Monday, August 17, 2009

Friendly Faces from Over the Sea

Sometimes Internet "virtual" friends become real, flesh-and-blood friends. My first experience with this was when I joined the Storytell listserve in 1996. I was a brand new storyteller and a friend told me about a group that talked via email about storytelling. It was an amazing concept.

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.

10 comments:

Susan at Stony River said...

Send me a list of everything they broke, and I'll send you a cheque to cover it...
lol

And, who's that fat girl on your porch? I don't remember meeting her?
(I am soooo going back on my diet tomorrow after this!!)

I had the BEST time, and the kids are nagging to see you again. Don't be surprised if you come home one day to find us camping on your porch!

Granny Sue said...

You are welcome anytime! Nothing was broken, and the house was too quiet after you left.

I thought that was a good pic of you--you sure don't look fat to me. Maybe we needed a photo of us side by side so you'd have a better perspective ;-) Which, btw, is a picture I wish I had taken. Darn it. Didn't get Martin either.

That middle name/son thing? My Dad's middle name was Irving! Thank goodness that wasn't in our family tradition. But Matthew mentioned the same tradition in his family on his blog yesterday.

Akelamalu said...

I just read about Susan's visit to you at her blog and decided I must come and visit you myself - on your blog of course I'm in England!

I loved the photos of your place that Susan posted and your blog is just lovely. :)

Jaime said...

I loved her blog she wrote about her visit to the farm. It sounds like you guys had a great time and I'm glad you 2 were finally able to meet up. How cool is that!?!

Granny Sue said...

Welcome Akelamalu--I'm glad you stopped by. I see your comments often over on Susan's blog.

Jaime, I wish you'd been here. You would have enjoyed the whole family.

Margaret LaVonne Hall said...

What a real blast to meet and visit as you did~! Sounds like there was fun by all...Thanks for sharing, it is always a pleasure visiting your blog....

Denise said...

This is terrific! There's nothing like seeing online friends in person!

Susan at Stony River said...

Oh boy--we DIDN'T get a photo of all of us, where were our heads?

Ok, that does it, we definitely need to get together again, and even include a few more if we can. When? Where? Our last day is the 28th, but we're hoping to be back for the holidays.

Boom Trucks said...

This is really a well laid out website. I like how you have presented the information in full detail regarding this farm visit. Sounds like you guys had a great time and I'm glad you 2 were finally able to meet each other. Have a great day and please stop by my site
used digger derrick trucks sometimes.

Granny Sue said...

boomtrucks, I like your site! those work trucks fascinate me. There is one on the ridge right now, with a long boom saw, I suppose you'd call it, trimming the trees along the power line. amazing machine.

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