Connections through space


Connections through space

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2010

I never thought a single email would change my day. But it did.

In the early morning hours a monsoon hit our city. The streets flooded, the grass was saturated and the flower heads drooped from all the moisture.

I started this day thinking, “This is going to be just another wet day.”

But, I was wrong.

Recently, I was asked to submit an article for a local publication. My focus was a Father’s Day piece and this particular one needed to be just the right fit for my first assignment.

My excitement grew as I typed an email letter to twelve young fathers and grandfathers. In this post, I asked them for their stories they had as a parent with their children.

I was a bit apprehensive and shy to speak to these strange men. I thought to myself, “Why on earth, would anyone want to talk to me?”

It seemed to me, that a personal family story is just that-personal.

Within the hour, after I had pressed the “send” button, I received my first phone call.

“This is Tim. I just received your email. What kind of stories are you looking for?”

I shot of relief shot through me.

This conversation, at first, was a little awkward. As I introduced myself over the phone, I tried to pull out my list of contact names from this email I had sent.

With my trusty list in hand, Tim, the gentlemen caller, introduced himself to me. A short time later he and I had shared many of our family stories, and we both were at ease with each another.

Tim, told me of a funny story with his son, which included a very loud conversation in a laundry chute.

Two hours later, I received another phone call from a grandfather this time. It went something like this, “Hi, this is Larry, got your email. What exactly are you going to need for this article?”

I was on a run now!

Again, I gave Larry my name and background to set him and myself at ease. I worked.

We chatted a long time; and during this conversation a personal relationship was made between the two of us. I even talked him into submitting some more of his thoughts via email.

The internet has many disadvantages. But, in my case, the research for this article sure made it easy and it was well worth the effort to make this personal connection.


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