On Speed Dial

When my Great Aunt was living and I’d go visit, whether it was to set up her meds in the pill cases while Mama was taking care of Daddy or just to visit for the fun of it, I loved showing her “what my phone can do.”

Her husband, my Great Uncle, was a man who loved technology. He was a ham radio operator complete with license plates with their call sign on them.  He had a computer, the first I’d ever seen.  He loved clocks.  At one point, before my Great Aunt painted a light shade over the darker wood paneling, they had a wall covered with clocks.  I seem to remember he liked working on them.

So yes, he loved things that did things.

He would love the new smartphones, don’t you think?

At the time over four years ago, when I was visiting regularly, I didn’t have a smart phone.  But I had a lovely purple flip phone that could take pictures and had a tiny little keyboard so I could text with relative ease.  I remember showing it to her, sitting on the arm of her recliner.  (She had one, and Mama had one.  I think my Great Aunt took over the one my Uncle used to sit in.)  She looked at the screen, then threw her hands up in the air, and said, “Boy, wouldn’t Ray have loved that?!”

He would have.  I know.

I wonder what he would have thought about this though.  When we sold the house two weeks ago, this place so full of memories for me, this was still the main phone, hanging on my Aunt’s wall.

The main phone in my Great Aunt's house.  I've had nightmares about misdialing and having to start over.  Again.  And again.  Funny, wonder who has her number now?  Wonder if the folks who bought the house will switch out the phone?
The main phone in my Great Aunt’s house. I’ve had nightmares about misdialing and having to start over. Again. And again. Funny, wonder who has her number now? Wonder if the folks who bought the house will switch out the phone?

I wonder if he would have already replaced it. Or just let it go because it didn’t bother my Aunt.

Over on the counter was another phone.  It looked like a pushbutton from the outside, but when I lifted the phone from the cradle–ah yes, consistency always was a strong suit in our family.

The updated model from the wall rotary dial.
The updated model from the wall rotary dial.

When I looked down at the base though, that’s what took my breath away for a moment.

Speed dial.  And who was on it.

Her best friend, my Mama, and her doctor. That’s it.

She had as her three and only folks on speed dial–her best friend, my Mama, and her doctor.


Why would she need anyone else, right?

I don’t have speed dial.  I guess I don’t really have to with the smart phone–I can look up a contact and hit the button to call.  On the home phone, that would take more time than a little bit to program, and I have my IT person–ahem, my Aub– working on other more important things, so it’s just not going to happen on the home phone either.

But I do wonder to myself, as I look at what those three names represented, whom would I program in?  My Great Aunt’s faith in those three people–she needed no others.  Ten blank spots, and she didn’t need a one of them.

Me?  I’d probably still be trying to whittle it down.  I would stress over hurting folks’ feelings too. Rather than picking out the ones whom I trust most in the world and moving on with my life.


No answers tonight, just contemplating.  I’ve lost folks who would have made the cut.  I still have others who most definitely are on the list.  But how many?  Who?  Whom do I have faith in to answer and be there every. single. time. as my Great Aunt did with Miss Evelyn, Mama, and Dr. Tison?

Love and wishes for wonderful people to put on your speed dial.

If they even make phones with that anymore.

Oh good grief.



2 thoughts on “On Speed Dial”

  1. Been thinking along these lines lately too, although not in terms of speed dial. Since I have been living away from friends and family for 5 months, on the other side of the planet, it has forced me to reevaluate who I have and who I want to have in my life emotionally. When we get back to the States next month I plan to have more coffee with friends to develop deeper bonds. A sort of try-out, or audition if you will, for who to put on my speed dial.Good thought provoking post!

    1. Thank you Heidi for reading and sharing your story. I can sympathize because we lived in Japan for 2 and 1/2 years. During that time we made friends who would definitely be on speed dial today if it weren’t long distance. I hope your plans for coffee and reconnecting go well, and that your speed dial will soon be overflowing. Please stop by and visit again.

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