5 signs you're a long-distance grandma

Behind every long-distance grandma is a long-distance grandchild.1. You have a web camera and Skype access, and you're not afraid to use 'em. And use them you do, as often as your grandchild's parents allow. (In secret, you eagerly await the day it's no longer necessary to have a parent on the other end to work the webcam for your grandchild, the day when he or she can Skype with Grandma without Mom or Dad.)

2. You have online accounts at USPS.com and UPS.com, with your grandchild's address "saved" ... and used often. Plus, you know that USPS.com is best for shipping small packages to the grandkiddos, UPS.com for large.

3. Your guest room -- the one decorated and furnished exclusively for the grandkids -- must be dusted more often than the regular guest room as it hosts guests rarely. Same goes for the toys in the guest room as they're played with rarely.

4. You have subscriptions to the e-mail newsletters of every airline that flies from your hometown to the hometown of your grandchildren. And you're prepared to book a flight on a moment's notice when an outrageously good deal comes to your in-box ... even if you just returned from a visit, even if you already have one planned in the not-too-distant future. You can never have too many scheduled visits on the calendar.

Last but not least ...

5. You're a liar. What? Huh? To wit: You reply to inquiries of "How are the grandkids?" first with a heavy sigh and downcast eyes -- nearly imperceptible to the untrained eye, though -- followed quickly by typical grandma delight and brag-book sharing. The heavy sigh is because your first immediate and honest response to such an inquiry is always, always, "Too far away." But that's too depressing to share with those just asking out of politeness, so you become quite adept at hiding the truth -- in other words, at being a liar.

Today's question:

What is one good thing about living far away from a loved one?