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Last summer, for a few halcyon days, blackberries were abundant on the edge of a field near our house, and I enjoyed them immensely. A few of them are still around, in the form of some runny blackberry jelly I tried to make with no sugar.

Lately, though, talk of blackberries has conjured a different image at our house. Jan and I have both resisted cell-phone texting, but we have so many young friends (and an almost teenage son) that it’s hard to avoid.

I’ve rarely been more frustrated than when trying to type a text message on my old Razr phone, because it kept trying to guess what I wanted to type next, and it was rarely right, and I struggled to figure out how to enter the letters I actually wanted.

With that in mind, with both of our cell phones aging, with my old PDA about to play out, and with older-style Blackberry phones now fairly cheap, we decided to upgrade our mobile equipment. Now we can text to our hearts’ content (it doesn’t take much for my heart), and even handle e-mail via cell phone. Slowly, we’re creeping toward the present, if not the future. I don’t plan to cue all my e-mail addresses to the phone, but having access to one of them is a convenience.

The new phone even includes a fairly decent little camera for those occasions when I find myself stuck without my real camera but wanting to grab a picture. The lens cover was cracked on my old phone, and results were not very satisfactory. I’m hoping this one will do better.

So far, my only complaint is that I can’t get the voice-dialing system to understand me. I’ve pronounced “Call Jan” every way I know how, and it comes up with everything from “Jeff” and “Jimmy” to “Stan.” Until I figure out the speed-dialing feature, I’m having to go through the address book or punch in the numbers the old-fashioned way.

Technology can be a trip — and also a reminder that God had long-distance communication figured out a long time ago, from texting the Ten Commandments to being available 24/7 with no dialing required.

And then, there was that special Christmas message …

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