Friday, June 22, 2012

Thing Number Thirty-One | Joy

I never would’ve expected Skype to bring me joy.

I don’t think of myself as a techie-girl. I love my iPad and iPhone but I know I’m not utilizing half the features they offer. I’m on Facebook but I’m not on Twitter—I don’t tweet. I’m not very computer-savvy. I couldn’t put together a PowerPoint presentation or draw up an Excel spreadsheet. Jon handles our on-line banking. And I never expected to be a video-chatter, especially since I don’t even really like to talk on the phone.

But, then, I also never expected the Harlows to up and move to Aurora, Illinois, just outside Chicago. I guess I thought our dearest friends would live in the same place forever and we would keep on hanging out together and going on trips together and seeing movies together and doing all sorts of fun stuff together. Then Michael got a job with the New York Stock Exchange in Chicago. Well, hey, none of us saw that coming.

Our closest friends, our buddies, our sweet godson and his parents moved to Illinois. Darn it.

Jon and I couldn’t afford to be flying back and forth to O’Hare on a regular basis so we had to figure out something else. And that something else was Skype. Now we set up Skype-dates in advance and we usually talk for about two hours. All of us. Jon and me sitting side by side in front of the computer in my scrap room. Michael, Becca, and Ethan sitting in front of the computer at their place in Aurora. And we talk and talk and talk. Ethan usually brings stuff to show us. Today, he was all about the glow-in-the-dark dinosaur (“It’s a carnivore, Auntie Marie”) on his shirt and he’s a little worried that it will use up all of its glow-in-the-darkishness before we have chance to come see it in real life. He is so four. He was also all about his digital camera. Becca says he’s got quite an eye for photography and has taken lots of really cool photos. He was also eating dougnuts (made by Michael) and sweet rolls (made by Becca and him) and showing us those. During previous Skypes, he’s showed us his favorite trains and we’ve read books. Yep, if you hold the book up nice and close to the webcam (you also have to hold it pretty still) then the person on the other end up of the conversation can see it and read it (if the print’s pretty big).

If you’d told me, ten years ago, that I’d be video-chatting with friends who live in Illinois I’d have laughed and said, “Yeah, and I’ll be driving a flying car.” Well, Skyping’s a reality. Now I just need a flying car. I’m pretty sure that would bring me joy, too!

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