Now, 13 years later, I have hundreds of storytelling friends all over the US and several other countries because of Storytell. We meet in person at conferences, stay at each other's homes, collaborate on projects and grieve and celebrate life events together.
About two and a half years ago, I started this blog. I've met a few of my readers, and this weekend had the grand opportunity to meet one from across the Atlantic.
How amazing! There she is--Susan from Ireland and Stony River Farm blog--on my front porch! Susan and her family have been in West Virginia this summer, but the summer almost slipped by before we had a chance to get together.
When I called her to set up the visit, the conversation took off as if we'd just talked yesterday. And when she arrived, zoom! We were off again. I'm pretty sure somewhere in the mists of ancestral time we must be related because she felt like a sister. I'm positive she'd fit right in with my seven other sisters. Something about that sense of humor...
What did we do? We ate, lots of food. We talked. We looked at my (by now pitiful) gardens, the chickens and turkeys. We took a ride in the truck to Twin Rocks, and I think Larry did his level best to pitch us all out of the back of the truck as he tore across the ridge. Okay, maybe he didn't go any faster than usual, but it sure feels different when you're perched on a spare tire or a five-gallon bucket in the open back of a rocking four-wheel-drive truck. (I think Susan got lots of speed-blurred photos that might look fine to the inebriated in a pub somewhere.)
Then we talked some more. I thought she was funny online, but I can tell you she's even funnier in person. Her little ones chased lightning bugs, gathered eggs, played with the dogs, explored the house, and got filthy, seriously dirty. (I'd pitch that little shirt, Susan!). Her older daughter who will soon be in college was enchanting.
Susan brought me pint canning jars from the basement of their summer house (bless you!) and we sent her home with apple butter, pickles and a copy of The History of Harrison County (where her summer house is located).
The only problem was that the visit was so short, and she'll be back in Ireland before long. There's always next time, I suppose. And online conversing.
If you haven't visited Stony River Farm blog, you've missed a treat. For writers, Susan offers links to many potential places to get published. I have learned much about parenting autistic children and feel humbled by what I've learned. I have laughed about her adventures and misadventures living in a remote, stone cottage where laughter is a frequent feature and comic disaster a common visitor. For all of us, Susan offers a peek at her life, a window on her wild imagination and some just plain good writing. Stop by her blog--you'll see what I mean.