Thursday, October 11, 2012

Time with Dear Old Friends I'd Never Met

The title to this blog post may make no sense.  The title is an oxymoron.  It seems to be a contradictory statement.  The casual blog reader may ask, "How can the author of this post spend time with dear old friends with whom she has never before met?"

If you are a blogger, you may understand completely what I am talking about in the title.  I've never met  most of my blogging friends.  Even though I've never met my blogging friends face to face, I consider so many of them dear, dear friends.   Somehow, someway, friendships are formed in Blogland, and these friendships become very important to the daily lives of many bloggers.

It is difficult for me to describe how much these blogging friendships have meant to me over the past two years.  Exploring that topic will have to left for another day.  For today, I am just going to tell you a little about the time I spent with some of these treasured people I met online.  These folks share themselves and their lives with me and others in this unique place we call the blogosphere.  According to Wikipedia, "The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections.  The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions."  While I like the Wikipedia's definition of the blogosphere, I think it does not begin to describe the interconnections and connected community that actually has been developed and established between some bloggers.  


Friends from Blogosphere meet face to face

Betsy and George


I'd always hoped I'd meet with at least one of my friends I'd made online, but I'd never met any fellow bloggers until just a few weeks ago when one of my very favorite blogging friends Betsy from Tennessee and her husband George came to Colorado on vacation.  (click on Betsy's and George's name to see their blogs.)  

Betsy had contacted me several months ago to tell me of the travel plans she and her husband George were making.  She said that planned on coming to Colorado Springs and hoped we could arrange a meeting while they were in town.  Emails went back and forth where dates for the visit were given and then plans for how we would spend the time began to take shape.  I cannot tell you how excited I was to actually get to meet Betsy.  She has been such a dear and supportive friend to me ever since we met online several years ago.  



Betsy and Sally finally meet
I knew that Betsy would be just like she was:  bubbly, happy, positive, charming, interesting, full of energy, intelligent, and loving.  I knew she would look just as she did.  I knew we would connect instantly because we already had done so online.  My husband and I met both Betsy and George at a wonderful restaurant at the foot of Pikes Peak after Betsy and George had driven to the top of Pikes Peak.  Did I say that these two are dauntless?  They are the ultimate explorers and adventurers.  They love waterfalls and mountains.  Their love for these two outdoor destinations go hand in hand with their love for hiking and photography.  I love following them in their adventures on their blogs.  

After lunch, it was my great delight to take Betsy and George to see one of my most favorite vistas in the entire world.  I love the spot where I photographed them standing with the beautiful red rocks of Garden of the Gods behind them.  Note that blue sky!  Note those sunny yellow shirts on two very sunny people.  Don't you just love the colors in the photograph?  The colors characterize the day.  My husband and I had the privilege of spending a beautiful late summer day in September walking among those red rocks under a perfect blue sky in colorful Colorado with two lovely folks from Tennessee.  Can you think of anything better?  This day confirmed what I already knew.  Blogging friends are the BEST!  Blogging friends are treasured, dear old friends.  

A Weekend with Blogging Friends

Just a few weeks after meeting Betsy and George, I then had the experience of meeting a group of blogging friends and spending the weekend with them on Vashon Island in Washington State.  Yes, this past weekend, I spent time with five other dear old friends I had never met.  

A few months ago, one of my other blogging friends, Linda, from Bag Lady in Waiting, sent me an email asking me if I would be interested in meeting a group of other blogging friends.  Of course, I said, "Yes!  Count me in."  Again, emails went back and forth as plans were made for six of us to find a time and a place where we could meet and spend the weekend together.  Finally, the day arrived, and I flew off to Seattle to meet five other women I had met and grown to love through our communications online.  Each one was very special to me, and each has played an important role in my adjustment to retirement, and to the loss of my daughter. 

Can you imagine the excitement we felt when we all first met at our weekend retreat spot, Lavender Hill on Vashon Island?  Please check out this website for this place.  You will begin to see just how special the spot we chose for this wonderful weekend was.

The sight of those women, dear old friends to me and to the others, all in the flesh in one spot, was almost unbelievable.    
Hello!  We finally meet!
Deb and Sandi greet Linda & D.Jan
as Jann and I wait our turn to hug our dear friends.

Unfortunately, I discovered I didn't have the battery in my camera when I got it out to take photos.  Can you believe it?  I carefully charged the battery before I left and then must have dropped in on the floor while I was packing.  All my photos were taken with my iPhone.  Thankfully, I managed to get one photo of the group with my phone.  This group below is made up of the most awesome women.  Each one is a treasure to me.  Please meet my friends:  Sandi  from Flying into the Light; Deb from Catbird Scout; Linda from Bag Lady in Waiting; D.Jan  from DJan-ity and Eye on the Edge; and, my very first follower, Jann from Benchmark 60.  


Sandi, Deb, Linda, D.Jan, and Jann
Ladies at the Lighthouse
Ladies I can count on to shed some light on many topics

I will be writing more about these experiences later.  For now, I just wanted to tell you of my experience when I stepped out of the blogosphere and spent precious and treasured time with dear old friends I had never met.  

27 comments:

rosaria williams said...

What a great group of ladies you all are! I'm so envious! I so want to meet you and the rest of my supportive group.

thisisme said...

Hi Sally. I just typed out my comment, and then it just seemed to disappear, so I will try again! How wonderful that you were able to meet up with your blogging friends like that. I really do envy you. I would so much like to meet up with my bloggy friends. As you say, they really are 'real' friends to us, aren't they/ Lovely happy photos - thank you for sharing them with us.

Betsy Adams said...

Ah----that is sweet!!!! Thanks Sally... We LOVED meeting you and BILL (Jim--ha ha ).... Hope our paths will cross again sometime.

I can only imagine your fun meeting the other bloggers. That is awesome. Did any of them know each other before the trip???? I think you said that they all live in the Pacific Northwest...

Thanks again for the nice words...
Hugs,
Betsy

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I believe it must have been Quite an exciting time and all this while you were on he move!

Jeanie said...

What a great way to tell the story of meeting your blog friends. It is so true that even though we have never met them blog friends are true friends.

Terra said...

How neat to meet in person after becoming blog friends.

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks for your inspiring story. I've met one blogging friend so far, and we enjoyed a nice lunch and lots of great shop talk. Let's hear it for our fellow Bloggers!

Linda Myers said...

Sally - did you find your phone battery?

Linda
Bag Lady in Waiting

Grandma Bonnie said...

Hi Sally, Its nice to meet you. I am stopping by from Betsy's blog. I think it is amazing to meet up with some blogging friends. I am looking forward some day to meeting a few of my blogging friends.

Barb said...

Dear Sally, You have been busy not only packing but traveling and meeting people, too! I'm a bit envious because some of these gals are also my blog friends. Looks like a great place you visited in Washington state.

LC said...

Priceless experiences and your observations about "friends you've never met" are so true.

That corgi :) said...

How neat you got to experience this with meeting several blogging buddies! It is special to do so indeed! Some of my best buddies are my blogging friends. I've had a chance to meet two of them in person and what a delight it was!

hope all is going well in your preparations with your move

betty

Linda Reeder said...

Garden of the Gods is such a beautiful place, perfect to share with your new/old friends.
As a blog friend to many of you, I know all about the Vashonistas, and have read each of your reports of the weekend with great interest. I was the one who declined. Maybe someday I'll be able to do a post about why. So glad you all had a great time.

Lynilu said...

I totally get it! I've arranged to meet two of my blogging buddies in my travels, another in her journey, and I hope to meet a few more in the coming years. It is so much fun to put real faces with the 2-dimensional ones and to find the personalities to be much like we expect, isn't it? Carry on!!

#1Nana said...

I'm still smiling when I think of the fun we had. It was joy to meet you and I look forward to next year.

DJan said...

It was a wonderful weekend! And I am still basking in the glow of the time we spent together. The only bad part is that it's now in the past. Sending you plenty of virtual hugs!

Joyce said...

Fun!! I've met three stranger-bloggers in real life. I'd love to meet more : ) Have a nice weekend!

Kay said...

Oh my! And DJan was there too? This is just the most wonderful thing! How fabulous! I've felt nervous or shy about meeting other bloggers, but have loved every minute of the times that we came together.

Rita said...

Wow! Both events were remarkable! How exciting! I understand what you mean by old friends you have never met. ;) Blogging really does connect people in ways I never would have expected. Looks like you had a great time with all of them. :)

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Sally,
this is so wonderful!! I am so happy for all of you, and especially that you went to Vashon. It is such a beautiful place. My sister lives nearby in Poulsbo, WA. Hoping next year to meet when I travel to CO again.
There is such strength in the beautiful blog friendships I have made, as well. Thank you for sharing this great time with us.

Sandi said...

Hi Sally! What fun to see the photos you took with your phone, and read your words. What a magical weekend it was! Hugs to you!

Deb Shucka said...

I love the title of this post - and the truth of it. So many wonderful memories of a truly magical weekend. Seeing you in person, and knowing your heart is as big as your words indicated, was a highlight for me. Love.

Rose said...

How wonderful that you were able to meet some of your blogging friends! I know exactly how you feel--I went to Chicago three years ago to meet a group of garden bloggers, including several I "knew" from reading their blogs, and then again to Asheville, NC this May for the same reason. I find it amazing that in almost every instance someone I've gotten to know through their blogs is the same in person. It's great to when virtual friends become real friends.

Meeting these people who supported you through some really tough times had to be a very special experience for you, Sally.

fiftyodd said...

I am so envious of your marvelous meets with Blog friends. How absolutely fantastic to be able to do this. I have only faint hopes of ever visiting Colorado in my lifetime but my Blog visitors are very dear to me. Please do let me know, anyone, if you are ever in our beautiful Cape Town, South AFrica. There will always be a bed for you in my house !!!!

Jeanie said...

Oh, Sally, I'm smiling all over as I read this and look at these photos with such happy faces! I have been fortunate to meet several bloggies and I have never been disappointed -- they are the friends you'd never met! I'm so glad it was all you had hoped but I would never imagine it would be anything less!

Chatty Crone said...

I read about some of your antics on Betsy;s blog and let me tell you she thinks the world of you too. I am jealous in a good way - would love to meet both of you!

Dee said...

Dear Sally, thank you for providing links to the blogs of all your friends. I follow DJan, Sandi, Deb, and you, but I don't know the three others you wrote about and so I'm going to go to their sites today.

I so agree with you that our blogger friends are especially dear. They have supported me in all my writing efforts and that has meant so much.

Take care. Peace.