From Flintstones to Zoom Chats

flintstone characters painted on rocks, artist unknown

From Flintstones to Zoom Chats

Dirk Verhulst

The “new reality” of living with Covid-19 has certainly forced us to face many new challenges, including: monitoring our health daily, practising social distancing, storing enough food and supplies to last at least two weeks, and staying home. One benefit, however, to these new restrictions is that they have forced us to slow down and  reflect on the things that matter most: family, friends and… the family dog.  

We rely on Sophie, our lab, to keep us grounded, reminding us when it’s time to eat, when it’s time to play and went it’s time to go for a walk around the pond behind our house. 

painted stones next to a tree

In the course of those frequent walks, we began to notice some interesting additions appearing around the pond: at the latest count over 200 hundred stones painted with images of everything from local flora and fauna to popular cartoon characters. The most obvious connection for archaeologists is with the paintings of the Flintstone Family.

As archaeologists, the stones remind us of the important role played by rock art in native cultural and artistic traditions.  

Hannah, our granddaughter, contributed to the painted rocks collection, aptly named: Hope.

Many of the stones include inspirational words and phrases such as: family, beautiful, believe, we can do this, and you’re awesome.

Times such as these remind my wife and I how truly blessed we are. Our adult children and grandchildren check with us regularly, bring us small presents and delicious goodies, and generously share their love and laughter.  

They have also introduced us to something called Zoom, a remarkable computer program that allows participants to visit with each other simultaneously. 

That’s quite an achievement for the members of our family, who are spread all over the county: from Peterborough, to Ottawa, to Canmore, Alberta. 

When we were first learning how to use Zoom, our adult children made up a family Trivia game.  This clever activity was based on our family history: a great way to get everyone involved.  Even the younger grandchildren joined in. Lots of fun and laughter. 

As our confidence and competence increased, so did our ability to use Zoom with members of the groups that Lorna and I belong to such as the Peterborough New Horizons Band, the Trent Valley Archives and the Peterborough Chapter of the OAS

The photo to the right is of a recent Zoom chat with members of the local chapter and the provincial executive (Amy St. John and Craig Ramsoomair).   With their help, we have begun to discuss ways in which our local chapters can take turns with other chapters using Zoom technology to continue to host and share our monthly public presentations. 

Stay tuned for more details.