Years ago, in my early blogging days (OK, maybe four years ago) a friend snipped that on-line friends aren’t truly “real”.
Would you be offended to hear that?
I was crushed. I KNEW my blogging friends were real. So you can’t reach out and hug them on impulse. You can’t wander in the woods with them. You maybe can’t sip tea on the deck while swatting at mosquitoes and no-see-ums. (Don’t get me started about no-see-ums. The tiny dratted nearly invisible creatures pelted me with stings in the garden the other night creating an itching sensation that lasted for nearly an hour. Bad biting insects. Finish your hatch and decease this evil behavior, please.)
Back to blogging friends and their virtual reality.
Perhaps this attitude helped create a desire to actually meet my blogging buddies in person. To see them clothed in physical bodies with (oh my goodness!) accents and physical characteristics. With drawls and sweet perfumes and delightful laughter.
In the last four years I have met the following bloggers (some from the original Zaadz/Gaia social network): Blog roll please!
Halal the Giraffe. Yes, yes, some of us sport wonderful on-line names, don’t we? My first on-line incarnation was “Centria.” No way would I use my real name on-line. No, no, no. We met at the Atlanta Airport one fine afternoon.
Lucienne. (Hi Lucienne!) She lives in the Netherlands and we traipsed through Amsterdam and other fine towns together back in…08? 09? She even still reads this blog at times, what a lovely friend!
Susie Q. (Hi Sue!) We camped together under the stars on a beach north of here a couple of summers ago. One second please while I find the link: Catch a shooting star & remember it until you’re 80 years old. Susie grew up in the Upper Peninsula and LOVES Lake Superior rocks with a passion.
Victoria. Victoria is a delightful woman in Brussels, Belgium, who took my daughter under her loving wing when Kiah volunteered on a nearby organic farm. (She’s now abiding in Portugal.) Victoria opened her doors to both my daughter and me and showed us the magical ancient city.
Cheyenne – a deeply spiritual blogger with whom I meditated at Lake Tahoe.
A nameless blogger from New York City. Darn, I can’t remember her name. She blogged about knitting. She was nice, but we did not stay in touch.
Gerry from Torch Lake Views. We met in Bellaire down in Antrim County where my parents, and later brother and wife, owned a cottage. We breakfasted together before I met her dogs Miss Sadie and the Cowboy. Cool, huh? Here’s the downstate travel tale which includes our meeting.
Pamela from Books in Northport. She owns the coolest bookstore in Northport, Michigan. We chatted excitedly about blogging and books one rainy afternoon. Here are the juicy details of our bookstore encounter.
My buddy John Kuttenberg. We shared drinks and munched fish at Billy the Finn’s in Skanee with him and his wife. And we plan to do it again!
And now–another blog drumroll please–I would like to share the two newest bloggers I recently met during last week’s trip downstate.
The first is Heather from Rapid City Recess. Some of you know Heather. She lives near Torch Lake in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan (kinda near Gerry and Pamela) and is the coolest 30-year-old. We breakfasted together in Grayling on my way downstate. We chatted non-stop for, gosh, at least one and a half hours. She’s so cute! I loved getting to know her.
Since neither of us delinquent photographers brought our camera inside the restaurant you’ll have to admire this photo of Ms. Heather and imagine yourself sharing breakfast with her and talking about blogging:
One of the most interesting things Heather shared: when she takes a photo and edits it she attempts to make the photo look like her original view. (Isn’t that amazing? I wouldn’t even be able to remember what the original view looked like! I am always sure that the camera knows better than Kathy. To think that there are different ways of looking at this!)
On the way home from visiting my parents, I hopped a ferry to Mackinac Island (halfway between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan) to meet Bree from Bree’s Mackinac Island Blog. Wow, another cool blogging person turned into a real-life hugger with a southern drawl!
Mackinac Island is a fun place to visit–I still intend to share more photos with you later this week. (My once-a-week blogging pledge ends on Wednesday, the summer solstice, so get ready for some more blogs and photos, dear faithful readers!) No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island so you’ll have to hop a horse-drawn carriage, trot atop a horse, walk on your sturdy two legs or whiz along on a bicycle built for one or two on the island.
Bree and I breakfasted at the Chippewa (it’s always good to meet your blogging friends for the first time at breakfast or coffee, isn’t it?) Her blog is amazingly popular and she meets commenters and fans quite frequently. People will visit the island, spot their famous blogger, and tentatively say, “Bree? Is it you?”
She taught me–not by anything she explicitly said, mind you–about the value of including an eye for color in photographs. (Imagine that! From now on I will attempt to look at color before randomly snapping a shot.) See the last photo she took of me at the end of this blog. She actually looked for color and then set up the photo. These fellow bloggers are amazing. They teach you something new at every meeting!
It was such a pleasure to meet Ms. Heather and Ms. Bree during this trip! It enriched my visit downstate infinitely.
Now dear readers, have YOU met any bloggers in person? Do you know, for a fact, that they are real folks you can hug? Please share your stories in the comments.