Keeping Connections

I am really glad that we were able to get to my cousin’s funeral. She was the daughter of my mom’s youngest brother, Harvey. I was the only (and oldest) cousin there. Two cousins from my Aunt Leona’s family live in Pipestone but didn’t attend, and two other cousins from my Uncle Ronald were too far away to attend. We brought Norma, Uncle Ronald’s widow, to the funeral. She was so happy to get out of Watertown, SD, and get to see nieces and nephews she hadn’t seen for a long time.

We all caught up with eachother’s and our children’s lives at the funeral lunch. Of the four remaining children of my Uncle Harvey, all but one lives within 30 miles of Pipestone. That cousin, Alan, lives in Grand Island, NE. He plans to move closer to the Pipestone/Luverne area near to the others after he retires. Alan said he thought it really important to be closer to his siblings. He and the others were delighted to hear our plans to move to Luverne when I retire. Connections are important.

The Methodist pastor who conducted the funeral was one of my high-school classmates. It was good to catch up with her, too. Despite the sad occasion, it felt so good to be with people who knew me, with whom I had a history, and who appreciate the connection we have.

Who are your important connections? What do you do to keep those connections going?

18 thoughts on “Keeping Connections”

  1. People have preferences about how they like to interact with the people they care about. Some folks like phone calls. Some folks are disappointed with anything less than face-to-face conversations. Some folks–I gather, not knowing much about this–enjoy Facebook. And then there are weirdos like me who prefer emails over any other style of contact.

    In other words, we need to learn the mode of contact that our loved ones prefer. And then keep in touch with them in their preferred way.

    I keep learning that I’m an email guy living in a smartphone world. Friends do understand that facetime contact with me is pretty much history, history that ain’t gonna happen again. My challenge is keeping several dear friends from learning how much I hate telephones. I want them to go on thinking I’m delighted when they call–and I sort of am–but, gee, I wish they’d send me an email instead.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Are texts and emails synonymous in your world? Older fingers work better on real keyboards than they do on phone “keyboards”. Husband has to use a stylus on his phone due to the size of his fingertips.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

        Renee, it is so interesting how family funerals become venues to reconnect—on my mother’s side (also Pipestone) that has become the primary way to connect. About 10 years ago one of my cousins from Pipestone called to tell me about his near death experiences. I don’t remember why but it was interesting. On that side it can be hard to connect due to the large numbers of people.

        My important connection are some family members i.e. my sister, several cousins on my Dad’s side, some people in husband’s family. Also friends from over the years through visits and texting. This weekend is my HS 50th reunion, so I will gather with some friends from that era who I still keep up with.

        I have to head out now for a Master Gardener function—probably will weigh in more later.


        1. My phone is the only “device” I have or know how to use. My brother wouldn’t answer anything other than emails. He didn’t even look if I sent him a message on Messenger. He thought Whatsapp sounder stupid, and didn’t have it. So Jane showed me how to email with my phone. I sent a message or two, and he acknowledged one or two. Others didn’t send, and would either vanish or not vanish. Sometimes they’d appear again, still unsent. I just got so mad with it that Neil said, OK, use Messenger and I’ll look out for it, and answer. But he never did. Then Minnesota Steve Grooms managed to get me to try again, and we correspond successfully. I sent Neil a new, improved email with my new skill, and he said, hey, great, can’t always answer the same day(And he is busy, I know). But I will answer. That was the last time he answered, weeks ago now.


    2. You would be a perfect candidate for a Google Voice number. If someone calls your GV number, it rings whatever phones you have specified to receive calls, but if you don’t pick up, the caller can leave a message and it is transcribed and e-mailed to you. The transcription isn’t perfect, of course, but it’s understandable. You can also use it to make phone calls or send text messages.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. During the time of pandemic I really ramped up my texting. And of course you all have enjoyed my voice recognition issues and these pop up in texts as well. I have also seriously increased the number of cards that I send. If you can even imagine an occasion, I can come up with a card for it. My best friend and her husband have a cabin up north and every spring and every fall they have the weekend where they’re either putting in the dock for the summer or taking the dock out for the winter. Last month when they went up they had a permanent dock installed. I sent a card for that.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I (mostly) enjoy the way my siblings have started texting every day. Sometimes Kelly will hear my phone and all their incoming texts, “ding” “ding” “Ding” “ding” and she’ll ask what are we talking about so much?!
    Ha, nothing really. a ‘like’ or thumbs up makes the same “ding”. We can spend a long time talking about moms grocery list or why someones phone isn’t doing what everyone else’s is.

    And reading my Grandma’s diaries, there is always someone visiting or stopping in. And mom says she grew up with aunts and uncles always being around. I think that part is harder these days.
    But dad’s side of the family never did get together that much. And Kelly’s family didn’t either.

    I’ll email or text people often. But eventually, if they’re not responding, it’s hard to keep it going. I enjoy FB because it’s so easy to comment on something they’re doing. And I’ve had a few conversations with FB people that I didn’t have any idea they were following my stuff so much; they’ll say they enjoy my posts or something and I didn’t think my stuff was anything special, so that’s kinda nice and I try to reciprocate that to people whom I enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was a Facebook post of yours, Ben, that alerted me to the existence of Brett Olson and his delightful essays. The kinds of things that people post or don’t post does give you some idea of who they are. My Facebook friends are an eclectic and delightful group of folks, and you are in the mix.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. About the only disappointing thing about my mom’s memorial a couple of weeks ago was that none of my cousins were able to get there. We enjoy telling the family stories when we do get together.

    There are a couple of people I try to keep up with by phone – one from high school and one from Husband’s grad school days, but it’s getting harder – I really prefer to have a face in front of me, so maybe we should try zoom at this point. My college friends do a reunion every few years, and feel closer at this point – we seem to have more in common now than we did in our youth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Connections?
    Daughter and Son. Both are now New Yorkers with their spouses. Connections are shared interests in funny nature. Birds. Cats. Dogs. Snails. Any creatures visible or invisible. Recently the guy who was swallowed by the whale provided a nice Jonah discussion.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I had two workplaces where I connected with friends that I’ve had for decades. When I’m working somewhere now and don’t have those long-lasting connections, I’m sorta disappointed.

    Some of my volunteer gigs have produced connections that I value.

    I find facebook something of a time suck.. I’d keep up with it better if it was designed to make it easier to choose the things you focus on.

    Connections that a created by being part of a book club or a blog community are especially special.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many many of my friends are previous work friends. My oldest friend (Deanna) I’ve known since I was 20. We worked together at the Ole Store in Northfield. I also have several friends from my B Dalton days (including 2 of my best friends) and two very good friends from my Software Etc. days. I have many friends from my current job, although most of them no longer work at BIW.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. My oldest friends are my two sisters and my brother Neil. We’re misfits and different, which doesn’t bother me. Angus and I aren’t close, I regret it, but can’t help it. I had kind of a drifting life, and the first long term friend I picked up, I realise now, was Lynn, at around 27. Must tell her that, if I ever see her My first friend. She wouldn’t be aware of it. My wife noted when we met, it’s you that calls your friends. They don’t call you. I hadn’t thought about it. I still wonder about it, I mean, I am pretty boring. But I said to Neil, I think it’s because they see me as someone that drifts in and out of their lives. I’ll show up when I’m ready. He thought that sounded a reasonable thing for people to think. But I have various friends I want to be in touch with. Don’t seem to know where to start.


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