Tag Archives: Friends

A snowy disposition

This has been kind of a weird week. Today I am looking at it differently.

Sunday night I came down with a miserable cold, which had me completely down and out on Monday and feeling miserable but functioning on Tuesday. I decided that, with my husband out of town and no outside meetings until Friday, I’d take it easy.

I saved the heavier lifting for later in the week, when I knew I’d have regained my energy. I’d need to make trips to several grocery stores in preparation for a dinner party Saturday, get to a couple of appointments and run some errands.

Today I awoke to snow on the ground and a forecast of another six to 10 inches to come later in the day. I threw a coat over my PJs and did some preliminary shoveling because I didn’t want those other inches to pile up on top of what was already there. I have a bad back that doesn’t take to shoveling and I still have that cold. And I still need to get out to the store. Poor me. Wah, wah, wah.

Then, as usual, I checked in with Facebook. A friend’s status read: “made it to the gym for a decent workout before heading out early to day 2 of chemo.”

I knew she had begun her third regimen of chemotherapy yesterday for what has been a long and frustrating battle with cancer. Still, since the first diagnosis, she has completed a number of half marathons and competed in bike races to raise money for cancer research. She also follows an ambitious daily workout regimen. Before I am out of bed in the morning, she has already done her aqua-jogging, ridden her bike many miles, gone for a run or worked out at the gym.

Today, she worked out before chemo; more astonishingly, after day one. And I’m sniveling about a head cold and a little snow.

Funny how life finds a way to smack you with a little perspective.


Filed under Family and Friends, Health, Technology and Social Media

Power to the people

Please excuse Monica’s absence on Saturday, as she was unable to produce a blog update.

If you’ll also excuse the excuse, I’ll tell you where I really was on Saturday. I was stuck in the 1970s and couldn’t get out. 

Saturday morning I woke to a world without Internet. Something struck an electrical transformer in our area and we were without power for most of the day. One of my friends from college was staying with me and two more college chums were expected at my house for dinner, one of whom I hadn’t seen in more than 25 years.

I tried to shake off the guilt of not delivering a blog by adopting my 1970s work ethic: “I’ll worry about it later.” My friend and I then walked into town, strolled through the farmers market and stopped to listen to some live folk music.

When we got back to the house and discovered that power was still not restored, and guests were expected within hours, I looked again to the ’70s for inspiration. Friends coming for dinner + no electricity = fondue.

Fortunately, power came on, my friends came shortly thereafter. Until the clock struck twelve, we relived our time in college during the ’70s. We looked at old photos, listened to Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Marshall Tucker, Southside Johnny, Steely Dan, The Outlaws and Little Feat, and, over fondue, we shared the memories that each song conjured. We turned on Saturday Night Live and reminisced about the casts and skits of old, which we had watched together more than 30 years ago on a 13-inch black-and-white TV, in Room 109 of the since-demolished Zimmerman Hall.

I confess, for just those few hours, I pretended the blog hadn’t yet been invented.


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Movies, Television and Radio, Music, Technology and Social Media

Why I love Facebook

Let me say upfront that I have some gripes about Facebook.  Just when this old dog is comfortable with functions and features, some so-called upgrade happens and she has to learn new tricks.  I resent that Wordscraper players I know have gotten debilitating viruses.  I seethe when a dialog box pops up with some new offering, such as linking my personal profile to some public doohickey and gives me only two choices, “Now” or “Later.”

Those grievances aside, I think Facebook is the coolest thing to come along in, oh I don’t know, maybe ever. 

I happen to have a lot of friends and I cherish every one.  It has taken a lot of effort over the years to maintain these friendships, but it’s been well worth the investment.  If I look at my life as a quilt, each square, stitch and wad of batting represents laughs shared, bread broken, hard times endured or secrets kept.

Before I make my point, I have a confession.  I really don’t like the telephone.  If there’s someone I haven’t seen or spoken with in a long time, it’s not only difficult but hugely frustrating to try and catch up on life over the phone.  You have to remember the high points, funny stories, details that might be of narrow interest.  Phone calls happen in real time.  Real time isn’t always practical.  Please don’t get me wrong.  If a friend in need called me, I’d spring into action.  And I’d never turn down or resent a call from a loved one.

Facebook gives us the opportunity to share the little things that connect us day by day and give our lives texture.  It brings us together during a blizzard when we might otherwise be feeling isolated.  It allows us to make each other laugh, rally around a cause or share our love of books, movies and music. 

Facebook has been criticized for providing an outlet for drooling out useless minutia.   Admittedly, some status updates read as humor columnist Gene Weingarten describes in this week’s column:  “I am currently squirting tepid whipped cream directly into my mouth from the can because my refrigerator is broken and this is the only source of nutrients I can find that has not yet spoiled…”  But 99 percent of the posts I read make me smile or laugh out loud.  I consider this a pretty enjoyable way to spend my time.  And it is my time because I can interact when it is convenient for me and not when there’s a pot boiling over on my stove.

Facebook has also brought me closer to people I’ve known my whole life but not necessarily well—such as some cousins whom I didn’t know well as a child because we were apart in years or miles.  It has been a blast hanging out with them online.

Those benefits aside, here’s the most remarkable thing about Facebook.

For years I have had a fantasy that all these smart, clever, witty friends I have could one day meet each other.  Up to now, I thought that would only happen at my funeral.

I am amazed to see my fantasy coming true—on Facebook.   All I have to do is throw out a comment and, voilà, a college chum in New Jersey is joking with a church friend now living in Barbados (who by the way happens to write a great blog called Living in Barbados).   An old Dewey Beach house-mate living in Florida is in dialogue with my best friend from seventh grade, now living in Arizona.  A colleague from 20 years ago, now living in Burbank, might be sharing a laugh with one of my distant in-laws living in Chihuahua.  I was waiting for a friend living in New York City but studying at l’Institute de Francais, to strike up a tête-à-tête with my former OB/GYN, now living in Panama; I haven’t given up on that.   

Nearly every day, the people in my life come together to share a laugh, often at my expense.

I love that.


Filed under Family and Friends, Technology and Social Media