I always look forward to seeing some people. I
welcome the phone call, or the Email, and it has to it a warmth and
freshness of camaraderie. Others impinge upon the order of a day,
and I suppose that is why 'caller id' is no longer the luxury it might
once have been.
I imagine there have always existed what a
warm friend calls the 'Drop In'. These belong to a world which I
have found peculiar to some rural settings. One hears the vehicle,
spots the owner from the window, and before being given a chance to close
the curtains, the back door is open and they are hollering for you.
Astonishingly they think this acceptable behavior, and interestingly they
often have a collection of mostly disobedient dogs or children.
On one occasion, some few years ago, a 'Drop In' was 'traveling through'
with children, and telephoned around supper time. We heard the message
on that modern miracle the answer phone. We looked at each other
very briefly before running to our own vehicle and disappearing into town,
after first locking the house up.
We stared at shop windows. We drove around and
stared at people from various car parks. We wondered what on earth was
in the Christian Bookshop. Discovered that it was indeed a greeting
card outlet. We risked Wal-Mart, where we bought a number of unnecessary
things, as well as something for the cat to play with. We went to a
Chinese Restaurant. Nervously opened the fortune cookie. What we
had forgotten to take with us was a watch. Time has never passed so
slowly. Afterwards, as we snuck back home, we shared a sense of
giggling-guiltiness that lingers to this day, but which remains a burden
There is a third grouping. I think of them as
belonging to the telemarketing class. Those who only ever make contact
when they want something. And for this class of individual there may
never be an adequate technology.