Our family didn’t discover that using Zoom to talk with each other was a good idea until quite recently. I can’t believe that the virus is still dominating our lives and that its influence has vastly changed us. Last spring we’d privately taken part in online business meetings, but as far as using this tool for family gatherings, we were in the dark.

Friday after work, I threw together some supper before “jumping onto” Zoom for a gathering. One by one we appeared on the screen, for just the third time. My brother laughed at himself for missing the start time. “I’m so old,” he joked as he set down his book. Actually, he’s a tech-savvy teacher and the one who set up the meeting. My other brother commented with a chuckle that this was the first time we’d all be “together wearing glasses.” While we talked and watched her, my sister drove home from the ferry to the island.

The family hasn’t been together since December 2019 and missed the two summer days at the lake. When there, our kids keep a bonfire going all day, while our elder parents sit by the water watching them swim and tube.

Our first family Zoom meeting became a reunion after business. Cousins who range in age from 11 to 26 poked their heads in, along with a few furry tails. Amidst tears and strong opinions, we decided to use this much more often. Our elder parents need critical care, and frankly all of us can use connection. This slant on face-to-face communication keeps our eyes on one another, since we sit still and our words are more intentionalish, at least. During our long separation, we’ve finally grabbed a lifeline, for some of our best reunions and most support yet. Then there’s the added benefit of no hot dogs and marshmallows, yet. Hmmm, my dad’s birthday is around the corner.

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