even a photo lover like me knows that a picture with 1,000 words is worth more than just the picture, not matter how fun it is.

Maybe that’s it.  Letters took time to write, time to mail.  We don’t give the time.  Our handwriting isn’t as nice as earlier generations, our time is measured in milliseconds rather than days, and we just don’t make the effort.  If we send a pre-printed card, we think we’ve done something spectacular.

I’m thinking today that I am going to surprise my grandkids, who start leaving for college in a little over a year, with a letter now and then.  I’m not sure they’ll know how to check their mailbox and they may not even have one, now that I think about it.  I’m going to try anyway.   And, I’ll tuck in a dollar bill, or a five or ten for inflation.  Just to let them know I’m here cheering them on and loving them as unconditionally as I was loved.  And to take them back to a simpler time.



I was amused, and slightly annoyed, listening to someone bash Facebook, calling it a complete waste of time. I understand that not everybody likes everything in the modern world, including television, movies, email, computers, smart phones, etc., but there are those of us of all ages who embrace every bit of it. So, this is my rebuttal on Facebook, in no particular order of importance.

1. The photos. It has replaced the brag book for parents and grandparents. When I first became a grandmother, we all carried books of photos in our purses, which quickly became obsolete as the babies grew up so fast. Now, we all see everything in our friends’ family lives. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look, but the rest of us are delighted to share the greatest of happiness with you. And, use the privacy settings if you don’t want everyone in the world to see them.

2. More photos. I love the travel photos, which give me new places to dream about, and the everyday photos, which take me with you. I love the weather photos, the food and coffee photos, and any photo you share! Again, if this isn’t your thing, don’t look. Scroll down for something else.

3. The videos. I love seeing what videos amused you or moved you, or seeing videos of your baby’s first steps. It saves me going to YouTube to search for them myself and I get an inkling of your sense of humor or your compassion or your life.

4. My own group of friends all in one place, sharing together. I am happy to have friends of all ages, from my grandchildren to elderly friends on Facebook. There are friends from various places I have been, friends from previous jobs, friends from school, which was a long time ago, old friends and new friends, friends of my children, and mere acquaintances. I get to choose which ones are there. And, I like that I can sort them out into groups and see only the posts of my family or a certain group or my close friends without having to search the site each time.

5. Private messages. Facebook messages have replaced emails in many cases and I’m for any way we can reach each other.

6. Businesses or groups I “Like.” I’m cautious with this because I don’t want this to end up like my email which is now 90% business ads. I do like to check on a restaurant or store to see what is going on there and Facebook is an easy way to do that.

7. Links to articles. It seems I find more information than ever on very interesting and timely issues due to the links my friends post. Once I read that one, I find more and keep reading on. Sometimes, these articles are linked to sites I have never heard of, so it’s a shortcut for me. If a friend posts it, I am likely to check it out.

8. Sharing important moments. When my son died, I was so touched by the tributes to him on Facebook and the messages to his family from people all over the country. We still keep his page so that his friends can post photos they run across or send a message when they are thinking about him. Facebook also lets people share when their friends are sick or going through rough periods in their life or having a happy moment, such as a wedding or graduation. We are all a community at those times particularly.

9. Deepening friendships. Through Facebook, I have learned so much more about people I knew at work or through my children or hadn’t seen in awhile or just met, or have known my whole life. Through their sharing, I feel much more involved in their lives and understand them much better. Sometimes, I admit, I don’t like what I see so much, but that helps me understand them better.

10. Sharing the news. When something happens in our world, I’m sure to find political comments, quotes, articles, and observations, whether we are discussing gay rights, elections, religion, entertainment news, commentary on television programs or movies or art or sports. I learn so much about you this way. Sometimes we don’t think alike and the discussions get lively, but we are discussing some serious issues and it’s always great to look at all sides of everything.

I understand that younger Facebook users are turned off because their parents and grandparents have taken it over and they want their own space with their own friends. Boy, do I remember that feeling well and I respect it. They have turned to Instagram, which is fun and makes us all art photographers, but is limited in scope as they don’t have to use words very much. They like Twitter, which has its limits also. And there are other sites. I hope that they come back along the way because, until something new comes along, Facebook seems to be the best community for those of us who value relationships and want to stay in touch. If I could be with all these people in person every day. . .well that’s not possible. This is my thank you to Mark Zuckerberg for his enterprise.

Nobody has to join Facebook, but it’s sure fun.


First there were letters, then the telephone to keep us connected to the family and friends we couldn’t see every day. Amazing how many years those worked for us, isn’t it? It’s astonishing to think about what a short time it’s been. Fifteen years ago, I had a mobile phone – I think it was a bag phone that I kept in the car for special use. I had a computer that was mainly for word processing. I had an answering machine. In my grandchildren’s lifetimes, look what has happened…

I can judge the dates by my life, by what i was using when my husband died fifteen years ago. Since that time, we all began using the internet and email. Bag phones became mobile phones became cell phones became smart phones. Chat rooms became My Space and then Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…it goes on and on. Computers morphed into PCs, Macs and then laptops and iPads/tablets. Texting & messaging. All in such a short time.

Technology changes all the time, faster, faster. Who can keep up with the latest. Look at the 3-D copiers that will change medicine and other things in our lives, especially great for us old people who need replacement parts.

Life is all about change. Some of us do it with more ease, but we all have to deal with it. There are those of all ages who escape to the wilderness or into their own world, trying to ignore all that is happening, but it keeps coming.

At my age, or at any age, there are those who embrace it and those who are perplexed by it. I have 90 year old friends on Facebook and young friends who avoid it. I’m one who loves the new technology. I sometimes find it funny that I spend so little time on the phone when I used to spend hours talking with my friends. Actually, I do spend time on the phone. We don’t talk, but we text, read our Facebook pages, look at photos. When I first had grandchildren, we had brag books. Now we keep our photos on our phones & tablets. Always with us.

Traveling with an iPhone and iPad, or whatever you use, is the best. I love the maps, the camera, having the internet at my fingertips, being able to connect with family and friends from wherever I am. So easy to use that my 3 year old granddaughter and a 90 year old friend use them with ease.

Email, the internet, Facebook – all ways that we find and connect with those from our present and our past. Facebook keeps me in touch with friends and relatives from throughout my life. We share jokes, photos, memories. I keep in touch with my children and grandchildren and their friends and know what they are doing in this fast paced world. I don’t have to use SKYPE or FaceTime since all of my family is near, but it’s a treasure for my friends with family spread out. I don’t have to wait for Christmas letters or even daily letters to see what everyone looks like, how their families are growing, what is happening in their lives.

I look back and remember ways that we kept in touch fondly and regret the things that we no longer have or do, but I rejoice in the things we have now. We can bring our phones with us in remote areas and take pictures that can be instantly shared (if we have coverage). We can take pictures and videos on the spot without lugging lots of equipment with us all the time…it’s important to me to capture moments in time to jog my memory later. I know my family and friends in a different way as we share posts, photos, videos, thoughts. Even my fancier camera connects to all the other gadgets I use to communicate.

There’s always nostalgia for simpler times, but there is also joy in embracing the new and what it can bring us. One of my daughters recently got a message on her phone that mystifies and amuses us. We don’t know how it got there, but it appears to be a message from her brother, my son, from the great whereafter. We choose to just embrace the mystery and smile at the thought that maybe he reached across to her, to us. Who knows what the future will bring? Wouldn’t it be interesting if that bridge to the unknown was crossed?


Technology is moving fast. It’s fun to try to keep up and even more fun to share each others lives. Time is moving fast…too fast. I’m grateful to be able to share each day with family and friends, old and new. I’m grateful for all the technology that makes it so instant. I’m mostly grateful that I have so many to share with.

Celebrating the holidays on Facebook is a somewhat new tradition.  I have friends who won’t go near it and even more friends of all ages (from ages 10 to 90s in my case) who embrace it.  What I’ve found is that you have your community of friends at the moment you need them…or at least those who are online at the particular moment.  It’s different from emails, where you don’t get the same immediate feeling, more engaging than texts, even with cute emoticons.

I’ve seen Facebook at its best and at its worst…depends on how the user knows how to handle it.  Some things shouldn’t be public and not everyone understands where to draw the line.  At its best, it’s brings people closer together and closes the distance gap.  People reach out with questions, in desperation, in loss and to share happiness.  They reach out to help other people, they reach out to support groups, they reach out to share a precious memory.  And, in return, they get answers, they get comfort, they get shared laughs, and they get love.  Sometimes, they find lost friends or family, sometimes they find people they would like to lose again.  Sometimes, they hear from the least likely people to help them and it’s a nice thing.

It’s no wonder that there are billions of people on Facebook worldwide.  It’s fun, it’s addictive, it’s high tech for even non-techys.  For me, it’s been an open adventure.  I’ve found people I’d lost over the years, gotten wonderful birthday wishes, shared grief and happiness in my family, and learned more about my friends than I ever could, even if I saw them every day.

Yesterday, Christmas, I loved seeing my friends instantly on their holiday!  I loved seeing how their families are growing up.  I noticed some who were missing and reached out to them.  I shared my family.  It wasn’t time consuming.  I didn’t spend hours on the computer while my family was around.  It was a glance here and there as I rested during the day or kicked back when everyone left.  It was touching people I love for a few seconds and knowing that all was well with them.

I consider it a wonderful gift to be able to connect with so many people so easily and I’m grateful for it.

Hope your holidays are joyful!