So I'm sitting here at the computer on Thanksgiving Day, taking a break from cooking to nurse Kateri and peek at a blog or two, when I hear this funny burbling computer noise that I've never heard before. A window pops up to tell me Nana is calling and I mutter something about how I don't know how to answer this thing and then I am startled to hear Nana tell me I must know how*. In another second her smiling face appears to wish us Happy Thanksgiving. Michael opens the lens cover on the eyeball shaped electronic thingy that sits on top of our monitor and then Nana waves and says, "Hi Kateri! It's Nana!"
I felt like Jane Jetson.
I needed a little help from George to get it fixed right and then we all enjoyed our cyber visit with Nana. It's hard to spend holidays far away from family members but connecting with webcams is the new next best thing to being there. Michael was itching to try this new technology after talking with a colleague who keeps in touch with his daughter in China using webcams. Michael bought a webcam for us (a Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX purchased locally to be exact) but Nana already had a camera built into her Mac laptop so it didn't cost her anything. Nana and we have both set up Skype accounts, which are free. Calls between two Skype accounts are free, so the only cost involved is the camera purchase if you don't already have one.
We have 'visited' several times with Nana this way. It is fun to watch the children visit - they naturally fetch their recent projects to bring in front of the camera to show Nana who appropriately oohs and aahs over pictures, swords, sewing projects and whatnot. The cutest part has been to watch Kateri and Eliza interact with Nana. There is a small window where they can see themselves along with the big screen of Nana, so they are very entertained. It is just precious to see them counting and saying their alphabets and signing with Nana while she peek-a-boos and plays right along with them. Little ones grow and change so fast and it is nice to have this way to keep in touch along the way.
Last night after the game we called Nana up to show her the Scrabble board and discuss the play. It was great fun to recount the game with her and let the winner share his victory with Nana.
So, do you have a Skype account?
*Note this was possible because we were expecting Nana to call and had our end set up to receive incoming calls. You don't have to worry about being interrupted with random incoming calls unless you have that feature enabled.