Friday, June 2, 2017

So Far Away



 It's an eery thing to see our planet with a marker, delineating our current location. Our daughter, using the find your friends app, located us and sent  the above image. It's an eery thing to know we're on the other side of the world, so far away from the people, country, and home we so love, and that we can be a dot on the planet on our daughter's phone.

Far away no longer means far away.

On Memorial Day,  this same daughter visited our home for the holiday. She texted her father, "Please turn down the temperature."

We are on a different continent, but Tony has the ability to regulate the house temperature.

I've been communicating with Frederiek in Holland, with friends and family in the states. I've been easily communicating with acquaintances in Athens. Our link comes from space and not cable laid on the ocean floor.

Fifty years ago, Frontier Airlines offered the first commercial flight from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. My father bought tickets right away. My older sister and I accompanied Dad on this pioneer flight. We wore dresses and our Sunday patent red leather shoes. I remember Dad wearing a suit. The plans must have been made in advance because Dad only called his parents if necessary, and later on, only made a long distance phone call to his mother once a week.

My cousin's daughter in-law recently asked me to accompany her family on a trip to the old house where my grandparents lived and where my father was raised. I couldn't do it, but I offered to write down some memories. It was sobering that I would be writing about her son's great-great grandparents.

It was sobering to realize I have become the older relative to whom the family goes to record and preserve memories of the past, because, ...

I have become a person who straddles time.  I have become my grandparents who went from horse and buggy to automobiles, who went from trains to airplanes, who changed from clothes lines to clothes dryers. I've become my parents who advanced from party lines to cell phones, who went from butcher shops to meat counters in mega-modern grocery stores. My father's first trip to Europe was on an ocean liner, one of his last was on the Concord on a four hour flight. I took part in a first commercial flight after enduring long hours in the station wagon, and now I wouldn't hardly think of driving to a distant location.

I was loved, read to, and fed by people who were born in the late 1800s. Conceivably, I will do the same for those who will live past the year 2100.


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