In this age of technology, I am constantly amazed at the things we can do with computers. But, the most amazing thing is getting to know people from other places.
Many years ago, my late wife Tilly got connected to a "chat room" called "Neverland." It was one of those chat rooms with rules you had to abide by or the monitor could kick you off. No swearing, no slam dunks to others, no racial slurs, etc. She would spend hours after supper on there visiting with people from all over the world.
There were Bub and Glint. Bub and Glint were a youngish couple with the desire to see America. They lived in New Zealand. They had three pre-teenage children. One summer, they hired an aupair to care for their children, refinanced their home, and flew to America, where they rented a car, and traveled the USA visiting all their friends that they had made on the internet. Yes, we opened our home to them for three days and nights. We took them on a tour of the historical sites around our area, out to eat, to visit the rest of our family, and generally had a good time. What a leap of faith for all of us. They could have been "axe murderers" for all we knew but then, we could have been scary, too. We heard from them after they got home, but then life sort of got in the way, and we ceased to keep in contact.
There are also Gary and June. They too live in New Zealand. They are my age, retired, and living in Wellington. The nice thing about Gary and June is that, after all these years, we still keep in touch. I know what they are doing, and how they are doing. They don't have grandchildren, so are always anxious to hear about mine. When Tilly passed away, Gary and June were on the list of people whom I felt a need to notify. They were indeed saddened, and sent a beautiful card of condolence. I know Gary likes to garden, and has beautiful flowers. I know that June likes to bowl and has trophies. She also likes everything Christmas, One year we sent her ornaments for their tree from here. Stuff they cannot get there. We also sent her a catalog from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Michigan.
As a matter of fact, I just got snail mail from Gary yesterday bringing me up to date with his recovery from a stroke and consequently, brain surgery. He is doing well. Their computer crashed some time ago, and they haven't replaced it, so we use snail mail quite often to keep in touch. We exchange pictures, so it's like having relatives in another land.
Then there is Mellodee. Mel and I have been blogging buddies now for most of 2011. She and her hubby are about my age. They live in Austin, TX. Mel and I have so much in common, that we laugh about being twins separated at birth. We blog and comment on each other's blogs, and we also send e mails to each other. I know that Mellodee is not her "real" name and she know that I am not really "Jimmieearl." (Who would actually name a boy that, anyhow?) I know that no matter how I feel about a subject, I can always say what I think on Mel's blog and she will not be upset with me, and vice-verse. We have even talked about meeting for coffee sometime when I am in Texas. My brother only lives about 3 hours from Austin, so it is a possibility.
I have about 35 followers on my blog. Most of whom I don't know. Some comment, some don't. But it is nice to know that out there in cyberspace, there are some people who share the same interests or hopes or dreams that I do.
Yes, a computer is a marvelous invention. It has made our world so much smaller. It has made living easier, and friends and relatives closer. If I can find any fault, it would be lack of actually writing a letter, and that I spend way too much time sitting in front of a computer screen. But, on the other hand, oh gee, I'm retired and have the time to spend!