Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Lost Art of Visiting

Posted August 2, 2011

When was the last time you visited with someone? I’m not talking about texting with someone or exchanging Facebook messages. I’m talking about going to see someone you love or care about and spending some quality time face-to-face communicating and catching up.


I received a call yesterday from a woman who was lamenting the lost art of visiting. We did it every Sunday after church when I was a boy. Cousins, uncles, aunts, friends and neighbors would gather. My grandmother had a large wraparound porch that was a favorite gathering spot. There's no substitute for a heartfelt hug, the sharing of stories, eye to eye contact and the uproar of spontaneous laughter.


I’d like to challenge each one of you to call or contact a friend today and set up a visit. The first thing I am going to do when I get off the air this morning is contact my dear friend Bob Inskeep and schedule breakfast. As a Presbyterian minister Bob spends a lot of time every week visiting with people. He usually sets up our periodic breakfast meetings. Today I am going to take the initiative. I challenge you to do the same with one of your friends or neighbors.


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  • rufiedufie Aug 5, 2011

    i go and visit my best friend every few months in VA and spend the weekend with her.

  • fishnett5977 Aug 4, 2011

    I miss this too! I grew up in Erwin and our neighbhorhood had alot of widowed women living there(including my mama). I learned alot as a young girl from those grand ladies! Probably(truth be told) more than my mama wanted me to learn! They didnt mind telling "it like it is" in regard to life and love! I miss those hot evenings, sitting on the porch, watching the mosquito fogging truck to run by the house. Mama always said they didnt do nothin but run the skeeters to the porch!lol Chasing lightin bugs,playing broadjump,and hide and go seek. When my mama and her parents were alive, we visited family in Coats and around. Now days, seems life truely gets in the way of living. Thanks, Bill for this wonderful memory. Now let me see, I need to go to Grantham to visit my mama's oldest sister and only living sibling. Time to stop and let life catch up...

  • lovetheheels Aug 4, 2011

    I credit my parents for taking us every Sunday to visit one of our great-grandmothers, and until I was about seven, I had all four of them living. The great-aunts and uncles were also part of the mix of people that would come together and today, I'm so thankful to have had their love and attention throughout my adult life. It's family that gets you through the tough times and when I saw the heading of this article, I was drawn right in like a moth to a flame to remember those wonderful Saturdays and Sundays when we went visiting...Thank you, Bill!

  • oMzziG123 Aug 4, 2011

    I have lunch with my parents and several of our friends every Friday. We eat at the same restaurant each time. The food is okay. I go for the company and conversation. The conversations can range from bass fishing to the next president. I look forward to it every Friday.

  • rachelstar Aug 4, 2011

    My niece Liz & husband Josh moved to Raleigh on Monday, so her mom Marge(my sister in law) came from Va to help. Marge stayed with me...we talked & talked and talked some more! It was wonderful to visit with these great folks...and I realized how good I felt, stress level TMJ--at least for a little while! Visiting is relaxing!

  • mildredf2480 Aug 4, 2011

    What a wonderful story, coming at one of the best times in our nations's history! In our busy lives, we sometimes forget the real reason we are so stressed. Keeping in touch with family and friends with a visit can do so much to make our day, especially for those who cannot get out of the house without assistance. And, we should remember to check on our neighbors in this drastic heat to see if there is anything they need. Bill, I love this story!

  • Celt Aug 3, 2011

    When my daughter was a freshman in high school, we began a tradition of a weekly papa/daughter date...just her and me. We would get together, sit and talk about nothing and everything. She might pour out the woes of her world as we sipped two mochas at Fowlers, or we might go to the top of our favorite building here in Durham and dream about what our city must have looked like 75 years ago. Those times were so precious to me.

    Well, she is now 27, a university graduate, and living on her own. But she is still my little girl. And an hour from right now, I will be sipping a mocha, laughing with her on our weekly rendezvous.

  • katizs Aug 3, 2011

    I am not 50, but growing up every Sunday afternoon we would all gather at my grandma's for Sunday lunch - I remember she would leave as soon as church was over so she could get back in time to make the hot fresh biscuits when we would all arrive. Grandma's was the place for birthday parties, Christmas, Thanksgiving, & just fun summer cookouts. My mom still tries to keep the family tradition at least for birthdays & holidays - we all gather (as many as can) and we take lots of pictures - I do miss the old days of listening to my grandparents and the laughters shared with uncles, aunts & cousins

  • CestLaVie Aug 3, 2011

    Most of the comments here are similar to mine. We ALWAYS visited & were visited. If family plans were not happening, Dad & I would take rides on Sun. afternoons to give my Mom a break to herself (& her limberger cheese!!). We always found the ice cream stands on our way to visit friends or relatives. We took trips w/ family & friends. I miss those days SO MUCH as all those relatives & friends of my parents are gone now.

    I've tried to re-create such memories over the years w/ my own family & friends, but alas, it IS a lost art. We invite, they come, & then sadly RARELY reciprocate. In 20 yrs of living in Raleigh, we've found only 1 couple who reciprocate all the time. Making time to share dinner & then cards afterwards makes for a nice evening w/ loads of intense laughter at times too.

    I think the disconnect also happened when the nuclear family started going separate ways decades ago, for jobs or military mostly. Most commenting on here are at least 50 yrs old, I'd bet.

  • little blue 2 Aug 2, 2011

    My husband's family still gets together for dinner fairly often. All of the kids have stayed in the area, so we usually have about 18 people in the group. Sometimes the events are planned, and sometimes they're spur of the moment. Everyone brings whatever they have on hand, and we congregate at the folks' house. We spend a few hours catching up the last few weeks, tripping over each other in the kitchen, and laughing. Cell phones aren't banned, and there is the occasional discrete text, but mostly it's just an evening of togetherness. We truly are one big happy family!




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Bill Leslie