It is amazing how far technology has come.
I still remember passing around the telephone (with a cord!) on holidays when I was a missionary kid growing up in Chile. We knew how expensive an international phone call could be, and how special a privilege it was. Only on rare occasions we kids would have the chance to talk to relatives far away and hear voices that went with faces we wouldn't see for years at a time.
A few days ago we celebrated Thanksgiving at a beautiful retreat in the mountains on the outskirts of Santiago. It was a delightful and restful change of pace, and made all the more precious by having my parents and sister Jennifer's family with whom to share the experience.
My sister Terri's family, however, was far away in Pennsylvania.
So that Thursday night as the festivities wound down and the time change placed us two hours ahead of their schedule stateside, we sat on the porch outside our cabin and with the help of Pedro's Kindle Fire tablet and Skype made a video call to PA. On one end of the screen in Chile the Rubin and Garcia kids took breaks from hide-and-seek in the dark to appear and say their greetings to their cousins at a distance. On the other end the Fisher kids displayed pets and Christmas decorations and danced around the comfort of their cozy living room on a cold night.
It certainly wasn't the same as last Thanksgiving with all of us together. But among all the reasons I am thankful, I am thankful for the positive aspects of technology that allow us moments like these. What I could not have imagined as a child, my own children now have at their fingertips - and family seems just a bit closer this way.