Saturday, June 30, 2012

From Typewriter to Facebook

One of my much-loved rituals has always been reading the morning newspaper with my mug of coffee at hand.  I love the scent of newsprint, and the feel of the paper in my hands.  I scan the titles of each article, deciding which I will choose to read, and especially love the commentary section where I can read and ponder differing opinions on issues.  I have been forced to cut back to weekend delivery, due to finances, so during the week I now check the online version of the paper.  However, I miss the paper issue so much.

I have been slow to accept our technological world.  Each tiny step I have taken has been by necessity, seldom by choice.  In 1987 I bought my first computer so I could learn word processing and begin a small "secretarial" business from home.  How wonderful it was!  In the mid-90's my husband started his electrical contracting business, and my accountant persuaded me to computerize my accounting system.  I was SO hesitant -- I liked my handwritten journals and registers -- but, after a few days of using Quickbooks, I was hooked.  How wonderful to make just one entry of every transaction!

Of course, setting up Email was a necessity for a small business.  At first I remember saying to anyone who would listen, "I prefer handwritten messages, or a phone conversation."  Now, I can't imagine my world without Email.  It is so wonderful to be able to send off a message whenever I have something to say, regardless of time or location.

I have learned to make good use of the Internet -- I love the easy access to information at any hour of the day.  Especially in the past year, as we have closed our business and navigated the paths of trimming down costs of healthcare, insurances, utilities, etc. I have found the Internet much more efficient than the legwork that would have been required to change our lives so totally.

And so it has gone -- slowly I have adapted to it all -- digital cameras, cellphones, texting.  I love listening to country music on my IPod as I cook.  I even created this blog in 2007.  However, I was very uncertain about Facebook.  Why would anyone want to put such personal information out for the world to see.  Now I have found that I love it.  I have reconnected with people that I seldom see and find much pleasure in sharing little pieces of our lives.  Checking my Facebook page has become a "must" for me each day.

I often ponder whether our quality of life is better because of technology.  I was very happy years ago when I communicated through letters and phone calls.  I preferred small TV sets that didn't "jump off the wall" to get your attention.  I find it rude when I am having conversations with people and they are texting on their IPhones as we talk.  I feel the multi-tasking that technology has enabled has created a much higher stress level in our young people.  However, I will continue to learn and stay abreast of the latest advances.  I will keep a balance, though, and not neglect the natural world and the face-to-face conversations that enhance my quality of life. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Quiet Moments

I write to the sound of a gentle rain falling -- although it disappoints everyone when Saturdays are not sunny and warm, I must admit I love rainy days.  Somehow the world seems to slow down a bit, and I can sit in a cozy chair and read or write without an endless list of garden chores waiting for me.  And, this morning I need some rest.  The past couple of weeks have been very busy, and I am recovering from a cold and eye infection which seem to have exhausted me a bit. 

Two weekends this month were spent preparing a vegetable garden.  My yard has gradually filled with trees, so growing vegetables has not been a priority the past few years as shade is not conducive to vegetables.  However, I decided this year that I miss SO MUCH the taste of warm tomatoes fresh from the vine, and tender-skinned zucchini and yellow squash.  We bought two small raised bed frames and placed them on the side of our house where there is still a good deal of sunshine all afternoon.  It is a small area, but it will be exciting to grow my own vegetables again.  Years ago, I had a large garden out back, with tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers, corn, carrots -- and I miss that.  But, I do love my shade trees and lovely perennials, so it is a trade-off.  Anyway, my vegetable beds are now filled with rich soil, plants and seeds, and fenced in with a high fence that should keep out all of my critters from the smallest bunny to the tallest deer.  And, now I wait for the pleasure of my own fresh veggies --

My month has also been marked with family celebrations.  Over Memorial Day weekend we attended family barbecues, and on May 30 we gathered together to celebrate my grandson's fourth birthday.  Luke was so excited -- the party was small, as mid-week celebrations tend to be -- grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins arrived for a delicious supper, bearing gifts and love.   His "kid's birthday party" was the following Saturday -- a much rowdier crowd!! 

My little granddaughter, Alivia, wanted a "sleepover" with Grammy this past week -- an impromptu treat.  I quickly changed dinner plans to "little girl" fare and spent the night with her snuggled closely to my side.

Yesterday was the last day of preschool for the year.  Luke's day was bittersweet, because he loves his teacher and was sad to leave her class.  Alivia's class held a Graduation Ceremony -- next year she will be in kindergarten.  My heart burst with love as I watched her up on stage; then the "graduates" joined their families (including my little Emma, who threw herself into Alivia's arms as soon as she sat down in her chair) to watch a video of their class memories.  How wonderful to feel the love in that room.  Bethlehem Community Church Preschool is a loving and nurturing environment, which prepares these little ones for kindergarten.

And now the weekend is here -- and I do plan to be gentle on myself.  My eye infection scared me -- even the remote possibility of losing the sight in one eye was a shocker.  Reading and writing are my bliss, and I realized this week how important it is that I am mindful of my eye health.  Somehow, with all of the screenings we endure -- mammograms, colonoscopies, etc., etc., I most often neglect my eyes.

So, I am making a vow to myself this morning -- I will not do any major work in the garden or the house this weekend; I will not hurry here and there; I will not plan any family gatherings.  I will let the weekend unfold slowly; watch my birds, enjoy my porch, listen to music, putter in the garden, and relax, so my body can concentrate on healing itself.  What a pleasure to have quiet moments --