Friends: Virtual or Imaginary?
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!