I enjoyed chatting with you as we flew from Denver to Chicago last week, and I feel compelled to write you a note as a follow-up to our conversation.
After you shared that you were returning home to Ohio from a trip to beautiful Telluride, Colorado, the conversation naturally turned to my destination. As I shared that I was off to Indiana to visit three friends for a week, you asked how I knew them and how long we'd been friends.
I know that the more I tried to explain, the more your confusion grew. As I told you that I was going to first spend time at the home of a girl I'd met on the internet,
but had never met in person, you just didn't understand.
You asked my why in the world my husband would let me jet across the country to meet a perfect stranger. You wondered if I'd let my own children do the very same thing.
Good. Points. All.
But somehow I just knew. I knew this girl was the real deal. I knew she was as fun and genuine and kind and special in person as I'd come to know her on her blog and through our email friendship.
I have to tell you....I was right. She welcomed me into her home like we'd been friends forever, and her family did everything they could to make me feel like I belonged there. I don't even think it was any kind of effort for them. They're just naturally that kind of people.
My kind of people.
As our conversation continued, I tried to steer things back to you and your job as a pilot.
But you were having none of that.
As you kept asking questions, it came out that not only was I meeting one virtual friend, but three. After spending a few days with Jen in her Cottage Nest, we would travel to Ohio to visit a huge Flea Market and to meet up with Jayme, The Coop Keeper,
and Shannan, the Flower Patch Farmgirl.
I could see what you were thinking. You were thinking, "Wow, she's meeting up with three potentially crazy internet predators. One was bad enough, but three?"
Well, 40J Man, let me set your mind at ease.
First, let me tell you about Jayme. As I'd gathered from her blog and our back and forth emails, this is a girl with a heart that's made of pure gold, a heart that's the size of the state of Indiana. Or the state of Texas, or quite possibly the entire United States. This was demonstrated in many ways, the least of which was the fact that she hauled half her kitchen, along with farm fresh eggs from her chickens, homemade bread and homemade syrup, to make a french toast breakfast in bed for all of us, hotel style.
Seriously. She brought her electric skillet and everything. To our hotel room in Ohio. We kind of thought she was joking, but girlfriend came through and we were so glad she did.
There's no doubt about it, the Coop Keeper is a keeper. A delight.
My time with Jayme was much too short-lived and I'm already looking forward to the day I will be visiting her house. We've already got a schedule and an agenda in the works.
After two days of the four of us eating, antique shopping and eating some more, Jen officially handed me off to Shannan and I spent the next three days at her lovely farm, surrounded by rolling farmlands, barns and silos as far as the eye could see, and Amish buggies with horses clip-clopping down the road. While the setting was as different as could be from Jen's village, one thing was exactly the same. I'd found yet another genuine and generous girl, with yet another genuine and generous family, that welcomed me into yet another lovely home like I belonged there. And this time I had the added bonus of getting some baby snuggling time, not to mention non-stop entertainment provided by one hilarious preschooler and engaging conversation with one awesome kindergartner, all intermixed with fun photography related talks with the famous Mr. Flower Patch Farmgirl himself.
So your fears, while quite valid, were thankfully unfounded. And one rather ironic side note?......When you asked what brought us together, and I told you we were all, to a certain extent, photographers, (not quite the truth, but also not a lie - I just had a really strong feeling you wouldn't understand the blog world, and our two hour flight wasn't enough time to try and explain it anyway), little did I know that I would take hardly any photos of Jen's village or Shannan's countryside. And while I did take family pictures for my new friends, I took not a single picture of our girl time together. So much for the photographer angle, right?
To conclude, Man In Seat 40J on United Flight 938, this has become quite the novel, hasn't it? I do want to thank you for your concern. That was really very nice. And thank you also for providing me this opportunity to relive the amazing week I got to spend with my formerly virtual, but now real life Indiana friends.