A Lovely Holiday Movie

My husband and I, lovers of old movies, stumbled onto a good one that’s perfect for the holidays.

“Remember the Night” (1940) features Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in the story of a district attorney whose effort to get out of town so he can get home to Indiana in time for Christmas results in a shoplifter being detained in jail until after New Year’s…unless he takes responsibility for her over the holidays. So he drags her along on his road trip back home, where she meets his kind family, who treat her much better than most thieves would expect.

My husband is a Hoosier, with several wonderful relatives still living “back home in Indiana,” so the movie had special relevance for him. But I liked it a lot, too, and I’m amazed that Stanwyck and MacMurray could play characters that are so very different from those they played in “Double Indemnity,” their most famous movie pairing (and not a movie for kids).

This is a different kind of holiday movie with a surprise ending; we really liked it, and will probably watch it next Christmas, too.

The Blind Leading the Blind

My Bible reading today includes the following (partial) verse:

“…and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 15:14

It occurs to me that with the advent of the Internet came forums, where we can commiserate with others in our situation, whether the topic is medical issues, parenting, homeschooling or something else.

But it’s one thing to befriend like-minded people, and another to take their advice when they don’t know much more than you do. It’s still wise to find an expert to consult, or read books by experts.

When you don’t know any experts, you can always pray for some. When I was a young mom with four kids running around, I really craved the advice of an older woman. But my own mother was not accessible at that time. So I prayed for mentors, and sure enough, over time God led me into friendships with several older women in my church. What an inspiration they were! A couple of them continue to inspire me, long after I moved to another state, because we’ve kept in touch.

So don’t fall into a pit; find someone who’s familiar with the path.

 

How I Escaped SmartPhone Addiction

I bought my first cell phone about 20 years ago. It was handy for letting my husband know where we were when the kids and I were out running around, but since it was a prepaid phone and minutes were expensive, I only used it when necessary and kept it off most of the time.

I was forced to upgrade phones once or twice over the years, but I never got into using the thing regularly, partly because of the cost and partly because I like being out of the reach of others for periods of time. I need that time to think.

Once smartphones took hold, I looked into getting one and rejected the idea pretty quickly. As a writer and therefore a reader, I can’t stop myself from reading; I was addicted to news sites on the Internet before I ever got a cellphone. Having the Internet at hand 24/7 in the form of a smartphone would be going in the wrong direction.

Of course, like the few others who don’t have smartphones, I’ve suffered through having dinner guests who rudely keep checking their phones, nearly been hit by drivers who are checking their phones, and have occasionally been interrupted in worship by the chirping, dinging or singing of some fellow worshipper’s phone. Sigh.

But I never really thought about how fortunate I am to have evaded the call of the smartphone until I read this article. The writer describes his phone addiction and his efforts to break it in detail. (He also makes me glad that I’ve always limited my time on Twitter.) It’s particularly poignant that restricting his smartphone use now lets him spend more focused time with his wife and kids, but they too are addicted to their smartphones, so one has to wonder just how meaningful his newly gained time with them can be.

Someone recently pointed out to me that I miss out on a lot by not being on Fbook. That’s true. I wish that others in my family weren’t so addicted to posting their entire lives online where others can see and I can’t. That said, I think there’s a special place in hell for people like those who created Fbook, who lure people in with a software program that lets them keep in touch with others so they can make a lot of money sharing and selling those people’s personal information to other companies. I don’t want any part of that.

As for smartphones, that article made it pretty unlikely that I’ll ever get one. His experience makes a compelling case for living your life without becoming a slave to perpetual notifications on a gadget.