Communication has certainly changed through the years. My parents, while courting, made contact through ham radios on sets built by my dad (his hobby-see old 1930s photo on left of my dad with his homemade radio set) using Morse code. Neither of their families owned a telephone. There was only one telephone at a local store in my mothers’ rural mining town of Silver City. Telegrams were the only other mode of emergency com-munication, and to receive one was thought to be bad news arriving. When my dad died in 1945, we couldn’t call his brother serving in the army in New Guinea but instead sent him a telegram by ham radio signals which was then typed into a paper message and delivered to him by the Red Cross.
There was no instantaneous communication in that day like we have today. My mom lived to be 89 and went from having no home phone to becoming a telephone operator to later owning her own cell phone, then learning to send and receive computer emails. What rapid changes in communication just during her lifetime. Nowadays for those who are computer literate there are emails, blogging, texting and twittering. My mother would say we have gone communication crazy. Which I would have to agree with her, especially those who risk life and limb texting on cell phones while driving.
We are loosing the unique opportunity to talk face to face with each other. Remember the old fashioned porches where families could sit after mealtimes and visit about their day or neighbors could catch up with each other’s lives by talking over their back fences? Few of us today even have time to BBQ on our patios because of our fast paced lives. When was the last time you sat down anywhere without the TV blaring or video games capturing your little ones or grandkids’ interest, even in their own automobiles? We’re loosing the art of conversation and communicating face to face. (Photo of my parents before their marriage in Silver City.)
Knowing how to ask questions and send value to others needs to be relearned. Listening and observing someone’s body language is important, be they family members or friends. One of my favorite activities with my grandchildren, when I visit them and can capture their attention, is to talk with them about their lives and express my love. Those are the memories of my grandparents that I cherish, just sitting around doing nothing but talking. Feeling of their love as we just hung out together.