Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Communication

I am doing a lot of meditation (not medication -yet) and I am doing reasonably OK.

“Stay in place, isolate, and  quarantine” are the words we are hearing a lot today.  I am a social person; I love and need people to talk to and visit and loneliness hits me hard.  I have been doing a lot of walking on our empty roads with My Retired Man in order to escape the walls of my house. With spring almost here, that has  been very pleasant, however, I am missing my family very much.

So, what can be done to lift my spirits.  My son came up with a perfect solution.  He set up a Face Time conference call/party for all of the family.  I dressed up in my best Lily Tomlin flowing outfit, fixed my hair, and added some color to my pale face. I set a party scene, added Lysol and  sanitizer and waited for the call.


My iPad rang at 8:30 pm, and there we all were.  My new granddaughter had grown in the week since I last saw her, and she was able to open up her eyes for a few moments and that made me smile broadly.  My other five granddaughters, my children and their spouses and partner were all there and we laughed and enjoyed each other’s company for an hour and a half.  It was a great time and we plan on doing it weekly. 

The next few months will be very hard and I have a lot of fear.  Communication is so important. Staying in touch, whether just by phone or an app, is necessary during this time.  This virus knows no boarders, doesn’t care what God you worship, will infect the good and the bad, the rich and the poor and will leave us all changed forever.  It is time to forgive those who hurt us, and to speak of love with those we treasure.  We don’t want to let things unsaid. 

I leave you with a picture of my new granddaughter.  She has the right message.

Take good care of yourself.  I care about you all. 
Slainte!



52 comments:

  1. Lovely post, and a great idea in how to keep company while still being at a distance

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    1. It was a wonderful idea, Boud. I would have never thought of it myself.

      I wish you good health during this very difficult time.

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  2. What a thoughtful and downright BRILLIANT idea of your son's. I am so glad that the technology exists to make it possible.
    I am an introvert and will find the isolation less confronting.
    Your granddaughter is absolutely beautiful and I love her message.
    You are right about the virus having no borders. I hope that if something good is to come of this it will be the realisation that we are all in this together.
    Hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.

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    1. I have used Face Time before, but never used it in group/ conference mode. It was wonderful, especially at this time.

      Hugs back to you, Susan. Keep safe.

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  3. Technology is going to make a difference for a lot of people, I think. What a wonderful way to get together as a family, the next best thing to being there! Your granddaughter is beautiful :)

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    1. Thank you, Jenny. The fact that we made it fun helped relieve some of the tension we are all going through.

      May you and your family be safe and healthy during this time.

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  4. Wow, Arleen... this is beautiful, dear friend. These are indeed trying times filled with uncertainty, and I agree that we must support and help each other through the current crisis. Your family hit upon a wonderful idea that brought everyone together through the magic of a Face Time conference call. Your little granddaughter is adorable. Thanks for sharing this inspiring picture of her.

    As you know, I lived in Central Pennsylvania the first half of my life. I vividly recall the joy of getting outdoors in early spring and taking walks in the country, usually with my dad, listening to the pleasant sounds and inhaling the fresh scent of nature as it came alive for the season. I hope you will continue to talk those walks because they will surely do you good and boost your spirits.

    I pray that you will stay safe and well in the weeks and months ahead, dear friend Arleen!

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    1. We are getting an early spring and the trees are budding and some are blooming. Daffodils and crocus are all up and even with this sense of fear and anxiety, we are able to enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature.

      Take care, Shady, and keep playing those tunes that make us smile.

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  5. What a positive way to handle it - a FACETIME Party. Everyone is there - and you even dressed up and had food. Yes I agree it is going to be a long haul.
    Taking walks with your hubs is good.
    Blogs are good talking to others.
    And your granddaughter is gorgeous - Happy St. Pat's day too.
    sandie

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    1. Thank you, Sandie. Keeping connected and finding ways to smile and laugh during a crisis is so important.

      I hope you find ways to laugh and relieve stress , Sandie. We all enjoy the funnies you post and they can help us all.

      Take care and be careful out there.

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  6. Most of us have Skype or Facetime these days, so some contact is possible, even though it's hardly the same as physical presence. I just hope we won't be having a Skype Christmas dinner this year. I'm naturally a bit of a recluse, so being alone isn't a problem for me; my wife however is a very social person, and is suffering in advance.

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    1. I have used Face Time on a one on one basis, but never in conference as I never thought I would need it. It was wonderful to have all five households together and we will do it weekly.

      My Retired Man is not really a social butterfly either. I, on the other hand, need friends.

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  7. What an awesome post. I'm like you, a very social person. I'm missing the center and my friends tremendously, but we've taken to calling each other several times a day, I'm more active in FB, and I'm more active here now as well. I have to stay connected.

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    1. Oh, I know how hard this must be fo you. Your life, and all you do, is about connecting with people. You are such a terrific lady and I know that you will keep in touch with all those at the center who you do so much with and for.

      Stay safe and well.

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  8. Hi Arleen :)) I think that a virtual party is a great idea!! I'm glad you got to dress up! Take care of yourself! We will all be okay!! xx

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    1. I hope you are right, Rain. Meanwhile, I am planting seeds for my summer garden and looking forward to many blooms.

      Keep safe and healthy.

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    1. It is and I hope others will try it.

      Last night, a good friend of my son and a professional singer/musician did an hour set on Facebook. People could post requests and he had a virtual tip jar which one could contribute to thru PayPal. His music was terrific and fun and it a wonderful break from what surrounds us. He is going to keep doing this. I saw that John Legend and other singers are doing the same. We are all in this together.

      I hope you and your family are healthy and stay that way. Take care.

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  10. I'm so happy that you were able to connect. I hope you will spend time with us bloggers too. That's what I plan to do. And I have a puppy Faith post that will come up on Friday. It's old, but I found it and wanted to cheer you all up with some puppy love. Your little love is just the cutest though. I hope this will past soon so you can hold her and kiss her. It must be so hard.

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    1. It was really a fun virtual party. I am trying to keep myself busy in my gardens and when inside, I am talking to friends and family on the phone so much more than I had been. I was getting use to sending short texts to people but now, I need to hear their voices.

      Like you, Inger, I know how important pets are in our lives. I don’t know what I would do without them.

      Take care of yourself sweet lady.

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  11. Scarlett is a complete cutie. I didn't know how much of an extrovert I was until this week. I have a daily phone call with one of my dearest friends and a daily email chain with another group. My virtual Weight Watcher groups start tomorrow am. Today I "visited" three friends who were doing video chats. Not the same as in person, but I'll take it for now. Take care!

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    1. Thank you Carol. She is the light in all this darkness.

      Keeping in touch with each other will get us through this.

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  12. That baby is beautiful. And what a great idea your son had! I love it!

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  13. What a grand thing for your son to coordinate. That's a lovely young lady, there in Irish green. Thanks.

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    1. We will keep doing this. We need connection more than ever as the news gets worse and worse.

      Stay hunkered down, dear friend.

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  14. I keep to myself - always do...personal choice...I enjoy my own company and don't go seeking the company of others. So nothing much will change in the way I conduct my life. Just me and my two furry mates doing what we normally do. I never get lonely, nor do I get bored.

    Take good care, Arleen. :)

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    1. We all live our lives in the way that is most comfortable for us.

      Take care of yourself, Lee

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  15. I Love that you set up your Party backdrop for the Virtual interaction... I agree that contact, in some form, is important. We are Social Creatures and tho' The Man seems to have been preparing for this all of his Life since he could easily be a Recluse, for me it's much more difficult.

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    1. Yeah, it is hard to stay in one’s home, especially when much of that time is spent worrying about your family. I hope you are hunkering down, Dawn, and you and you family will be safe for the duration.

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  16. That's a heart-warming post Arleen! We have already started having Facetime meetings. For a few years I have been spending Thursday mornings having coffee with about 10 old friends; now we meet through WhatsApp which is a good way to talk!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s ultimately unthinkable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. That is just wonderful, Barry. I have used FaceTime, but not with groups of people. It is not the same as being with people but it will have to do for now.

      Wishing you and Leah all the best. You have been a good and very interesting Blogger friend and I have always appreciated your kindness.

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  17. Such a great idea. I wish some of my relatives would be more inclined to embrace modern technology. Without it, communication is proving difficult.
    Stay well. X

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    1. I would have never thought of it mysel, but I birthed a smart son who works in IT.

      I hope you find a way to keep in touch with your loved ones that will work for them. Take care of yourself and Sweet Lily.

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  18. how sweet and wise of your son to come up with such beautiful idea my friend :)

    i can see through your words and image that how nicely it all went for you and your precious family
    i think such family gathering is one of the most important and beautiful thing to do ,i am glad you will keep it up until all cools down
    oh your precious grandbaby is so adorable and i absolutely loved the message she brought to us
    wishing you more happiness and peace in days ahead dear Friend!
    stay safe and take great care!

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    1. I wish you and your family good health, Baili, and hope this virus doesn’t touch you or any of your loved ones.

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  19. What a scathingly BRILLIANT idea!!! I'm glad you and your family have such a perfect way to stay connected, in spite of the virus' attempts to keep us all apart. I know I don't need to tell you, but your new granddaughter is adorable. Hope for the future. :)

    Stay well, dear friend. This, too, shall pass.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. You and Smarticus are on my mind and in my heart as we go through these difficult times. You have given me things to think about and things to laugh about and finding your blog years ago ( maybe 8 or 9 years ago) was a blessing for me.

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    2. Thank you. (sniff) I feel the same about you. Driving through the scant traffic to go to the cancer center at the ghost-town looking hospital has been weird, but today was his last brain radiation treatment. (YAY!) Now we can be a little more serious about hunkering down. :) Take care, kiddo, and keep smiling.

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  20. Dear Arleen, thank you for this posting, in which you so honestly express and share your feelings and your fear. And then you give us a way to hold our loved ones close that will harm no one. I'm so grateful that you are a blogging friend whom I've followed for a number of years. Please take care of yourself and your "Retired Man" and know that you have touched the lives of so many of us. Peace.

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    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words, Dee. We are at the beginning of times that none of us have ever experienced. We can’t even hug our loved ones and hold them tight. We cannot tell them truthfully that they will be OK. We can, though, practice kindness where we can. Neighbors, who are just acquaintances, rather than friends, have offered to do shopping for us. At the end of the conversation, they have all said to give them a call if there was anything they could do to help us out. They will be there for us. I bet they would even give us toilet paper, well, maybe they wouldn’t go that far.

      This world is going to be very different when this is over. Hopefully, it will be for the better.

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  21. Oh how FUN!! My grands and all the adult kids know how to Facetime. Me not so much. *haha* I bought myself a Amazon Fire tablet but it's still in the box and has been sitting in my bedroom for a few weeks. Technically savvy I'm not but if this isolation goes on much longer, I'll have to set it up and learn how to Facetime myself. Who knows, maybe I'll become a "technologically advanced" person too. :-) Love & prayers for your safety, Andrea XOXO

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    1. You definitely should use that Amazon Fire tablet. Have one of your grandchildren set it up and help you learn. It is not that it is beyond our ability, it is just our fears that stop us. What is the worst that could happen. If you know how to get on You Tube, you will find instructions on how to do almost anything. Good luck.

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  22. I loved your story about running into one of the Bandstand dancer "regulars" in person!! How cool is that??!! Lucky you! I sure did love that show, every Saturday. I guess alot of us did. There was an innocence that is missing today.Take care of yourself and lets all get through this crisis safe and healthy!!!

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  23. thank you for your good wishes, returned herewith.
    We are fortunate that we can use digital media to keep in touch. Better than nothing for now.

    stay safe.

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  24. This is such a lovely post and I'm so glad that your family has found a way to stay connected. That's important. We all have to find ways to keep our spirits uplifted and have a positive attitude so we can get through this. Take care and stay safe.

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to these every week now. We are planning a game night for our next connection. Of course, I will let my son set it up but who knows, maybe I will learn how to do this myself after a few more sessions.

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  25. She's adorable. Glad you got to Facetime. We did that with my Dad, 94 in his assisted living center. Though, he wasn't very comfortable with it. Staff has been helping with their ipad so the residence can see their families a few times a week. They were on lockdown very early into this process. I see people doing lots of different communication to bridge the gap. Some are quite cleaver. I don't know how physically close you all are; but my husband's cousin had curb party. They had nice weather. He told people to come sit in their cars or place a chair 6 feet apart. Told everyone to bring their own drinks, napkins, and snacks. And those of us in other cities and states, were to post a picture of us partying with them from afar. We all toasted each other, enjoyed the pictures and comments on Facebook. Hang in there, stay well, and wash your hands.

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    1. That is wonderful that the staff at your dad’s nursing home is helping the residents stay in touch with family. These “helpers” are our. heroes.

      Connecting, although apart, can still be done in this worst of times.

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  26. Your son definitely takes after you for coming up with such a fun way to virtually get together. I love that you got all dolled up for the camera in your “Lily Tomlin flowing outfit,” and set the scene with a beautiful table complete with party goodies! And your granddaughter is absolutely precious! You are so fortunate to have such a large, loving family that is clearly ruled by women. I’m sure your second party was even better than the first. I’m sorry I got here so late. Please take care of yourself and Retired Man. Things will get better and then you’ll have the best celebration ever.

    Julie

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