Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Friends

Posted: April 25, 2015 in Friends, Quotes
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A friend

Posted: April 9, 2015 in Friends, Quotes
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“A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.”                                                                                                                                                       ~William Arthur Ward

Last week, two young men came into the tea shop.  They were probably in college, although they didn’t look very old.  They ordered their drinks, one tea and one hot chocolate, then sat near the window.  I don’t recall how long they were there, but as far as I could tell, they spent most of the time hunched over their phones, not interacting with each other at all.

This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed time and time again: this sitting together, not paying attention to the other human or humans but focusing intently on the “others” caught inside that bit of technology.  Coffee shops have become all too often places where people go to be alone together.  It’s something I understand for people who are on their own and simply want to be around other people while they work or read.  I understand if people meet to work together.  And trust me, I understand the urge to check my email, see what’s been posted on Facebook, or check to see who’s liked my blog for the day.  Before smartphones, it was easy to talk and laugh with someone else without distractions.  There was no internet, no siren song luring you to abandon the puny human before you and take off into the outer reaches of the world.

But I implore you.  Don’t be the person who ignores a friend for the internet.  When you spend time with a person in person, spend time with him or her, not simply sitting in the same vicinity.  Look at him, talk to her, let your friend know that you value him by taking some time to care enough to put aside technology to listen. Leave the phone in your purse or pocket; put it face down on the table, off to the side.  Maybe she’ll do the same and you’ll both feel cherished.

I’m challenging you this spring to take the time to really be with people and to step away from the phone! It will be worth it, I promise.

When we got the good news that friends would be in town Friday night for dinner, Bill suggested we have raclette. Raclette is both a cheese and a meal featuring that cheese, a meal perfect for using the time with friends for eating and having fun, rather than cooking and cleaning up.  That’s a winner in my book!

In Switzerland, where both the cheese and the meal originated, the edge of the round of cheese is heated and the melted cheese scraped onto the diner’s plate. In fact, raclette comes from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape.”  Also on the table will be boiled new potatoes, cornichons (small pickled gherkins), and pickled onions.  Eat a bit of each together = heaven! (more…)

High above the clouds, on my way from 75 F to 7 (or lower), I’m disconnected. Although this is one of the (pay) Wi-Fi flights, I have as usual resorted to a book on Kindle or pen and paper. Besides a dramatic change in temperature, on returning home I’ll experience a dramatic change in internet access as well.

At home, I have internet available constantly and, with my first smart phone, I can be online as much as I like…or as I can stand. (I can’t imagine wanting to read off my phone’s tiny screen and the small “keys” and tri-keyboard make typing onerous for one who excelled in typing.) But on a visit to Arizona, I return, if not to the Stone Age, to at least a quantum leap from an all-day-online-if-I-like world.

My parents not only don’t have internet, they don’t have or use a computer. Neither do they—are you sitting down?—use the ATM or have a smart phone and they favor paying in cash rather than with a credit card. You know what? They get along fine, although Dad has discovered the advantages of a daughter with internet access. Be that as it may, that sort of life is going to get more difficult as things convert to digital.

At home, the siren call of the internet tempts me to take “just one quick look at my (or someone else’s) blog”, “take a peek at Facebook” or send “just one email.” Minutes can morph unnoticed into half an hour or more while the things I really need or want to do go begging for attention.  But while visiting my parents, I have to go to the library or a Starbucks to go online for anything larger than what I want to do on my cell phone. I find myself anxious to get done and get back to relaxing, reading, going to art galleries, seeing the desert, lying in the sun or visiting. I start slipping more easily out of the online world than in, although I go through emails on my phone and delete whenever possible, leaving the ones I want to read or save. I love being able to easily connect with friends, but I find real life taking over more and more.

That’s a good thing.

That’s a break we all need now and then and are less and less likely to get or take. Because these days, you have to take that time back, get off the internet in whatever form, leave your phone behind once in awhile and certainly don’t look at it all the time even when you take it with you.

Talk with someone while in a line.
Look at your spouse when you talk to him or her, rather than at the tiny screen on your phone.
Watch a movie or TV together without being on another device; sit together on the couch.
Go for a walk.
Work a crossword puzzle or do a Sudoku.
Play a game NOT on a device.

There can be real life going on all around you. Disconnect and get back to it.

Just step away from the devices!

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The words “thankful” and “gratitude”  have popped up in my life quite often over the last weeks.  Not long ago, I mentioned that in one of my online groups, every Thursday is Thankful Thursday, a day when we lists things or people for which we are thankful.  On her blog, another friend is encouraging her readers to list one thing each day for which they’re grateful.  Finally, a few days ago, an online friend posted this saying:

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Are you seeing a trend here? (more…)

Today as I lay in bed,
nursing my sore throat,
slipping in and out of sleep
until the sun beat in through the half moon window
forcing me to move,

I dreamt of Christmas.

Not the faux Christmas seduction
   attempted by stores 
   beginning much too early,
   but of this Christmas...

of letters sent to friends not close enough now
   yet treasured,
   recapping the year,
   recalling good times.

of ravioli made and frozen against the day,
   cookies pressed and decorated,
   menus planned, discarded or amended,
   but always upside-down cornbread
   topped with maple-drenched apples and sausage.

of boxes of ornaments and ribbon,
   gift boxes and bags,
   beauty arranged and re-arranged
   on tabletops,
   in windows,
   hung from lamps,
   festooning mantels.

of gifts brought out from hiding places
   (sometimes after much searching),
   last minute buys,
   the sharp joy of “just right.”
   Wrapped and tied and dazzling.

Tangible bits of love
yet not the real thing.

of Christmas Eve
   and church and carols,
   (hopefully of snow)
   and silent night
   all calm and bright with
   lights on houses and on trees.

of joy welling up from somewhere deep
   to overflow on all around,
   to sleep and wake too early
   and go downstairs to start the preparations
   for too much food,
   to read the Christmas story,
   to laugh and sing,
   exclaim over gifts
   and lie back,

replete
with love.