Posts Tagged ‘Friends-Not-Yet-Met’

She doesn’t really belong on this Friends-I-have-not-yet-met list, because, you see, I have met her. She’s Slovenian, and truly puts the LOVE in Slovenia, reaching out to give and receive love. She taught me to love Slovenia too, as I would never have gone there if she hadn’t been, at the time, a Friend-Not-Yet-Met (so, clearly, she does belong on this list after all).

A beloved wife, friend, aunt, and dog’s best friend. A true linguist, for more than three months, she wonderfully commented on my Lemons to Limoncello blog in Italian to help me practice mine.

She loves her summer garden and cooked us lunch using her home-grown produce. She and her husband recommended driving a mountain pass that, she casually mentioned, she had cycled once (or even twice?). As we wound around sharp, steep corners up, up, and further up again, I thought she must be crazy, though, in truth, she enjoys exercise and appreciates being out in nature.


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I discovered Loribeth in 2010 or 2011, finding at the same time a woman my age who seems to speak my language. Along with some of my other favourite Friends-Not-Yet-Met, she hails from Canada, a country that New Zealanders always feel that we know much better than we actually do. So Loribeth teaches me about life in Canada, the freezing winters and the hot, humid summers, the huge distances they travel (she’s taking me – virtually at least – on a road trip right now), the busy cities. She’s a writer and a reader, and as a result of her reviews, many non-fiction memoirs have now been added to my To-Read list, to be tackled one-day-when-I-have-time.

We may be separated by half the world, but I feel that we have much in common. Like everyone I write about in this series, I hope to meet Loribeth one day. I suspect it will be in Canada or the US, and the fact that she lives in the same city as some other Friends-Not-Yet-Met and near still others just across the border greatly increases the possibility of a meeting. Still, I regularly encourage her to escape the harsh Canadian winter and enjoy a gentle New Zealand summer, including a glass of wine on our deck (wind permitting).

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Susan’s life is almost the complete opposite of mine. As a child, I lived on a farm, and she was in an apartment in New York. I have few childhood photographs (and few adult ones either), and she had an adoring, photographer father. She blogs rarely these days, but her Fb feed is full of old photos of her father’s she has found, documenting the physical changes in New York City, and societal changes too, with photos of parties that look as if they were the inspiration for some scenes in Mad Men.

These days, her own photographs are more likely to be stunning scenes of rural life, winter shots, or of deer or other wildlife venturing into her yard, that always intrigue me. We both share a love of photos of beautiful blooms, though I suspect her camera (and eye) are rather better than mine. She has known tragedy though, as a girl and later as a mother, and I love the way she keeps her daughter Jill alive through her memories.

I would love to meet Susan one day, but to be honest, her stories of tics and lyme disease might keep me away.

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Vermont is another place over-represented in my online world, with a prolific and always entertaining FB poster from Montpelier (a woman I last saw at the airport in Bangkok in 1981 as we ended our AFS experience), Indigo Bunting – the master of the one sentence post – and Lali, another of the original x365 bloggers (and friend of IB). Until recently, Lali was what we Kiwis might call a “lifestyler,” with a bucolic life in Vermont with her husband, and their dogs, wildlife, and gardens. Her writing is as rich and abundant as her gardens, as beautifully tended, as exquisite, as inviting, and her writing is as entertaining and lively and lovable as her dogs over the years.

In late summer/autumn (fall), her posts relating her harvesting endeavours exhausted me, as they no doubt exhausted her so much more. My brief visits to her world changed with the seasons – from the languid heat of summer to a frenetic and exhausting harvest season, through to the quiet, cold, white stillness of a Vermont winter. As if this wasn’t enough, she would every so often give us snippets of her life growing up in Spain and South America, peeks into a rich and fascinating life, so artfully presented on her blog. Speaking of art, did I mention she’s an artist, and occasionally we get a special treat when she adds an illustration to complement her posts?

She’s currently taking a blogging break, working on another project, and as much as I look forward to that, I also hopes she hurries back soon.

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Another of the early bloggers group (her first comment on my blog back in 25 June 2008), sadly Lisa no longer blogs, but we connect elsewhere on this great internet invention, and so I get to see her kids grow up, learn about apartment living in a US city, see photos of the sunrise on her morning runs. I can read interesting conversations she has with friends, that remind me of our different cultures, highlighting our different experiences and points of view, but our common hearts and humanity. I love too that through her architect eyes, I get to see and appreciate the buildings of her city, quite different to those in my own city or country.

She’s one of two bloggers from her city, one that is disproportionately represented in our tiny group of early bloggers. I love the fact that these two interesting women occasionally meet up for a coffee, or to shoot arrows. It gives me hope that one day I too will one day join them (for the coffee, not the arrows), or those of our original blogging x365ers, or my more recent blogging friends. I feel that a meeting is certain – I keep running into people from this city, whether it is online, or on a jeep in the bush in Africa. It’s calling to me, and one day I will have to answer.


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Dona (aka Cedar Waxwing) has been there from the beginning, 43 days into my annual blogging project, way back in 2007. I like to picture her in leafy Bethesda, looking out from her office into the trees, maybe with some squirrels dashing along the branches past her window, as she blogs about family, and food, and road trips, and wonderful old letters and, most recently photographs. She also has the most entertaining dreams of anyone I know, and – along with Indigo Bunting – has changed the way I see birds and people who see birds.  Inspired by a road trip Dona took with her daughter (and a resultant video), I tried to emulate this in Italy. I failed, but felt as if Dona and my other blog readers were there with me in spirit!

Click the image to find out more about #Microblog Mondays

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Hypergraphic, though sadly less so these days, Bridgett has introduced me to the worlds of South City St Louis, of quilting, of Benedictines, of growing up in the southern US, of stoops and good neighbours and Hoosiers, of maths lessons and 8th grade boys, of tattoos, and of murkier worlds than either of us live in. We share a love of a nice Cabernet and ripe tomatoes, of writing and of hand-written letters, and of our small blogging crew of mutual friends not-yet-met. I am watching her children grow up, see her reaching out to others, and fear for her during riots and tornado warnings. On Pasta and Chardonnay nights, I cook some of her recipes. We live half a world apart, but we know each other.

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