Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weekend Chat Line...Are you close to family?

Photo: This is my grandson and I several years ago.
Teddy was around 6 in this picture and is now entering 7th grade...I'm so very proud of the young man he's become.
He's added such joy to my life.

This weeks subject has nothing to do with art, but more about life and living. I'm in Illinois and my daughter and grandson live in New York. I don't get to see them nearly often enough and miss the every day connection terribly sometime. I guess this is just one of those times. We talk often, several times a week, but it's just not enough.

I have one daughter and one grandson...being this far away from each other is just the pits. A visit helps, but my "real job" and travel expenses get in the way. I've been swamped getting ready for my art fair season and now am coming down to the finish line...I'm to the point that my brain now has room for thoughts of other things and this terrible loneliness for my daughter and grandson is creeping in again. A visit at this time is just not possible.

So my question is this: I know many families are separated like do you deal with it and how do you keep that close connection when separated by so many miles? What do you do to keep your mind off of just how bad you miss them?

The "Chat Line" is open...I'm anxious to here what you have to say. And as always, please feel free to comment on what others have to say.

Hope you're enjoying the wonderful weekend.

Website ...Marsha Robinett Fine Art
My Squidoo ...Drawing Techniques


Terry Rafferty said...

Marsha, I can't believe how timely your last couple of postings have been in my life - especially this one about family and separation. My daughter lives in Seattle and I'm in New Mexico. Like you, frequent visits aren't possible, we try for 4 times a year, but usually it works out to just 2.
Last month my computer decided to die, as did my daughter's. We both bought Apple computers, but apparently this works with PCs as well, as long as you both have video cameras with the computers. If you use Apple, get a .mac account (less than $100, it gives you a number of great benefits) or, for free and with either Apple or PC, download an AIM account from AOL. This will allow you to talk for free over the computer with video. (With the .mac you use iChat instead of AIM)
I NEVER would have dreamed of the difference it would make in staying close! She and I have Video-chatted twice today - I got to see her brand new haircut; I held up the painting I'm working on for her to see. Your grandson could show you his current schoolwork, or whatever - it just makes a connection that you can't get over the phone.
Before having this I thought it was just a toy - now I'm so glad I had to get a new computer!

There are other benefits, like sharing files between computers, too.

If you have any questions about making this work I'd be happy to answer them as I can - its truly wonderful! Email me at


Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks so much for your post...Like you we try for 4 times a year, but is usually only 2 or 3. I'm going to check into this "camera" thing you spoke of. It sounds like it would really make a difference. I don't often get into such a "funk". It's not that the feelings aren't there...I just don't allow them to dominate my thoughts. But, today they got the best of me.

By the way, my daughter and grandson may be relocating to Seattle in a year or would be great if we could meet someday.

Deborah Ross said...

My three children all live in different states, no one closer than 6 1/2 hours by car. My situation makes travel difficult ( I'm paralyzed and in a wheelchair) but not impossible, but the hard thing is I have to stay in a hotel because my chair won't fit in most bathrooms. So it's very costly for me to visit them and I'm the one who has the time to travel. Very frustrating. I know how you feel. And now the worst part, my only daughter, who has always been very close to me, is going to have my first grandchild in November. I could just cry thinking about this, because I don't know how I;m going to be able to afford to stay there very long to snuggle that new baby. Terry's advice is so appropriate for me; I just got an iMac! Marsha, I hope you are able to spend more time with your grandson. They grow so fast!

hbedrosian said...

Good topic! I think that e-mails are a great way to keep in touch when time and distance is a factor, but I agree that it's just not the same. I am close to my sister and brother, but my sister is in Alaska, and my brother is in Florida (I'm in Massachusetts). Luckily, my sister is coming home TOMORROW for a brief visit before moving down to Florida, so I am planning on clearing my schedule to spend some time with her!

Susan Carlin said...

Hi Marsha! The best thing is a webcam and Windows Live Messenger. getting to see my folks and talk with them at the same time is ALMOST like being there. We show each other what we're working on and we don't fuss about what we're wearing. Phone calls are definitely a sad substitute. Just seeing each other helps a lot. If you're not using a webcam, I highly recommend it.

Marsha Robinett said...

So sorry to hear about your situation. I understand your heartbreak at the thought of the birth of your first grandchild.

Something to of my customers needed to accommodate her aging mother for a time and her wheel chair also would not fit through the bathroom doorway. They purchased an office chair on wheels and a portable unit for the bedroom. The system was a bit awkward but worked great at the time. The investment would be minimal compared to staying in a hotel. You simply have to have time to "snuggle" that new baby!
Thanks so much for sharing. I don't know about you but I felt better after putting my thoughts out some small way it lessened the the feeling of separation.

Glad to hear you and your sister will have time together before her move to Florida. You're right, emails and phone calls help but they can't replace a "real hug".

I'm definitely going to look into the web cam...sounds perfect. I agree, being able to see each other would be great.

Thanks for letting me know how this has worked for you. I'd heard of the web cam but didn't understood how it worked. This "web cam" sounds like the perfect answer to an imperfect situation.

Jeanette said...

I believe its a sign of the times when families are scattered to the wind these days and I'm no different with both daughters in western Canada and me in the far east.

I also have a 16 month old grand daughter who I have seen for 3 weeks of her life so far. I see them about once a year. Costs of travel and scheduling is difficult, though I managed twice last year!

Yes, we use a web cam too as well as microphone as its easier than typing and cheaper than phoning. We use Microsoft Messenger to communicate, but most chat programs provide similar services. Skype is also good for phone/computer conversations and cuts down on costs.

I'm afraid my grand daughter will think Grandma lives in a little box on the computer! However, its better than nothing, but also difficult to communicate with an active baby. I imagine it improves as the child is older and more able to interact.

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