Today in My History

2000:  What Happened to Candy Canes?
2001:  If You Need Me, I'll be Jumping Off a Bridge
2002:  Hottest Gift of the Year!
2003:  I Shoulda Learned from the Goat
2004:  Up on the Housetop
Patriot Schmatriot
2006 Misty, Water-Colored Memories
2007:  Of to See the Wizard
2008:  Blind as a Bat
2009:  Driving Miss Millie
2010:  The Odd Couple
Time for Another Shelf
2012: Kindness Ripples
2013:  The Club is Bigger Now
Kyle's Kitchen
2015  Christmas #1
2016: 73 Christmases
2017: O Tannenbaum
2018: Stacks of Letters
2019: Saturday 9

2020 Christmas Letter

Theater Reviews
Updated 12/6
A Christmas Carol: the
Radio Broadcast

Books Read in 2020
 Updated 11/13
"Frontier Follies"

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2020
Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

Cast (updated 7/16)

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


21 December 2020

Schuyler Rummel-Hudson is 21 years old.  I saw a note from her father, Rob Hudson on Facebook this morning and it started me thinking about the internet community.

I have never met Rob, but have been reading his journal entries since before Schuyler was born.  I remember her birth.  I remember the concerns her parents had about her in her first couple of years.  I remember when they were concerned at her inability to speak at 18 months of age and her eventual diagnosis of  bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria (an extremely rare neurological disorder).  I remember reading Rob's book, "Schuyler's Monster." I remember her getting her "big box of words" and reading of her progress through school to high school graduation, after it had been predicted she would never be able to attend school and might not live all that long. I remember her parents' divorce. I remember Schuyler's first job.

Schuyler has been an important part of my life for 21 years and I will never see her in person or have any direct communication with either Schuyler or her father.

The internet is a strange community...and it is a community.  Some people are on social media for political discussions (and arguments).  I have several groups of people whom I have known for many years, whom I will never meet, but who are nonetheless friends.

It started, of course on Compuserve, where I was active in two discussion groups, out of which came many face to face friendships, but also friendships with people I will never meet but still know their family histories.

I started writing Funny the World in March of 2000 and read a lot of other journals and blogs (in 2000 there was a distinct difference between a "journal" and a "blog."  I call this a blog, but I still think of it as a journal) and felt connected to a lot of people, many of whom eventually dropped journal/blog writing and turned to Facebook and Twitter, but I still follow them

When CompuServe changed significantly and I decided to try this new thing called "Facebook," in the beginning I joined a group called "Am I the Oldest Person on Facebook?" ... and I was!  Now, of course, you have people in their 90s who are active on Facebook.

But I get comments on Facebook from names I know who remember things about my life over the past 20 years, and about whose life I know a lot, yet we will never meet.  I remember when I was on CompuServe and my son David gave me a hard time about "invisible friendships."  Are  they any less friendships because you have never seen each other face to face?  Of course not.

Some become face to face friends.  I learned about a woman named Gabi Clayton through PFLAG because we had lost a son and so had she.  I communicated with her.   She told me about a show called The Last Session and I became involved in the internet discussion group about that show, which changed my life when I met Steve Schalchlin, who has become one of my best friends

I remember the Facebook friend who was diagnosed with cancer, saw her through her chemo and, years later, to her being declared cancer free.  I didn't care less about her because I didn't know her in person.

I have grieved with "invisible friends" as they dealt with the death of their family members or partners.  Many of them shared their feelings as they were watching their loved ones die, or waste away from Alzheimers, and you feel sad that all you have to offer is a {{hug}}.

And I have grieved the death of many internet friends I have never met.  I still think of the guy in Rhode Island who committed suicide after his cancer diagnosis.  He was my very first live camera interview and I remember him every Sunday as I watch Sunday Morning, which he told me once he thought I would like.  I've been watching that show ever since.

I think about the older guy in Seattle who could not get photos on his computer every time I post a lot of photos.  Before he died, I kept photos to a minimum, knowing that he read my journal and had a hard time with photos.

Every March on the anniversary of this journal, I think about, and miss, Jim's Journal.  Jim, who lived in Rhode Island, was always there to wish me a happy journalversary.  His journal was a few years older than mine (his first entry was 1996 and mine was 2000) and he was one of the cheerleaders who kept me on my diet in the early years of this century.  He told me that my diet encouraged him to get fit...only he did it better than I did, lost weight and became very active.  In fact, he was in the middle of a triathlon when he had the heart attack that killed him six years ago.

I've been doing Sunday Stealing for 14 years.  It has a regular group of about 8-10 who have also been doing it that long, with others joining in now and then.  Several of us are concerned about one of the regulars who suddenly has stopped writing.  She finally let us know she has COVID and this is where "internet relations" are difficult.  You can't call to find out how she's doing, especially when you don't really even know her name. 

One of the Sunday Stealing writers was my favorite read and I always checked her journal first before reading the others.  She and I are now pen pals.

The thing about the internet community is that I find it so fulfilling and have so many relationships with people I either communicate with or at least follow....and nobody in my real life knows anything about most of them.  It's why I have the "mail to Walt" link on this journal because if I die before he does, nobody will know how to find out why I'm missing unless they have a link to contact Walt.



Christmas in Australia

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