September 22, 2010

a letter

Dear Man in Seat 40J on United Flight 938,

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.

Good. Times.

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.




  1. Greetings Teresa, I loved reading this because like you, trying to explain relationships that formed in blogland is quite difficult and I seriously have made best-friend bonds with those I've never hugged in person. Actually I've come to know two gals here in northern Co. but the others are out of state-one of whom I hope to meet next week. For now, I'm going to check out your girlfriends and get to know them. Love your blog and your photos.

  2. What a lovely post! I have had the same experience in blog world, I am not sure if unless you have experienced it first hand can you understand the spirit of love, generosity, kindness, friendship and gentleness and well being that exists there. I think you captured it all beautifully in your blog. Is it possible to want to grab the whole blogging world and pull them into my arms for a giant hug?
    Lovely, thanks for sharing your experience. It blesses me so much to know what I have felt all along is true, it is a great thing.

  3. Doesn't surprise me at all about 40J Man not getting it. Mot men don't.... except the ones who have a wife that blogs. Glad you had a great time with the ladies!

  4. I love seeing how the bloggers I read are meeting each other in real life. Amazing. And I'll bet it is hard trying to explain to someone the community of bloggers.

  5. What a wonderful post, so eloquently put for those who just don't know what they might just be missing!

    Kat :)

  6. Teresa, I was just thinking of you girls today! Isn't is amazing how 4 girls I have never met in my life pop to the front of this crazy brain of mine?? There I am, going about my day walking through Target and you for ladies come to mind. I was thinking about your trip. About how the 4 of you found each other...what made your friendship "click" and what a wonderful, crazy place blogland is! I mean, seriously! Think back 10 years...what is someone would have told you that in fall of 2010 you would be flying across the country to meet 3 girls from the internet?

    I just find it to be amazing how we can find people we never dreamed of and connect on a level that we may never find right around the corner in our own town. I often wonder how long it is going to take Hollywood to catch on to blogs and the relationships formed behind them and make a movie out of it. If they do, I nominate you girls for the lead characters. What a hoot that would be!

    I am so glad you had such a wonderful trip. Cheers to friends made across the miles...and cheers to the man in 40J.


  7. Sounds like y'all had a lot of fun! I love all the blog friends I'm meeting; it has expanded my world and yet, brought kindred spirits closer.

  8. My sweet T! I just our week couldn't have been better. My family misses you so much. They loved having a second mom around here and I'm not totally sure that they don't prefer you to me. Our time together was a gift I will not soon forget. I sure wish you weren't so far away. Indiana just isn't the same without you.

  9. I was only a couple hours away, just sayin:)

  10. This is what I love about blogging!

  11. You're a genius to spin from this angle, T-Bone. That's all I'm saying. This had me cracking up...and I know us!

    Calvin quizzed me all the way home from the grocery store about "which one" was in the Coast Guard, etc... He pretty much remembered all of their names and every thing about them and just wanted me to know it. :)

  12. It sounds like you had a great time! That is so wonderful that you all were able to meet!


  13. Had to comment today Teresa. I LOVE your blog. About meeting with strangers. I did just that last March for my 54th birthday. My BFF from Vancouver flew here, Ottawa, Ont. Canada, we took my hubby's big new truck, and drove to 3 States to unite with my "blogging girls". Not only did we "click" one of them had a big pink party for me in her beach house in St. Augustine. Now YOU can imagine!! Mr.40J man could not understand, and neither did most of my family, except my hubby.
    We had so much fun, that I'm having 9 of them here next July for a week of celebrations.
    So happy for you Teresa. True Friends are blogging friends, that's what I say. They just "get you".
    Your post was lovely. Love all of your blogs. Your fresh, young and beautiful.
    Love Claudie

  14. And this is from the girl that can't write - and is out of blog material. It's fantastic! Oh Mokeesha - Indiana wants you - come back! Come back! I'm so glad I was part of this foursome. So glad. We didn't get near enough time together. I fear our house shall be rather quiet compared to the other two. I'll have to have some kids real quick like.

    PS I just had to tell you that my word verification was 'matorman'.

  15. I was almost sick
    with butterflies
    the first time my
    real world and my
    blog world collided,
    but since then it's
    become easier and
    easier as I now know
    that meeting each
    of these special people
    is a wonderful gift.
    But "outsiders" just
    don't get it....yet.
    Welcome home!
    xx Suzanne

  16. I am so glad you had a great time. I read all of your blogs so I knew it would be the best. How funny that Jayme cooked in the room. She is a keeper all around not just coops! I guess it is weird to people who don't read blogs but I have found some really wonderful friends through email and blogland. I enjoyed this story :)

  17. Isn't it amazing how connections can be made through simple conversations, the sharing of life stories, and inspiration? I have been blessed to meet a number of blogging friends and feel blessed by every single one of them! I spent a week in France with one, stayed another week with another friend in the south of France, and have visited with various others. What an amazing world we are a part of!
    (I am forever searching for a way to make my way over to your incredible farm...)
    Have a fabulous rest of your week,

  18. I can just imagine the confustion written all over the poor mans face! Ha!

    So glad to hear that you all have a grand visit together. It's amazing the places a little blog can lead you!

  19. To me, these connections are what it's all about. To then make them in person is icing on the cupcake. What a terrific 'how we met' story for all of you.

  20. I talk to my husband about my friend in Missouri, he said he doesn't remember her, I say she's a blogger and facebook friend...he says...o'one of those friends...he just doesn't get it..but it sounds like you husband does...good for you.