My husband and I accompanied our medical-resident daughter and her husband to their new home in New England last week. My husband drove a UHaul truck pulling a car trailer while daughter and son-in-law followed in their second car. We had a great time, ate lots of seafood, and enjoyed sightseeing along the Atlantic coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island even on one cool, rainy afternoon. It was, of course, difficult for John and me to board the plane coming home, leaving our middle child some 1400 miles away from home. Especially since our oldest daughter moved 2300 miles away to the Pacific Northwest last year for her own career training. For a family that has always been very close, very tightly-knit, it’s hard to be so scattered.
As often as I fuss about technology, it certainly makes it somewhat easier to live so far from my daughters. There was a time, not so long ago, when our communication would have been through letters that took days to arrive, or long-distance phone calls that would have to be carefully rationed because of high costs. Now, thanks to nationwide phone coverage on our mutual network, we can (and do) talk every day without worrying about how many minutes we’re using. Thanks to webcams, I could see my oldest daughter’s new haircut (and reassure her that it wasn’t as bad as she thought). Thanks to email, we can instantly send each other photos and notes and recipes or whatever we choose.
Depending on technology can have its downside, of course. Cell phones are notorious for dropping calls, and the internet goes down occasionally. We learned the hard way that depending on GPS directions without the backup of a map in the vehicle is not a good idea. I’ve always had a map close at hand, but forgot to take one on this trip. Had we had a map and a clue where we were going, we would not have sat for hours in traffic on the New Jersey turnpike in that 17′ UHaul pulling a pickup on a trailer. Not a good idea. And we wouldn’t have gotten slightly lost at detours in Nashville and Knoxville, nor ended up on a parkway intended for cars only in Connecticut (we got off that quickly enough — whew! — but the silly GPS kept trying to put us back on it). But the GPS got us to our destination eventually — and the communication lines have been open since we returned home, keeping us up-to-date as our “kids” settle in to their new home town.
On the whole, I suppose I’m a big fan of new technology — even when it intimidates me.
My newest book is on the shelves this month. It’s ALWAYS THE GROOMSMAN, a novella included in the FROM THIS DAY FORWARD anthology along with bestselling authors Candace Camp and Allison Leigh.
Don’t forget to enter the contest for an autographed copy of FROM THIS DAY FORWARD. To enter, send an email with your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. The drawing will be held July 1. (Hint — because this is the first month of this new contest, if you enter now, your chances of winning are high!)