Sunday, August 8, 2010


Do you ever stop to think about all the different ways we have to communicate electronically with each other? Cell phones, cordless phones, email, pagers, instant messaging, social networking,and text messaging. We can leave voice mail and answering machine messages. Even getting online in our home is not restricted to the computer. We can also access the Internet through the Wii, the Nintendo DSi, the ipod Touch, and our cell phones thanks to wireless networking. It's amazing how far we've come in such a short amount of time. Communication has become very easy. Most of us probably take for granted that when we have something to tell someone we can usually get our message to them almost instantly by cell phone, leaving a voicemail or sending an email. It can be frustrating when we get used to that instant gratification and suddenly it's taken away from us. That is what I'm trying to get used to this week.

Mike arrived in Afghanistan this past week and although I've had some kind of communication from him daily, it has definitely been difficult and frustrating. The biggest problem is we keep missing each other. It's not like I can just pick up the phone and call him back when I miss his call. Although they have made huge improvements since the last time he was there, he is still somewhat restricted on phone or computer access. There is no private cell phone availability so I can't send him a quick text update. They have to take turns using the phone center and the computer center. Sometimes that means there are lines or nothing available to use. And when he finally gets a chance to use the computer it will be at the exact moment my internet screws up or we are not at home. It makes me wish I could just sit here at my desk waiting for the IM screen to pop up telling me he's online or have the phones within arms reach and fully charged so that I don't miss that call. But the reality of the situation is that he is working 12 hour shifts with limited free time to even attempt to call or get online. And he's 8 1/2 hours ahead of us. So when I'm going to bed, he's just starting his workday. I have errands to run and of course he tried to call the other night while we were at the Strassenfest with all of the the loud bands playing around us. I didn't hear the phone. Tonight we got lucky. He walked to the call center after getting up to start his day and there was no line! Better yet, we were home. The only bad thing was the call wasn't long enough. He got a few free 200 minute phone cards before he left but unfortunately that only gets him 20 minutes for the overseas call. So we got cut off before saying goodbye. I'm not complaining though. It was great to talk to him.

It should get better once he's in his permanent housing. We are told he will be able to get Internet access and the video portion of Skype should work in his room. That will be wonderful. He will not only be able to talk to us without having to use a phone but we'll also get to see each other. I'm sure there will still be times when everything will not work correctly. He's on the other side of the world and technology can only do so much under the conditions there. But we'll take what we can get.

I've thought a lot this week about how hard it must have been to be a miltary wife years ago. Soldiers would leave home for war and sometimes they wouldn't hear anything until they walked back in the door a year or two later. I can't imagine how hard it must have been never knowing if they would ever come home. And sometimes they didn't come home. Remembering those military families and all that they sacrificed makes my frustrations this week seem rather small.

God Bless our soldiers and their families.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.