By the Great Lakes she met another Finn and got married. Unfortunately they soon got to hear that her father-in-law was sick and the young couple needed to hurry back home to Northern Europe. Too late. My great-great-grandfather had already died. No way the message of his death could have reached them early enough.
1995 I moved to Norway. I wrote a lots of letters. Yes, those things you send in an envelope with a stamp on. I called my parents via land line approximately once in two weeks. I asked my parents to mail me newspapers so I would know better what's happening in my home country. My dear friend sent me c-cassettes so I could listen to some Finnish music.
2012 I have internet and cell phones. I use Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. I blog. I Skype. I don't write much letters. I haven't used a land line phone for ages, not even in California. I listen to music via Rdio. My little son is pretty knowledgeable with an iPad.
Being an expatriate sure has changed within a century. Sometimes I feel I don't live abroad at all. Estonia is next to Finland (well, there's the Gulf of Finland between), the language is pretty similar and most important of all - I have all the imaginable technical bells and whistles to stay in touch with my dear ones both in Finland and in other countries.
For me as an expatriate the best combination seems to be to use Facebook and my blogs. In addition to the one you are reading right now, I have another blog where I try to keep my family members and friends updated what's happening in my expatriate life. But there's nothing very personal there, just some general observations.
Facebook gets me a bit closer to my family and friends. Really private stuff I'll save for skyping and e-mails.
Twitter I use as a more professional tool. None of my family members use it and only a couple of good friends tweet. I also have Google+ and Pinterest accounts but I don't use them at all. So none of these wouldn't work for staying in touch with the closest ones.
It would be interesting to hear what kind of tools of social media are important for other expatriates. How many of you still write letters? I wish many!