text britt-arnhild, images from Philip
Blogging has given me friends from around the whole world. Many of them I have met in person, here, there or everywhere, others I meet through the computer screen and through their hearts. Philip is one of my Heart Friends, an important part of my extended blog family.
I don´t remember how we first met, may be you can help me Philip? But I know we have known each other for years.
Some time ago I asked Philip if I could share our friendship in my blog, and got an email filled with photos back.
This is what Philip wrote:
Yes you may certainly write about me as your friend. I can't remember just how many places I've have been to through your Blog. I always think that there are two different ways to visit another place. One is to join a tour group and visit the places the bus travels through by looking out of the window. The second way is to meet and stay with families in the places you want to visit. By staying with families you get a more personal feeling about the places you visit. I always feel that you take me visiting along with you using the second way by staying with families and getting to know the people not just the great sights.
I have attached some photos of myself.
I have a gmail accout which I seldom use. A couple of days ago I opened it at random, and two seconds later an instant message popped up on my screen. From Philip. We had found a new way to communicate.
Philip has a blog, and this is whan he wrote there after our instant chat:
I was a youngster, in the early 1960’s, when we moved from North Carolina to Allison Iowa where my father was going to be the pastor to one of the churches there. As I remember it for a short period of time the telephone was a box mounted on the wall by the front door. The box had a crank that you turned in order to get the operator’s attention so you could tell her what number you wanted to call. However shortly after we arrived there that phone box was removed and replace with a rotary dial phone.
Then in March of 1965 Dad accepted a church in western Kansas. The phone was a black rotary dial phone and we were on a Party Line. However unlike most rotary phones that had numbers 0 through 9 on the dial this phone had no numbers and you would turn the dial through its entire range in order to reach the operator in Prairie View, Kansas the small western Kansas town. You would tell the operator what phone number you wanted and she would ring the phone in that person’s house. If memory serves me corretly phone number was 8F7 and our party line ring was two long rings and one short ring. Of course being a party line anyone could pick up their phone and listen in to our conversation.
In 1970, I was going to a techincal school in Chicago, when I wanted to call home I would have to dial the operator and have her place the phone call for me. I would hear the operator ring and route the phone call through Kansas City who would ring and route the phone call through Hays Kansas. The operator in Hays Kansas would route my phone call to the Prairie View operator who would ring the correct number of rings on the farm party line and someone in our home would answer the phone and now I would be talking to my family.
That was then and this is now. Now we have satellites making international phone calls in a matter of seconds. Now there are computers allowing a person to go around the world almost instantly. Yesterday I was working a Sudoku puzzle on my computer and as I always do, I had my Instant Messaging program running. All of a sudden, I see Britt-Arnhild of Britt-Arnhild´s House in the Woods on Instant Messaging. I have been reading her Blog for many many years, maybe for as long as she has been Blogging. I use her Blog as a way for me to get out of my bedroom and experience, through her, some of the world. She and I had a pleasant conversation, however a short one because my Home Aid came and I had to say bye to Britt-Arnhild. For a number of years, I have used Instant Messaging to talk to my cousin in the Netherlands and now I feel that I have reached another friend around the world.
Just as the telephone has changed and changed the way we communicate to each other, the Personal Computer has changed how we communicate with each other. I hope that Britt-Arnhild and I will have many more pleasant times talking to each other.
I have a special folder in my email inbox where I keep Philip´s emails. He knows this, and from time to time he sends me copies of emails he shares with his close family. Tales from his life.
Philip and I live very different lives. Me climbing the mountains, travelling the world, he bound to his home, his wheel chair. Still we are on the same planet. And we share something very important:
Thank you Philip for the friend you are to me.