I might have the oddest communication with one’s father ever…

…but I’m cool with that.

My dad and I have a neat thing going on.  We live an hour and a half apart, and we don’t talk on the phone all that much unless there’s something urgent going on. There are a few reasons for that. We’re both super busy and the hours we work aren’t too similar…and sometimes the conversations go a little long for my liking 🙂

So, we record one-sided conversations on one of these handy little things called a “digital voice recorder” and mail it back and forth

Digital Voice Recorder

It’s pretty simple.  Whoever has the recorder will record lots of tracks about various things…sharing what’s going on in life, prayer request, ideas, frustrations, etc…then mail it to the other person who will listen, respond on new tracks, record more stuff, mail it back, etc. He does the same thing with my sister as well as with his cousin in order to keep up.

It was his idea…and I wasn’t all about it to begin with.  Seemed kind of weird. He has always had some kind of fascination with recording things instead of writing them down or reading in letter form like a normal person.  Maybe that’s why I went into radio, who knows? But once I got it, listened to his tracks, then began to record my own tracks, I really, really liked it.

I majored in communication in college, and in doing so, I learned that communication is a very complex thing. Especially between guys.

This method of communication works well, at least for us because it forces you to listen…and since you’re not going to respond as you would in a phone call or normal face-to-face conversation, you don’t have that problem where you act like you’re listening but you’re really just thinking of how to react or what you’re going to say next.  We can both be bad at that sometimes. This tool also lets us go into depth on matters that we might normally have either not told each other about or just said in a sentence or two.

I’m thankful for that recorder.  I sure wouldn’t recommend it to most people, but for some strange reason, it works for us very well.  I even have had Natalie record a track or two on the thing and he has said that her tracks are his favorite to listen to.

The moral? Sometimes you just need to think outside the box.  I have written him letters before in the past hoping for some kind of a response, but to no avail.  Did that mean he was a bad person or didn’t care?  No…it just wasn’t his thing. We know that communication is a two-way process and the breakdown of the message can be explained in many ways…and you just need to figure out what the best connection method needs to be.  For us, this is it.

So, I’d better go home now and listen to a track on the way. If you hear that someone in a silver Chrysler has been driving around Kankakee County seemingly talking to himself, that’s probably me.


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