When I was growing up, my dad’s family lived in a small town where relatives lived within a couple of square miles of each other. Mother lived next door to daughter, separated by an alleyway. Aunt lived next to nephew and down the street from her sister. The family whose house was just beyond the tiny bridge that defined the city limit was considered “out of town.”
Those days are gone. Or, should I say, they never existed in a real way for the family beyond that small, geographically limited cluster. Now, family members are dispersed across the U.S., North Africa and Europe and tiny factions of our extended clan will be dining together. But we will take a few moments to reach out and Skype someone this holiday. The image may be less than optimal and the connection and quality may waver. The computer may even crash, as it does on occasion. But thank goodness for Skype, Google Hangout or whatever the means to see and hear our loved ones far away.