Snow days mean different things to different people. My dad always heard the cancellations first thing in the morning while doing the 4am milking. Staying home usually meant he would put us to work as there was always something that had to be done on the farm. However we did get to sleep in a little late.
As we get older and go to work snow days only mean a horrible drive into work as we all had to go anyways regardless of the weather. I even went to far as to drive to Farmington from Ellington in a blizzard. It never occurred to me that work would actually close. I got there only to turn around and drive home.
After marriage and having kids snow days take on a whole new meaning. Who is going to cover child care for the day? Many parents do not have the opportunity to work from home. My husband and I used to switch off who would stay home and who would go to work. We did this for when they were sick as well. Since I had been at my employers for more than a dozen years I was able to work from home. On the really horrible days I simply stated that I could either work from home or take a vacation day. I had plenty of time built up at that time. I always felt bad when my kids wanted me to stop what I was doing and go out and play. Work was extremely demanding and I could not take breaks. I was lucky enough that my kids were able to keep themselves amused and occupied by themselves. I was the one missing out. My answer was always “Mommy has to work and can’t right now”. I would look at their sad little faces and feel the ping of guilt.
Then a few years ago I was laid off from my job of fifteen years. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I had over half years severance coming so that was my breathing room. It was Halloween and winter was rapidly coming upon us. I certainly miss many of the people and the paycheck but now being at home for when the boys get home, helping them with homework and being able to be here when needed without juggling schedules is priceless. Needless to say the first snowfall that winter when the kids asked if I could help them build a snowman my response was, “Absolutely”!
I have been on Facebook for about 5 years now and have a number of people that I have friended or been friended by. Most I had not spoken to or seen in many years. So connection was re-established with anticipation. We all wanted to know what everyone has been doing, where are you living, what are you doing and how many children do you have. It’s quite easy and frankly very impersonal to catch up via a computer screen but it was done nonetheless. I have also met (virtually) many wonderful photographers with similar interest who are willing to help me on my journey to better my photography.
I was getting friend request from people I had not heard from in over 20 years. Friends were finding me that I was thrilled to re-connect with. There are pro’s and con’s to Facebook and I think most people know them and they don’t need to be listed here. Some use it as a weapon, some use it to create an illusion of the happy life, some use it to beat others up verbally, some use it to life the spirits of others. I am lucky to have a few of the latter. I have also had people unfriend me and I have unfriended people as well. When people say awful things then I tend to think they shouldn’t be on my friends list. However people have unfriended me without notice or explanation. Well I guess that was a friendship fallacy and wasn’t the true meaning of friendship. I have also heard that people have said I don’t know why she isn’t talking to me anymore. Well here’s a clue… you unfriend me I am presuming you don’t want to talk to me.
Facebook has been wonderful to get information out as well as obtain information for local and national news. Some of the unfortunate aspects to Facebook is many of us become dependent on information we obtain through the news feed without actually picking up the phone. Tones and inflections of someones voice cannot be replaced by a status update. I believe the friend connection often gives people the illusion that they actually have that many friends. I think most of us would agree that we don’t. I don’t speak to these people on a regular basis but quite happy to know how they are doing
I am realizing that when I hear of some people’s life changing events via a news feed that maybe it’s a sign. It’s actually quite sad when you find that someone that you have known for more than half your life is or recently went through a divorce and is now picking up the pieces and moving on. Being adaptable to change was always one characteristic of this person always had. For that reason I know she will land on her feet and move on successfully.
Having had a bad day recently I posted I needed a pick me up. A friend soon stopped by with wine and chocalates. She couldn’t stay but she wanted me to know she read my feed and hope that everything would get better. Seeing her face showed that Facebook has a place and fulfills a need.
I hope that like many things the Facebook status updates does not substitute the need for friends to pick up the phone and chat. In in ever changing world people need to always find a way to connect and not just virtually. Though it is convenient it just doesn’t have the same impact or meaning.
The last few days have given us an immense amount of fog. There is something mystical and magical about it weaving in between tress. The snow is starting to melt but there is still quite enough to put a damp chill in the air.