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  • Avery Garn

Phone a Friend


A page from Emily Lex's beautiful book Freely and Lightly.

“How do you keep an avocado from turning?” I hear my uncle ask my mom through the phone.


“I think if you keep the pit in or squeeze some lemon, it helps it stay fresh longer,” my mom replies.


I listen to this conversation, standing in my mom's kitchen, wondering why my uncle didn’t just Google this question, and when my mom gets off the phone, I ask her as much.


She shrugs. “He just does that. He checks on me.”

“Our world’s revolution of knowledge has come at the cost of relationships: the other pandemic people are facing is loneliness.” --Clay Scroggins

My mom is widowed and lives alone. By calling my mom to ask about avocados, my uncle expresses both care and need for his little sister. Who doesn't love feeling helpful, needed, having an answer to someone’s question?


But how often does the information available at our fingertips negate the need to make a call to someone who may just have a better, or at least more loving, answer than Google? Maybe the answer is most of the time.


So recently, when I wasn’t sure how to use bleach in the washing machine, I called my mom.


I got a lot more wisdom than bleach ratios.


So maybe the next time we find ourselves wondering about bleach ratios or avocados, we can take the extra time (because it will be extra time) to call someone we love.


But it will be time well spent.

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