So many things aren’t the way they were just a scant few decades ago. So many of the daily activities that used to involve face-to-face human conversation we now accomplish with no interpersonal exchange whatsoever. Shopping is a case in point. When I was a kid, a trip to town was something to look forward to. Even stopping for gas was a thrill. We kids were filled with giddy anticipation when we pulled into the corner Texaco.
Bill the Texaco man knew every car and every kid within a twenty-mile radius. He was the first man I fell in love with, other than my daddy. Bill carried lollipops in his pocket, and at the time, that seemed like a reason to offer my everlasting affection. The man could tell a great story, too. When I was a kid, it seemed like the air was filled with stories. People told them in passing at checkout counters, at gas stations while windshields were washed and oil was checked, in the carpool line while moms waited for kids to exit the school, or at the post office as packages were being mailed.
I worry that these days our stories are being lost, that in our rush to do more, move faster, communicate in soundbites, we’re losing the very marrow of who we are. Our stories matter. Our stories teach. Our stories entertain.
Most importantly, our stories connect us to one another.
I sometimes wonder, when I’m standing around a hotel lobby, or on an airport shuttle bus, or in a checkout line, watching people hunch over their cell phones, does anyone but me miss the way things used to be? Doesn’t anyone want to say, “All right! Everyone put down your phones. Let’s talk. What’s your story?”
That yearning, that desperate desire to preserve and share stories, both ordinary and extraordinary was the genesis of this little cyber porch you’re visiting now.
Come in, pull up a chair, relax. Let’s share our stories.