Cheryl Franklin

I had a sinking feeling on Friday morning when all of the communication was out in Grove Ė at least if you were affiliated with AT&T.

I didnít get very concerned when the Internet wasnít working but then we realized the long distance was out at the office as well as the local telephone service. I wondered if we paid the bill. But when the cell phones werenít working either, then I started to worry.

It was September 11 and it was around 9 a.m. and for an instant Ė well, maybe even longer than an instant, I wondered if something sinister had happened. We couldnít call out to find out either. Until we got the information that it was a fiber optic line that was cut we still wondered.

We had to go to plan B to get our work done at the office Ė pony express Ė not exactly, but we did have to drive to Miami to take some ads to our other office, instead of emailing. And everyone was asking how we used to get along without our current mode of communication.

Even though I depend heavily on our electronic communications, I donít usually ask how we got along without it. I participate in a lot of 19th century activities so I know how we got along. Actually, people depended heavily on newspapers for their information and people didnít expect to know everything immediately as we do today.

I do spend a lot of time on the phone and on the email, mostly for work purposes. And, people that work a lot sometimes find it hard to connect with family and friends. However, thanks to Facebook I can now keep up with what everything my family is doing. I mean everything! Almost by the minute, in some cases.

I can tell you that my brother in Colorado is cooking chili, my sister in Virginia is at story time with her little boy, my son is in a bad mood, my other son is getting worked up about the government and my mom in NY is heading to the Irish festival Ė all that in just a few minutes of lurking on Facebook.

Not only that, I can see pics of all of my friends and even people that arenít my friends but they want to be my friend. All my long lost relatives are now at one big happy family e-reunion.

Now that everyone has been reacquainted through Facebook, we may never have to have a live reunion again since we donít have anything new to talk about and we already know what youíve been doing every day, even every minute.

I now know whenever my family or friends are cooking, cleaning, feeding the dog, reading a book, studying for school, waking up, going to bed, watching a movie, or even listening to their spouse snore.

And with all of the little extra playthings on there Iíve had food thrown at me, water balloon fights started; Iíve been hugged, poked and tagged. Iíve been invited to join every cause known to man and to become a fan of things I never heard of.

I can take a quiz to find out who I was in my past life, what my native American Indian name is, where I will be in 10 years and whatís my ghetto nickname.

While I donít have time or the inclination to find out all of these amazing things about myself, itís fun to see how other people fare.

I am not a very active poster on Facebook but my siblings are and since we all live in different states itís reunited our relationships like nothing else could.

My mom, who is 82-years-old is pretty computer savvy and does a better job at posting than me.

So, who needs to write letters anymore?

My son received a letter from his uncle the other day. His uncle doesnít live far away but they donít see each other much and his uncle is a wonderful letter writer.

It was refreshing to see a real, live letter come in the mail and so well received.

I think they should have National Letter Writing Day. It would be a day when everyone composes a hand written letter to a relative or friend.

I would begin mine: ďDear Friend, Sorry I havenít written much. Please send me your email address and Iíll keep in touch more often.Ē

So, if there is ever a disaster and the Internet is interrupted for any length of time, what I will miss the most is keeping in touch with family and friends so easily.

And, just so we donít miss anyone, The Grove Sun now has a Facebook page, be on the lookout for the link on our website.

Write to us online and let us know what you are up to Ö. Or write us a letter; weíll appreciate your communication either way.

Cheryl Franklin lives in the past and looks forward to the future. In Real

Life, she is the publisher of The Grove Sun.