Revisiting the age-old art of visiting in technology-driven society

Christmas is done. In fact, 2014 is done.

Treena Mielke


Christmas is done.

In fact, 2014 is done.

2015 gives each and every one of us the opportunity to start over. Begin again. And, that, in itself, has to be a good thing.

Starting over. Starting again. Okay, just starting!

It is nice to know the New Year provides the challenge presented by a whole new set of hours, days and months set within the framework of a year. A time yet to be lived, to grow, to learn and to simply be.

It’s all good.

For all of us, 2015 will no doubt present new challenges, and one of the most important, if not the most important, will be communication.

Communication is the gold key that unlocks doors that lead to progress and learning, friendship and understanding.

And while I know texting, tweeting, Bluetooths, cell phones, iPads and iPhones are buzz words in today’s busy, hurry-up, get ‘er-done world, there is another communication tool, texters with their busy little fingers, would do well to remember.

It’s called ‘visiting.’

I was fortunate enough to experience the age-old art of visiting recently, and it was as precious and delightful as a lovely hand-written letter.

They lived out west of the fifth somewhere, past the old Brown farm, driving slowly until you got to the fencepost with the owl on it and then turning right again, past the frozen slough, and finally up to the old farmhouse.

It was like driving through a scene in the movie Dr. Zhivago, so white it was, the fields broken only by deep green slashes of evergreens, their branches obligingly spread out to catch the falling snow, cascading gently down like little clusters of white diamonds.

So quiet. So still. So absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

We arrived, tramping into the house with a friendly Collie dog at our heels and the smell of freshly cut wood in our nostrils.

And as we shut the door on winter, we were welcomed with smiles and hugs and mugs of steaming hot coffee.

And as the wall clock ticked away the afternoon, we participated in one of the best forms of communication known to man.

We visited.

I don’t even think the best part of the visit was verbal. After all, we didn’t talk about anything very much at all. We chatted about the lovely white cat who seemed to be made up mostly of this mop of fur and not much else, we admired the Christmas tree that hadn’t yet been taken down, we talked about absent family members and the price of hay.

But mostly we just sat on an old leather couch and absorbed the heat emitting powerfully from an old wood stove set up in the corner of the living room.

The heat was like a drug, and as lethargy overtook me, I kept nodding off, fighting drowsiness in the name of politeness, unlike the kitten in my lap, who purred and napped contentedly.

It was good to be there, to be quiet and still, petting a warm and soft feline made up mostly of fur that purred, and look out the window at a world frozen to a standstill by the month of January.

And I do believe, as much as 2015 will bring challenges, including new and innovative ways to communicate, it is important to remember that what worked well in the past still holds true today.

Face-to-face visiting.

Awesome! It worked for our grandmas and grandpas and it still works today.


And personally, I think it’s even better than texting.

Treena Mielke is editor of the Rimbey Review, a sister publication of the Sylvan Lake News.


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