Mom’s social network was the telephone, during 1950-1960s years she and Dad raised my two brothers and me in Elmhurst, Illinois. It was black and hung on the kitchen wall with a twisty cord about 3 feet long.
I liked Mom being on the telephone for three reasons:
1. It brought a feeling of expansion and news of the outside world to our house, a festive air just hearing Mom talk, generally to one of her two sisters.
This leads to reason #2:
2. It took Mom’s attention off of us. Also festive.
3. It placed Mom in a geographic location. This reason has assumed greater import since then because I miss it. I miss knowing where a telephone caller IS. When I was away at college talking to Mom she was rooted in her kitchen. When I married and moved to Iowa and talked to Mom, same thing. While I was at work and while I was a new Mom I didn’t always welcome her calls but I took for granted Mom was there, in our kitchen, like always. Much later, Mom contracted a disease that rendered her unable to talk and that ended. The always part ended.
Today, I often ask friends and family callers WHERE they are. I just want to know. I like knowing.