Jim O'Leary

Waverly Star

By Jim O'Leary

An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.

May 6, 2002

Before I was a Mom I made and ate hot meals. I had unstained clothing. I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and teeth every day.

Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on, pooped on, spit on, chewed on, peed on, bitten or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom I had complete control of my thoughts, my body and my mind. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots.

I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.

I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.

I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.

I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.

I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.

I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom I had never gotten up in the middle of the night, every ten minutes to make sure all was okay.

I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.


The networked world

Did you know that you can read the obituaries online every day in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and E-mail condolences into the "guest book" and read the other entries from your fellow mourners? Jeanne and I just did this for Sister Roland Davey, C.S.J. who died April 19.

Did you know you can talk to your grandchildren, ages 5 and above, from anywhere on earth. (Not that they will take your advice any more than if they were sitting on your lap.)

This is an actual E-mail which came to some grandparents in Minneapolis from their kindergarten student named Madeline.

"Dear people:

Gueues what?

Do, you know that tooth that was hanging. IT FELL OUT the ninht borefore last, it has been lose for soooooooooo long.


Did you know you can chat with a stranger on an airplane flying to Australia and play checkers with him at the same time? (I did this once with a man on a Quantas airliner headed for Sydney. When I told the man I had always wanted to go to Australia he told me that I would never get there by playing checkers. By the way, I beat him five games in a row.)

Did you know, that thanks to Dale Kovar, you can type in "Jim O'Leary" or "waverlystar" on your internet search engines (whatever they are) and up pops this column from anywhere in the world?

Which means I have a potential audience now of eight billion people.

(Actually, I am exaggerating here: Dale Kovar just told me I have had only 9,066 "hits" so far in the year 2002, which averages out to 96.45 per day.

I have a Rolodex with 500 names on it, which I use only once a year for my Christmas cards.

The Internet beats my Rolodex all to pieces and doesn't cost me 37 cents every time I send a message. I don't have a cell phone and I found I can live happily without one, but I can't live, now, without my e-mail.

Did you know that down here in Corpus Christi I can now listen to all the TWINS games on WCCO? (Dick Mattson told me how to do this, and all I have is a modest little iMAC computer.

You can buy my computer from me now for less than $1,000. I got it originally from my nephew Mark O'Leary, for free, when his law office had to switch to an IBM so he could get software for his law practice. He went to the trouble and expense of boxing and shipping to me his computer. I plugged it in and here I am!)

In "Culture of the Internet" edited by Sara Kiesler, she says:

"As we begin the 21st century, the surprise we have is the incredible spread of computer networks in society . . . The Internet has entered everyday parlance. It is featured in talk shows, in special business sections of major newspapers and on the covers of national magazines.

Yet, at this writing, only a minority of U.S. families are connected to the Internet.

This is unfortunate because the Internet inspires social interaction and supports thousands of experiments in friendship, debate, information exchange and library services every day.

Its potential for promoting understanding and tolerance among peoples of various religions and races and nationalities is boundless. The networks are always 'up,' operating 24 hours-a-day from all over the world."

I was able to check my e-mail from an "Internet cafe" in a small, primitive and rural city in Peru last spring. I excitedly showed the bartender, who spoke only Spanish, my Waverly Star column and he was not necessarily impressed, but I was.

E-mail can provide you with trivia, urban legends, some mild amusement and, most of all, communication beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

Go for it.

You have entered the 21st century

I may be preaching to the choir, but here is what I have been saying. You have entered the 21st century if:

1. Your daughter sells Girl Scout cookies via her web site.

2. You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor yet this year.

3. You buy a computer. Six months later it's out of date and now sells for half the price you paid.

4. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.

5. You wake up at 2 a.m. to go to the bathroom and check your e-mail on your way back to bed.

6. Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.

Anonymous from the Internet

Please use the Internet to send me material for the Waverly Star. Those 8 billion other people aren't doing a thing for me.

Jim O'Leary

Corpus Christi, Texas


For previous issues of the new Waverly Star, see the web site at www.herald-journal.com/waverly star.

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