Blogtalk: Family Ties 4

CALL me a frustrated grandmother. Reading Linda Hoye’s recent post, Grandma Time, caused me to consider (again) how dispersed my family is — my grown children have moved to Fort Bragg CA, Austin TX, and Salt Lake City, UT (my youngest son is still at home and who knows where he’ll end up).

Like Linda, I grew up without the benefit or influence of a grandmother and always thought that someday I would provide that imagined gift to my own grandchildren. But they, whom I adore, are all growing up too far away, too fast, and without enough of that all important Grandma Time.

With everyone so spread apart geographically, busy with their own families, not to mention in-laws and step-parents, it’s almost impossible to get everyone together for holidays, weddings, and other events. We’ve discovered that we’re more successful when we plan our Thanksgiving celebration the weekend before the actual date and Christmas in mid-December.

Recently, we’ve begun staying connected using social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Skype allows us to see each other via webcam as we talk, though it’s sometimes difficult to schedule those face-to-face times together. This is all better than nothing, but if it were up to me, we’d all be close enough to make Nana’s house a regular thing.

I’ve been thinking about how writing is more important than ever as a way to stay connected. Whether it’s email, journal writing, or cards, recording our family stories and bits of history are gifts we can give our children, grandchildren, and beyond. I’ve even been thinking about reviving that crazy, old-fashioned habit of writing letters. For the human touch.

What about you? Is your family nearby or far away? How do you stay connected? And how do you keep your family stories alive?


Let’s keep the connections open! To participate in BlogTalk, write a post related to this topic and post it in your blog, with a link back to Writing Through Life. Or leave a comment below with a link to your blog. I’ll visit your blog for a future BlogTalk article.

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4 thoughts on “Blogtalk: Family Ties

  • Linda Hoye

    Thank you for mentioning my blog, Amber! One of the main reasons I originally started my blog was to begin writing things down for my children and grandchildren, but it has grown into that and much more since I started. I enjoy regular Skype dates with my grandchildren and FaceBook is wonderful for keeping up to date, but in my fantasy we all live together on a large piece of land and the grandchildren can pop over to Grandma’s house anytime they want.

  • Kristen Cason

    Long summer days, glasses perspiring in concentric rings on the old electric cable reel converted to a table, dusty roads, evening walks in pink and golden glow… the imagination of what summer fun could be- what life could be like closer to family.

    And as I type this it just came to me that four generations of my family reside on the same property. The mental and health problems of the elderly, the energy of the young, and the events of life are all exhausting. The cycle ebbs and flows. Will my niece remember great grandma with kindness, her great-grandfather with reverence? Or will she remember them cranky, bitter, and unaware as they are in their final days? Will she remember all the picnics and jumpy houses or will she remember the day to day stuggles that often result in little feelings being hurt.

    I was right there with you in your fantasy. I want to be that grandmother too. Life doesn’t yield and we have to bend trying not to break. It’s those breaks that are devastating to what we hope for in life. The end result completely different then what we had imagined. I live with those perspiring glasses half full. I live with pink evening skies and clouds with a silver lining. I just wish those skies were closer to Grandma and Nana.

  • Amber Lea Starfire

    Kristen, you paint such beautiful pictures. I’m right there with you … a silver lining and glass half full kind of girl. And yes, life does require a kind of soft flexibility in order to be truly strong. 🙂