Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Changes in latitudes

A week ago today I spent the whole day with my friend Kay. If you don't know her, please go visit her blog here.

Kay and I met on an online bookstore forum 21 years ago, I believe. The store was called Books dot com. If you type that in now, you will arrive at Barnes & Noble. They must have taken over the name when the original store closed.

This group of women and one man talked about much more than books there. We got to know one another and shared our lives and our families. Many of the members of this group met in person at the bookstore twenty years ago. I couldn't go, but in the spring of 1998 my family went to Arkansas and Texas to visit cousins, and when we were in Texas, Kay and I got together. My cousin certainly thought it unusual that a woman I knew only from the internet was so close to me that I would visit her in person. It's hard to realize now that in those beginning days of internet communication not everyone used it.

The bookstore closed at some point, and a bunch of us, not the man, went to Yahoo and formed a group. One group morphed into another as time went on. Some left, some moved into other groups and brought others with them. It was an exciting time, those early years. Suddenly there were people who understood me and my passion for reading. That was always our basis, but we grew very close to each other for other reasons. We talked about everything. Twenty years later many of us are still close. Along with two other women, one being Les whose blog is here, and another who is not a blogger, Kay and I are in frequent communication. I have never met the other two, but we are closer than most people I know in my "real" life.

So there is the back story. I haven't gone back to Texas since. When Margaret decided she and Hazel would go down to visit her long time friend, I asked if I could tag along, and she said yes. I'll do another posting about the Texas trip, but this one is going to be about my day with Kay.

She picked me up around 1 pm and off we went. She drove me around to show me her area, and then we went to Kay's house!


This type of landscaping is called xeriscape. "a style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or other maintenance, used in arid regions."


She then took me to a Mexican restaurant where the food was delish.


A selfie outside the restaurant!


Afterwards we went to the mystery book group she leads at a local library. The subject that evening was any book by Peter May. I have read only The Black House, so far. I'll tell you, the talk in that room was so intelligent and informative. I learned a ton about the writer and his various works. The people were so nice to me, too.

Then she drove me back to my hotel, and we bid adieu... until next time!

34 comments:

  1. Hooray for internet friends who become real friends!

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  2. Nan, this was wonderful! We had such a good time, didn't we? Thanks for sharing about our good time. My post about it will be up on Friday. Same picture of us. ;-)

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    1. I had the.best.time!! Thank you for your Texas hospitality!

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  3. What a wonderful day and a lovely post all about it. Thanks, Nan!

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    1. It really was wonderful, Cath. The whole day made me so happy.

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  4. Love the photo of you two lovely ladies!! Love Kay's house and the sensible landscaping, we should do the same in Georgia, so much better than all the water folks use to make their gardens green.
    That meal looks wonderful, and I am sure the company was even better! So happy you were able to visit with such a dear friend.

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    1. Funny, I think of Georgia as hot but not dry. It is a very interesting thing to do. There are lots of choices. The company was wonderful. Such a great day. Thanks, Kay.

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  5. I am so happy for you and Kay. It is a treasure to find a friend, someone you can be close to on the internet and then to get to meet in person is the best. Happy day.

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  6. I loved reading about how you, Kay and Les met 21 years ago, such a nice story and pic.

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  7. How neat. I was on a gardening forum for many years and met two of the women on there. Likewise was able to connect with 2 bloggers in the past. One of them is Marie "After 60 and the Next 10" blog. That happened in London in 2014.

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    1. Wow! And of course, that is where we met. It was a homemaking group. Home is where the heart is? Something like that. And then a couple others after that. I'll look at the blog.

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  8. This post makes my heart sing! I am so glad you two had such a great visit. I'm counting the days until Kay and Teri are out here and I do so wish you could join them! Rod and I have been talking about an east coast trip in a couple of years, so hopefully, we'll get up to see you and Tom! You have a little extra space for us to park our RV, right? :)

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  9. Morning Nan! So glad you got to meet up with a booky friend. I belong to a booky forum too, (since 2007). It was originally for book swapping, and until the site died I had probably swapped around 300 books - oh! it was fun!. Anyway, we now have just the forum as the old site needed rebuilding, and the owners didn't have the time and money (nor the inclination) to do that, so we now have a "talking only" forum. Of course the UK is so much smaller than the US but we have regular meet up with members. The one I go to is near Bristol and is at a place called The Book Barn. It is a warehouse full of thousands and thousands of books all at £1 (they have a website too https://www.bookbarninternational.com/visit/ and you will see your name if you look carefully - not personally arranged by me but what a find!!) It's a twice a year event, Spring and Fall, and if a regular cannot make it we are always disappointed!! We go to lunch afterwards at a pub whose dining room is an old railway carriage in the garden.

    I liked your header pic this time. I love that first burst of green new leaves when I always say "The ladies have put their frocks on!"

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    1. I love the idea of your regular get-togethers! My name?? I don't understand.

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  10. I could repeat Kay's (Georgia Girl with an English Heart) comment word for word - love the photo(s), the sensible choice of landscaping, the food looks delicious and it all sounds simply great. So glad you had the occasion to meet up!
    Similar to you, I have a close friend whom I have never met in person. We've known each other for around 20 years, too, and it all started when I put a few of my summer dresses on ebay. She loved my sunflower dress (which I liked, too, but had become tired of), and through the correspondence we had to organise the sale and shipping, we started to talk about other things and soon communication shifted to outside ebay.
    She lives in Northern Germany, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, so she is not unreachable, but we have not yet met in person. I did invite her to my big birthday bash in March, but her husband is not well and so she couldn't make it. Occasionally, we talk on the phone, but most of our friendship is happening via emails, and we talk about many, many things.

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    1. A lovely story about your friend. When I was a girl there were pen-pals, people you wrote to who lived somewhere else. I think they were even set up through school. They'd never do that now.

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  11. How lovely! Great pictures and testament to a lovely friendship. I've met quite a few of my friends through the Internet, including one who I met on an indie music site in the mid-90s; she and her friend came and stayed with me in London (all the way from Madison, Wisconsin!). And the core of friends I have now came from the BookCrossing site - I organised a meetup when we moved here and met some instant friends. Hooray! I've also met people through the LibraryThing Virago Group who have get-togethers now and then, and other bloggers. All wonderful stuff!

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    1. It is indeed "all wonderful stuff!"

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  12. My goodness, I knew of your long friendship with Kay, but did not realize how long it had been going on. What a lovely post about the visit and thanks for the pictures. I know just what you mean about finally having a community that sympathizes with the love of books and reading.

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    1. Thanks so much for your words, Tracy.

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  13. Thanks for allowing us to sit in with you as you reconnected with your friend face-to-face. I hope you all have many more opportunities. She needs to head up your way and get another perspective on the weather and landscaping. Just read this quote tonight from Emily Bronte: "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." The soulmate doesn't have to be male and female, and you don't necessarily have just one in a lifetime. Great story of friendship.

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    1. Wonderful words! Thank you. Yes, I would love Kay to come back. When she was here last year, it was cloudy and had been rainy for a while. She couldn't really see the glory of the mountains.

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  14. I really enjoyed reading the back story of how you and Kay met. I love that you've kept your friendship going for so many years. Love the big smiles in that selfie!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Those smiles went on all day!

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  15. Just catching up on blogs. So cool that you and Kay got to spend time together!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to come by. I know how busy you are!! It was so great! I'm still basking in the glow of the visit.

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  16. A great story and it's wonderful that the internet allows bookish people to hang out together. My book group have been meeting for 15 years now and it's a lifeline.

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    1. I think Kay's has been meeting a long time, too. I've never been in a book group. That's why I've been happy over the years to talk about books online.

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  17. I'm glad to read of friendships like these that are as meaningful, or more, than in real life. Blogging brought me one like that, all the way from Crete. I'm so thankful for it.

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    1. Crete!!! So good to hear from you.

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