Skype and Indoor Plumbing…..What will be the next big thing?

My cell phone sounded with a tone I don’t remember hearing before.  I pulled it out from under the pillow on the couch where we were all hanging out, watching the latest cooking competition show.

It was a notification.  A Skype message from one of my near and dear who has been in Asia.  She’s headed home.  Finally.  Whoo hoo!

I was trying to ascertain what time she’d be getting on the plane but the difference between her time/my time/Seattle time was confusing us.  Next thing I knew, my phone indicated a call was coming through.  On Skype.  Very cool.  It was she.

Giving thanks for the technology of Skype that lets me hear a voice I miss and know that she's okay
Giving thanks for the technology of Skype that lets me hear a voice I miss and know that she’s okay

“Hey,” I heard her voice.  All the way, thirteen hours ahead of us, she was talking to me from her hotel room. I could hear her zipping her suitcase and the television playing in the background.

“Can you hear me okay?” she asked.

I laughed.  “You won’t believe this,” I told her.  “I can hear you better with you a half a world away than I can when you are in your house a half hour away.”

Unbelievable.  I mean, seriously, I’ve never heard a phone call so clear.  It was like she was in the room with us.

Except of course she wasn’t.  Because if she were here, we probably wouldn’t have paused the show for her.

Just kidding.

After we hung up with promises of talking when all the travelling is over and done, I was thinking about this crazy and amazing world.  We can communicate almost instantly with people who are thousands and thousands of miles away.  Clearly.  Without saying “over” after we finish speaking.  We can text our friends in Germany and overnight packages just about anywhere in this country.  We can share our thoughts, feelings, gripes, triumphs, and goofy photos instantly–with just the touch of a button.


It reminds me of a story of Daddy driving home from somewhere, I can’t recall from where.  My brother, among others, was in the car with him.  This was probably 25 years ago.  Daddy was looking over his glasses (I’m feeling you these days, Daddy) and then back through the lenses, his head moving just so as he changed his view.  Bubba made a comment, something like, “Daddy, what are you doing, looking over your glasses like that?  It don’t seem natural.”

Daddy almost stopped the car.  “Boy, we are travelling through space in a vehicle, all of us together, at 45 miles per hour.  What part of THAT seems natural to you?”

I laughed and laughed.

I get what he was saying.  Things are advancing at such a rapid speed that as soon as you purchase or learn the latest technology, it is on its way to being obsolete.  And we take things that amazed our grandparents and great-grandparents, like riding in a vehicle on the interstate, telephones without party lines, and indoor plumbing, for granted.

Tonight I’m thankful for the technology that let me speak to someone I love and know that she’s okay.  At the same time, I’m thankful that the littles and I are learning about life in the New World, where you mended your socks and pants that had holes, you fixed what was broken, there was no grocery store to run to when you were out of cornmeal, and the evening’s pre-bedtime entertainment was storytelling while knitting by a fire.  It is a good way to remember that what we have hasn’t always been, and it reminds us to appreciate what we do have.

Wonder what the proverbial “they” will come up with next…..

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