What a difference a generation makes.
Tonight, I got an email from one who has been a friend since we were in the third grade. This week, I have had telephone conversations with four friends who live in other states. I routinely talk with my best friends, who are in Nashville, San Antonio, Waco, and other places that are not in the same area code where I live. Through Facebook, I keep up with a number of friends and have reconnected with many more.
I remember how precious long distance telephone minutes were when I was growing up. We would speak to my grandparents occasionally, and only briefly. I remember the first time my Dad's job had a Wats line (that's free long distance for you youngsters) ... We would pack up the car on Saturdays and go to his office to make some calls.
I remember when I was about 13 meeting for the first time the man who was my Dad's best friend growing up. The same man was best man in my parents' wedding. I had never met him before, and my Dad had not talked to him in years.
I remember hearing stories about friends of my Mom's but never actually seeing them or hearing about Mom's actually talking to them. Since Mom has always been a letter writer, I would occasionially know when she was sitting down to write a long epistle to Carmen or Sue or Edith or somebody else to catch them up on the last several months or years. Occasionally, one would come to visit, and it would be a grand reunion to review the past several years of no contact.
The change is not because I am a better friend than my parents are. It is a function of technology. Email and cell phones with free long distance and Facebook and the like have made long distance friendships so much easier. Yes, it would still be better to be in the same town and see these friends face to face, but how good it is that we need not wait years to catch up.
Come to think of it, I guess this blog helps too.
I am grateful for this technology. I am more grateful for my friends.