This week my big silent worry has been Mackensie, who just turned 22 and graduated from college, and went on her first adventure to Florida without us!
On a side note, how great is it that you can take a flight within minutes of our houses at the Manchester Boston Regional Airport and three hours later you arrive in Florida? The ticket prices are so very low, as long as you plan ahead a little.
I’m not sure if all the new technology we have now makes us worry less or worry more.
We were able to track the flight in the air the entire time and, thank goodness, it never went off course.
Once she landed our family has the latest and greatest app. I think it’s called Find My Friends. As long as it’s OK with the person you want to follow, or I guess in some ways you could even say “stalk.”
Well, with these new apps we can check to see exactly where someone in your bubble is any time of the day or night. My parents would never believe this could be even possible.
It has both positive and negative parts. It can sure ruin any surprises you might be trying to plan, that’s for sure!
We also have endless texting and the ability to call someone from wherever you are to wherever they are. They could be on a romantic date, a job interview, swimming, and the scariest, driving a car, but we can reach them or keep bugging them until they finally answer.
The entire time Mackensie was gone I worried. Actually, I worried until she arrived back this past Sunday. Not only could I watch actually where she was, and we could even text while she was in the air, but I could track the weather. When I realized severe thunderstorms could be headed our way right as she was about to land, you can bet I worried more.
My dear friend Ralph Langone, 90, told me quite a while ago that in one of our stories together I should tell you about my own first adventure heading off into the deep blue skies when I was just 21.
How did my parents survive it? Remember, I’m an only child from a very small family. I grew up over at Kendallwood Condominiums and it was just the three of us.
Our phone was attached to the wall and we believed we were living large and very modern when dad brought home the 15-foot phone cord so you could move around a little while you were talking on the phone.
In my senior year of college, I announced to my mom and dad that I planned to study abroad at the Bath School of Higher Education in Bath, England, for the better part of a semester. A month or so later they were driving my friend Patty and me to the Boston Airport in a winter snowstorm.
We kissed and hugged goodbye and hoped to be able to talk sometime the next week. The only thing they could monitor was that the plane couldn’t leave on time, because the plane had to be de-iced before we could take off. They had no way to track us or call. They just hoped at some point we would find a phone at the college that we could use to call home.
Remember, back then, that was called making a “long-distance call.” Our long-distance phone bills were always a worry. Now we call anywhere in the world whenever we want, and we don’t think twice about it. What a different world. You also had to be careful with how long you were talking. Every minute cost money and it was expensive.
We landed in Heathrow, two very naïve girls, each with one big suitcase and one 60-pound backpack. Our big plan was to backpack across Europe after our studies were done.
Two girls alone, staying wherever we could afford, with only the U.S. cash we had converted into other countries' money. No phone, no people we could call, no apps with our locations — we only had each other. My mother must have been worried sick the entire time. She must have been afraid to leave our condo in case she missed a call from me. What a different way to live, but we did.
Somewhere down the road, I will have to tell you more about it.
We arrived at the college, which had also experienced an unexpected winter storm, to no power but wonderful people. We studied together and taught in their schools.
When our time was done, Patty and I filled our huge backpacks, bought our Eurail passes and headed to the boat that would take us from London to the train then to Paris in just a few hours.
The only guide we had was a book called Europe on $10 a Day! Too funny to think back now and wonder how we made it.
Paris, Rome, Zurich, Salzburg, Munich, and back to London in a whirlwind two weeks. A few calls back home in between.
Mom and dad never heard the stories of how someone tried to steal our passports while we were sleeping on a train headed for Italy; or how exciting, but scary, it was to be in many countries where we didn’t speak their language and they didn’t speak ours.
Somehow, we made it, and what a great adventure we had and shared with those we loved once we were home safely. Imagine how different that same adventure would be today.
Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.