“How small are you chopping the dates?” Tim asked my husband as they stood in their respective kitchens cooking. “About like this,” he responded holding up a date piece to the computer’s camera lens. The screen showed dual pictures, one of Tim holding up a date piece to compare to the one we could see in the other screen showing my husband’s hand. They looked about the same size. “Let’s chop them a little more and that’ll be good,” they agreed.

It was almost like being together in the same place, cooking, talking, laughing, as we have done so many times in the past 26 years of our friendship. Yet we now live 700 miles apart and find our get togethers too far and few between. “Should we open the wine yet?” my husband asked Tim. “Well, I think it’s a critical part of cooking,” he said and a glance at the screen showed he was ahead of the game.

The men had gone to the same grocery store at the same time but in our respective states. They spent nearly an hour on the phone walking through the store figuring out a culinary treat for dinner. They bought all the same ingredients, down to the dark chocolate for dessert and, of course, the wine. We opened our bottle as his wife arrived home from work and walked into their kitchen and our view. Four friends together again. We lifted our glasses toward our laptops, toasting another treasured evening together.

Despite the occasional audio stuttering and fluttering image, which usually evoked more laughter, Skype allowed us to transcend the barrier of distance and get a friends fix that made an ordinary weeknight seem like a holiday. Dinner was served in both states at the same time. We sat close together to fit in the camera’s view, commented on our fabulous meal and caught up on life.

Given our geographic distance, getting together usually takes significant planning and big chunks of time. But technology brought us together for a couple of hours, and with no travel, just as if we lived nearby. Between the gourmet meal, the joy of an unexpected evening with them and new possibilities for more connection, I’ve been energized for days.

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