When all I wanted for Christmas was a Fax machine
I love getting mail, not emails but a handwritten letter with a stamp on it. I have boxes of them that I have saved from my first years in Europe.
Do you remember that light blue, lightweight paper for oversea-mail? I bought pages of it at I time knowing I would use it all. When the mailman came, I would run to the mailbox to see if there was a letter from home. I knew one was coming; one was always coming. I waited anxiously as our letters crossed paths in the air, or stories forever saved on those thin blue sheets of paper. By the time they got there ten things had changed just as ten days had come and gone. I missed home, I missed my family and talking to them just wasn't an option.
My Dad loves to tell stories about his youth in Idaho, "We walked to school in the snow uphill...both ways." All of us would tease him, and he would laugh because of course, both ways weren't uphill.
Now I feel like that old lady as I tell new expats how easy it is for them. I moan, "I couldn't send an email or even a fax for that matter." I hear my Dad in my voice and have to chuckle that I am that woman now.
After about three years in Europe, the Fax machine became mainstream. It was quite expensive, and that was all my Mom, and I wanted for Christmas. I opened my gift and set it up within minutes squealing with joy as I watched the first fax arrive from Mom. One stack of that thin blue paper still resides in my desk drawer; I just can't let go of it.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife