Social Media Event IRL, Week Without #SXSW

This week has been super busy. And exceptionally busy for many people on Twitter too! So many of them went to Austin, Texas for a HUGE Social Media Event: SXSW (South by Southwest) Interactive — featuring five days (March 11-15) of presentations by the biggest names in social media, the SXSW Trade Show and programs showcasing the latest technology and the most innovative ideas imaginable. So why didn’t I go? Well….first of all I don’t think I’m quite ready. I would learn a lot, but more importantly I would be overwhelmed. Give me another year absorbing information, learning on Twitter and in the #UsGuys Social Media, Customer Service, Marketing, Innovative Ideas Galore Twitter Stream and perhaps I’ll be ready for an event like this.

Also, as I began to say, I had quite a lot going on IRL (In Real Life)! Last week my mom had a stroke. First it was a stroke, then no, then yes. It was very confusing. Let’s just say that she went from being able to walk and talk to hardly speaking and living in a wheelchair. Every time I was her she seemed worse and phone calls were out. But, I saw her today, March 12th and she is much better! So perhaps it was a medication reaction of some type complicating her already difficult condition: Alzheimers. She and I are so close, I was devastated to think our chats were suddenly over. I am preparing myself for the gradual loss of them that will come with her disease, but poof they’re gone? That would be really tough. So I am very grateful.

Earlier this week I had the privilege, rather than flying to Austin, of picking up my Uncle Rog from the V.A. hospital in Minneapolis after a follow-up appointment to surgery and driving him to his home in Southern, Minnesota. Now I say privilege because Rog will be 96 on St. Patrick’s day and I say any time I spend with him is pure poetry and a real blessing. Especially since he survived a terrible leg break and two surgeries this past fall and winter! Rog and I had what I’m calling a Social Media Event IRL…Everyone in Austin that I know is learning a lot and having a blast. Well that’s what I did my two days with Rog and beginning later that evening with his daughter Sharon. The following day about 5:00 p.m. Sharon’s twin sister Sandy showed up to complete the picture and put the Fantastic in Blast!

First of all, Rog is not just an amazing 96 yr. old who just survived 2 surgeries! He is an inventor. He holds the patent on an invention that will revolutionize the leisure boat industry by making them very hard to sink. I know this for a fact because I was in on the testing of his invention on a lake near his hometown a few years back. We tried all day, about 8 to 10 of us to sink a small pontoon boat and couldn’t. Now our family knows how to have fun! I say our family and Rog is my Uncle, he actually belongs to my husband, Mike, but I’ve made him my own. We’re related by marriage and that’s good enough for me. He and I get along well like two kids at a Birthday Party! We joke and laugh and have a wonderful time. We talk computers because he loves his and now that he’s recovered he sits in front of it all day. I showed him Twitter and he tried to wrap his inquisitive and intelligent mind around it but too many generations seemed to be between us, I had trouble getting through on that. Life, however, he has mastered. He and his wife sang to their children to wake them up every day, “Good Morning to you, Good Morning to you…” A delightful song about greeting each new sunshiney day with a smile. I enjoyed a precious sight when Sharon sang it to him to gently help him wake up from an afternoon rest. He loves his family, wants to leave a legacy with his invention and certainly will. He respects me, though he doesn’t understand for my knowledge of blogging and Twitter. He’s mastered so much IRL. I could learn so much from him if we had lots of time together. I’m going to take all I can in the ensuing months or years he is with us. He’s moving to Silver Bay (WAY NORTHERN!) Minnesota to live in assisted living and I will gladly drive with my husband or without to visit him. Sharon lives about one half hour south of there. I love to spend time with her too!
Thanks for listening to my Social Media Event IRL…we had so much fun — eating good food, drinking sodas and iced tea because Rog can’t have his beer yet — hoping to have one on his birthday! Watching movies together. Taking turns at the computer and listening to each others hopes and dreams. I hope all of you in Austin learned as much and had as great a time! I know you did. Maybe next year! #UsGuys #UsBlogs entry

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