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No Room at the Inn for a Cat

The Elder Storytelling Place and Facebook

All right, I admit it – Facebook has nothing to do with The Elder Storytelling Place and vice versa. Just think of this as a double post.

The Elder Storytelling Place
As I do on most Saturday or Sunday mornings, on Saturday I was preparing the five Elder Storytelling Place contributions for publication this week.

I read every story that arrives word-for-word at least three times – once for the story, again to fix any spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, capitalize or un-capitalize words as needed, pull up areas where there are too many spaces, separate words that are run together, do some re-paragraphing for ease of online reading and generally tidy them up to match the Time Goes By/Elder Storytelling style book.

After I've added the html code, any images, byline, the addendum inviting new authors and loaded them in to the publishing tool, I read them again in preview, word-for-word, to be sure no errors have slipped in.

And it struck me on Saturday, as it often does, how extraordinarily good these stories are – every one of them. There are a handful of professional writers among the regular contributors, but the majority, more than 95 percent, are written by ordinary people who, in their professional lives, did or still do as many different kinds of work as any other segment of the population. They haven't spent their lives writing, yet they are immensely accomplished.

I know I've mentioned this before and am boring those of you who have heard it or are regular readers of ESP, but for the rest of you, I cannot recommend these stories enough.

Some are funny anecdotes, others are sad or poignant, many teach us through the writers' vast stores of knowledge and lessons learned over long lifetimes and still others speak to us about personal experience with cultures and ways of living we would not know without them.

The hour or two it takes to prep the five stories has become a blog task I look forward to every week. (Oh, goody, what will find this time.) So if you're not clicking that link to The Elder Storytelling Place at the end of each day's Time Goes By story, do yourself a favor and try it. I have never been disappointed and neither will you.

Here are only ten of the dozens of complex things the culture now expects – nay, demands – that I master:

  1. What anti-oxidents are and what to do about them, if anything

  2. The arcane rules of Congress

  3. How to invest

  4. Can I still take aspirin and if not, which of five different kinds of over-the-counter pain medications works for a headache

  5. What to do when a CFL bulb breaks

  6. Which celebrity named Chelsea/Jennifer/Brittney is which

  7. How to book the cheapest airline flight and brag about it too

  8. How to identify the seven different kinds of container plastic when the number is printed in a transparent triangle this size Plastic-recycling2 and my recycling collector doesn't take all of them

  9. How to clean a glass-top cook stove

  10. The intricacies of Facebook

I don't know how to do any of these things – at least, not well - and guess which one I'm giving up on first.

It's not that I don't appreciate the many messages from Facebook users in the days surrounding my birthday last week, but am I supposed to answer on my page, your page and where the hell is my wall?

Wait. Don't answer. There are only 24 hours in a day and with the above list to tackle (among others I have omitted), Facebook seems the least of my ignorance. So don't be insulted that I've given up even attempting to respond. (I do answer email.)

Chelsea/Jennifer/Brittney doesn't make the cut either – so now my learning list is down to eight.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ralph Lymburner: The Quest of a Widower and the Humane Society


Facebook is downright silly & frivolous. However, it's the only place I get to see lots of pics of my grandkids so that part of it works for me. But then there's nothing like Skype to subsitute for a real visit. Also, you're right about the stories, they're a treat. Dee

Facebook can be fun and informative, but you have to take the time to learn how to use it, and that requires experimentation. Click on everything to see what happens, and you might find yourself enjoying it.

I always enjoy the Elder Storytelling place and you are right!

I thought #6 would be the first thing you gave up, if indeed you ever tried.

Google CFL bulbs and you will find that info.

I haven't taken the time to learn how to use Facebook and I don't intend on doing so. If I get an e-mail message from a Facebook friend I answer it; otherwise, I don't have time. Reading the blogs of others keeps me enough.

I figured out how to close my Facebook -- permanently -- after deciding that it's was a waste of my energy.

Here's a video on cfl light bulbs that explains their disposal and why I won't use them in addition to that they are hard to read by.


Last year I got facebook because my kids have it. I find it just fine for me but I have limited what I do there to checking on friends, my kids and posting the family photos that I won't put in my blog as with facebook the people there are all identified by name and I know them either through blogging or in reality. If I don't know them, I turn down the invitation to add them. It was a little hard for me at first because I kept getting invitations to games etc. And I felt rude to ignore them (although I did anyway); but I finally realized ignoring was just fine and the only way I would have control. If the games are someone else's thing, that is fine but they are not mine. I like the privacy aspect of it-- and if it ever turns out to not be private, I will get out as I won't put photos of grandchildren or kids anywhere that was public. I know some do it but I don't trust who is out there enough for that.

According to Facebook, there are more grandparents on their site than high school students (http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebooks_own_estimates_show_youth_flight_from_sit.php)

Stav who is on Facebook all the time and also uses it to get the word out for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York's (Facebook Page.

I've grown addicted to The Elder Story Place. Thank you, Ronni, for putting all the time into the editing of it. I will sometimes even dream about something I read there as I am moved by it so deeply!

How strange...I just put a widget for Facebook on my blogs! I have no problem turning people down as friends on Facebook if I don't know them or know where they came from (so if you want to friend me, you'd better reference TGB or I may not recognize you!) Also there is a lot of spam that comes to my alternate emails that are not associated with my FB account, so I can see why people who only use one email account might find it troubling. I also hide people then dig them out of the trunk for airing every once and awhile - as I'm sure others do to me. If I forget to respond to people in a timely manner - I assume (maybe wrongly) that I am forgiven because I DO forgive others for not responding. It is easy enough on FB to send a private message for anything that I need someone to know.

FB is a stream of consciousness thing for me and I think probably not suited to everyone. Of course, I reflect when I hear someone wise like Rain suggest that I might be making a horrible mistake in sharing information about myself and my family. In my case, my sons are such techno-geeks that I couldn't stop them from identifying anything and everything, even if I tried. I find the transparency refreshing. I've also been made a fool of more than once. I hope it doesn't come back to haunt us. There are no guarantees it won't.

My favorite thing about FB is it is always open. My least favorite thing is that it is like driving on the Interstate. If you go there you DO need to pay attention to the traffic and develop an instinct for possible dangers. Not everyone needs to take the highway but I still find it useful!

No. 1 is a snap. Have a half cup of blueberries (preferably from Michigan; we need the money) every morning with breakfast. That's all that's needed.

This kind of goes along with the questions about facebook-- Getting off on facebook. It didn't surprise me as I began with the internet way back with chat rooms and saw a lot of abusive people through those years. The blogs haven't been that way at least for me and I am not sure why. I use a lot of photos of myself there and have not had anybody (well maybe a few) really get out of line with what they said about them. My grandchildren are ages 2 to 12 and I am glad their parents are wary of the net and keep an eye on what they do there. It is a place with much potential of misuse for children by those who prey on others given half a chance. What I like about facebook is that it doesn't expose everybody to everybody out there. You can choose your degree of privacy and let all see your photos or limit them to friends. You can also hide yourself totally while still being there. I have a friend who is on facebook, didn't want to add me to her list there (which I was fine with) and doesn't show up herself to anybody unless she posts a comment somewhere.

Well I love Facebook and find it a great way to meet new friends and professional contacts and keep in touch with existing dear ones.

The Wall location is easily found by going from your Home page to your Profile page. Then at the left side of the top menu bar, you will see Wall.

The culture cannot demand anything of you -- it is only what you decide to pay attention to that is important.

I didn't want to be on FB so my dog is there instead. ;^) Same with Twitter. I see them as entertainment and information resources only. Others use them in different ways, and that's fine.

Do what you enjoy, ignore what you don't. Only way to be happy!

Here, it's a little different. If I want to keep up with the young, I need Facebook. Ferget the Anti-oxidants, the Brittanies, We go by road or train, and the stove. The plastics are more important along with Facebook, but if given a choice, the grandkids come first.

Nope, you don't have to answer any of it.

LOVE your outlook on these things!
I'm with you.
I give a glancing look at my Face Book account once in a while ... and still haven't a clue as to how to respond to an "invitation" on LinkedIn.
I'll get around to it sooner or later.

1. Anti-oxidants are negative oxidants and who needs more grumpy influences.
2. Are arcane rules some sort of new board game?
3. Invest in a large, clean mayonnaise jar. Just remember where you hide it.
4. It’s hard enough sorting out the types of aspirin, forget the other five meds.
5. Lay in a huge supple of incandescent bulbs now.
6. Who cares?
7. Call a travel agent, then lie to your friends.
8. Toss all the plastics in the neighbor’s recycle bin and let them sort it out.
9. You are supposed to CLEAN a glass-top stove?
10. The wall is what you hit trying to figure out Facebook. The objective is to get more friends than anyone else and you win.

I love lists!

I love Facebook!! It's an easy way to keep up with family and friends. I hate the silly stuff, so I just ignore the gifts and games. I have found many people from my past on FB. It's a little like Classmates in that respect. And FB is free. It's also a good place for support groups...you name it and it's on FB. And it's a great place to start alumni groups. Without FB, I would never have re-connected with my former friends/co-workers.

Oh, Ronni! I totally get it. What's more, my son created a page for me, another for my B&B, and a third for my husband. They all have the same password. I do my best to post, but feel definitely in another age category, as you pointed out. Older.

Sorry I missed your birthday. Hope it was a happy one.

I'm with you on the Facebook thing. I was in it for a while but never could quite figure out what was where, as you say, and found it generally not remotely intuitive. And - there aren't enough hours in the day...

So I de-activated my account for a few months. Then I was asked to activate it again to help find classmates for a high school class reunion. I've done that and am using it but nothing has changed. It remains wierd. And frustrating as all get out. Grrrrr.....

OYE VAY!!!! Such a list....thank you for my laugh of the day. I am on FB - you can friend me if you have nothing better to do....lol lol

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