It is that time of the morning when it isn’t dark anymore—but not quite light. My first thought of the day is that summer is slipping away. It is no surprise. Lately, goose honks in the sky are becoming frequent, nature’s prelude to autumn in these parts.
But the laziness of the sunrise isn’t the only sensation I’m experiencing this morning. I’m also struck by how quiet this particular Sunday morning is. Perhaps it’s the contrast to last night—when I could hear the rock bands from Lincoln Square, 2 ½ miles away. They were entertaining crowds at Urbana’s annual Sweet Corn Festival. But just as we could experience sounds from all over town last night, this morning we are experiencing the cumulative silence.
Daughters Mindy and Alison both started writing blogs this week. (My wife Jie writes a blog too, but it’s in Chinese, and I cope with that mystery by reminding myself that ‘ignorance is bliss.’) Alison, recently moved to Chicago, temporarily unemployed, needed something to do. So she wrote a blog, posted it, and notified friends and family that we could read it and submit comments. When Mindy tried to comment on Alison’s blog, something in the cyber netherworld blocked her. And so she blamed her sister and retaliated by starting her own blog—and writing her first essay about Alison.
And then, as in days of yore, they managed to pull me into the middle of it. Both of them ‘texted’ me to read their blogs and asked me to submit a comment. So I did. I got online, read both blogs, then got on Facebook, and complimented both of them.
Alison was the first to protest. She wrote back, “Dad! you have to become a follower and make comments on the actual blog so I look cooler and more popular. All the other bloggers will laugh at me otherwise.” A few minutes later, Mindy wrote, “Yeah yeah, Dad! Same for me. I only got one follower and it’s Alison. I do not look cool in the world of bloggers right now. In fact, having only one follower is almost more sad than having none. It looks like it’s a pity follower.”
Well…at least my daughters aren’t quarreling with each other anymore. They have once again found fellowship in their mutual amazement at my antiquity. I wasn’t reared on blogs and twitters. (Even the way those words sound would have made Grandma Haworth blush.) There are so many new ways to communicate and get information, that I’m not sure where I should start. And I’ve been burned—going to great lengths to learn some technologies—only to have all my expertise become outdated before I could show off. Aaron Higley sent me a link the other day with the comment, “Mike, thought you might like this.” When I opened the link, I couldn’t figure out how to work it. So, “No, Aaron, I didn’t like it (yet.) In fact, it made me feel stupid.” But let this be my main message to Alison, Mindy, and Aaron: In the end, thank you for including this old man in your adventures and creativity. Keep tutoring me. Laugh—but be kind. You too will one day likely require the mercies of your children. –Mike
Alison’s blog: howtoseethesunrise.blogspot.com
Mindy’s blog: bloggedyblogblog-mindylou113.blogspot.com