A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, August 14, 2006

Friends: Virtual or Imaginary?

When you were a little child, did you have an imaginary playmate? Someone who would always keep you company and share your secret thoughts and dreams? Brothers began to be deposited on my doorstop but some animal I had never seen, called the "stork", starting when I was 16 months old (3 of them by the time I was four, including a set of twins!), so I never really had the chance to develop any imaginary playmates - there was an abundance of real ones around all the time.

However, as an adult living in a rural area, raising a family of my own, I often wished there were more opportunities to develop friendships with like-minded people to "play" with... I had some hiking buddies, and always enjoyed the big parties where the grrls could get together and catch up on each others' lives, but until I joined the knit blogging community a few years back, didn't really have the companionship of "fiber-soulmates".

The Internet is a wonderful medium, allowing us to learn about a wealth of new ideas and I have been able to expand my fiber pursuits greatly. I started out wondering if I was publishing into a void, only to discover gradually that I really did have readers... but were they real? We each have our two-dimensional persona that comes through in what we choose to post, sharing parts of our creativity and bits of our everyday lives as well, but I had never met any of the bloggers in person, or talked to them on the telephone, until last fall, when Sallee helped me learn Quick Books, involving lots of email and a couple of emergency telephone calls... she had a voice! It was a bit deeper than I would have pictured, but every bit as warm!

Then, this spring I made plans to go to Estes Park along with Margene and a carload of people, and was met at the Salt Lake City airport by her and Carole, later having dinner with Susan. These people were real, and very much like old friends. Even better, over the course of the weekend I met bloggers I had read, such as Laurie, and others I hadn't discovered yet, including Kristi and Jen. It was a giant slumber party/reunion, and a little voice inside my head commented "See, they really are REAL!" (kind of like how I thought of fairies when I was a child, and just as magical).

I feel especially blest this weekend to have had the chance to meet three more knit-bloggers: Amy, Sharon and Becca.

I wrote about my fun time at the Nevada County Fair with Amy and Sharon, and you can see more of the great fiber displays, plus views of our beautiful fairgrounds, on their blogs. You could also make plans to head over to the Nevada State Fair, where Amy will be in charge of assembling the textile displays and keeping them staffed, just as Beryl and Igor have for our guild the past week plus.

Yesterday, I drove over to Graeagle to meet up with Becca, whose parents have a vacation home in Portola to the north of our meeting place, at the Outpost where we sat on the deck with coffee, happily knitting in public and getting to know each other a bit more. Becca lives in Berkeley, which couldn't be further from my daily reality, but I grew up in Sacramento and it was visits to Berkeley as a teen college student that spurred my further interest in the fiber arts. She brought me delightful chocolate, and showed me her yoga bag WIP, made in a linen/modal combo that I really liked, while I worked on the toe of my first sock of my second pair of Trekking socks... and then we browsed through the shops together, having a wonderful afternoon and each finding treasures. Becca found a pair of lovely bud vases at an antique store, while I snatched up a furry Donkey handpuppet (how could I resist?). Alas, there are no pictures, as I was tired from the evening of revelry at the wedding Saturday night, and didn't think to ask perfect strangers to take photos for us. However, I did confide as we parted that it was very reassuring to know that my virtual friends really were real, and not just in my imagination!


Blogger Jennifer said...

It sometimes amazes me that bloggers are real too! I've been surprised every time I meet a knitblogger that they really do look exactly like they do on the blog. Dumb, I know.

12:31 PM  
Blogger margene said...

It is a magical moment to meet someone face to face. We are very fortunate our world is so large and so small at the same time.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

It was a delightful afternoon, and I wish I had brought my camera! It was so nice to meet in person.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

Don't be silly, we're all completely imaginary.

12:01 PM  
Blogger SheKnits said...

Imagination makes the world go round. Keep it. There are always moments when we wonder "Does she REALLY exist?"

Glad you were able to do some shopping... I must, however, see a photo of this "furry Donkey handpuppet."

10:53 PM  
Anonymous sheepshepherdess said...

Great post. The web is a awesome way to find like minded people but it does seem like a flat fictional dimension. It leaves a lot to wonder about and at times it feels a bit odd to write in cyberspace (being a new blogger). Thanks for the nice comments my way.

12:18 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Ah, too funny! My voice is deeper than you thought? lololol!
Yup, it was a delight to talk to you, too...all the way across the country. I've also talked to Plain Jane! But with the exception of the local knitbloggers in my knit group, I haven't met any others in person...I fully intend to, tho'!

12:00 PM  

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