Jonathan Richie BW.tif

First off, Sunday is the 106th Mother’s Day. So, call your mom or any mom in your life.

Speaking of phone calls - it’s amazing, this thing we’ve always called a phone is pretty good at making phone calls. Cell phones have evolved from car phones to flip phones and now we’ve got smartphones.

It doesn’t matter if you have an iPhone or an android phone – that mini-computer we keep in our pockets is capable of more than just showing us social media that we blankly stare at, watching funny videos of raccoons as pets, checking the weather and texting ‘LOL’ without actually following up with outward laughter.

Recently, I have been using my phone to make more phone calls.

I was raised in a house with a landline. If you’re lucky, you still have a landline. Oh, how I miss the days of the landline ringing in our house growing up.

I wasn’t much of a talker on the phone, but I was always good at announcing the phone was ringing.

“Phone! Mom! Phone! It’s probably (insert information about a random conversation we had earlier in the day or a random fictional character from a movie) and you know they don’t like waiting!”

Man, the 2000s were an amazing time to be alive.

There were landlines, football was enjoyed without worrying about head injuries and every kid wanted a scooter.

When we moved from Milwaukee to the suburbs we kept the landline, but my parents invested in a wireless phone, so we could answer phone calls without being tethered to the receiver. Then a few years later my mom splurged and got a cell phone and we’ve never looked back.

During the pandemic, I have a routine and a loose schedule for phone calls.

I continue to call my grandmother Betty Mae Schannauer every Sunday and catch up on what’s new in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Then I make my way through a bunch of other contacts. Mom and Dad, then I call my older brother, mostly just to talk to my niece, who turned six over the weekend.

Along with those calls, I talk to my friends in the city and across the country about what they’re going through.

But there is that added bonus when your mom tries to set up a FaceTime chat with a bunch of people and most people figure it out, but others struggle, and we only end up seeing half their face on the screen. In time, these skills will get better.

And finally, I continue to boycott cable news. What began as a one-month exercise has expanded into an indefinite moratorium.

In similar fashion to the archaic idea of using your phone to make phone calls, I’ve gone back to getting most of my news from online/print publications with real journalists and not talking heads passing time to get to the next commercial break.

I’m hoping it will become a “thing” with people, like talking on the phone.

Make sure to call your mother this weekend!