Cross Your Eyes and Dot Your Teas
I like to write letters. I like to receive letters. It’s a lifelong habit for me. While I no longer have a mailbox, I do have an email account and a computer. While the pleasure is not even similar to pulling down the flap of the aluminum container perched on a post at the end of the drive, I have learned to compensate.
We live in a wondrous and fearful world. Everything—letters, bills, junkmail, spam, appears on my screen without visible means of support.
Just this week, in addition to daily notes from “regular” mailers, I heard from Lynne, a friend I haven’t seen in over twenty years. While “heard” isn’t the accurate word, she tried to contact me.
Lynne was my first friend when I moved to Washington in ’84. We met through my, then embryonic, business. Together we crossed the Sound to hear the Seattle Symphony practice sessions, an experience which can be more exciting than the actual symphony. We sat around our kitchen tables and drank gallons of tea. We filled hours with conversation, hopes and dreams and “where did we go wrongs”. We both were alone, knew few other people in the area. In my case, in that first year, she was my only friend.
Despite our good intentions, we eventually got busy with our lives and somewhere along the way we lost touch. At that time neither of us could activate a computer. I couldn’t imagine ever using one though my eight-year-old son managed to scrounge one at a neighborhood yard-sale and within weeks was making the relic do things it was too old and never designed to do. He did not inherit his skills from me. I wish inheritance worked the other way around.
Lynne located me through the Havre Daily News. I realize she didn’t walk into the newsroom and grab a paper. She probably Googled (Is that a real verb?) my name, opened the HDN website, read my column and found my email address at the end of the article.
She tried to email me and failed to get through. Undaunted (I’m imagining the steps.), she then found my Montana Tumbleweed blogspot. She left a message for me. I am so excited.
Lest you think I am computer savvy, I confess that my daughter set up and manages my blogspot. Dee Dee relayed Lynne’s message to me. For some reason, operator error, I’m certain, I cannot get into the mysterious innards of my blogspot from Mexico. So I asked Dee Dee to give my message to Lynne and assure her that the email address on my column is indeed the right one.
I’m fairly certain, imagination again, that Lynne overlooked the dot in my address. It’s easy to do. After all, it is such a little thing, that dot in the middle of my name. A simple dot. One hardly notices it. In retrospect, when I set up the site, I should have simply said sondrajeandotashton, weird at that looks, it is visible.
Meanwhile, out of the blue and across the miles, this same day, Steve’s wife Theresa emailed me to ask if she still had my correct email address. She said Steve wanted to email me. Ja! Ja! Ja! (That is laughter in Espanol.) Steve and email? That is funny.
I’ve been friends with Steve for years. He has never emailed me though I get occasional messages from Theresa. In fact, when last in Washington, Steve and I had coffee at my favorite coffeehouse, the Waterfront Bakery in Silverdale. He told me then that he was determined to learn to email. I smiled. But I never opened my mailbox to look for a letter. I know Steve.
Lynne will contact me. We have entire decades of time and experiences to share. I will check my inbox with happy anticipation. Maybe her message will await me in the morning.
Who knows? Maybe Steve will write too.
HDN: Looking out my back door
September 22, 2016