Sunday, May 5, 2013

My (Secret) Friends

My dear blog friends, I must apologize.

I am sorry, but I don't talk about you in my "real" life very often, if at all.  Even if you and I have been communicating for a year, I don't tell my family about you.  I don't tell them the funny story you posted.  I don't tell them of your trials and tribulations.  It's not that I don't enjoy your posts.  Clearly, I enjoy your posts and your comments on mine.  But on the few early occasions that I did talk about you, I was reminded of my grandma.

Oftentimes when I visit with my wonderful grandma, she will regale me with tales of her friends and neighbors.  I enjoy listening to those stories.  But every once in a while, in the middle of a story, I will realize she is talking about a comic strip.  She will talk about these cartoon characters as if they live right down the road and are her best friends.

As far as my family is concerned, you all are my comic strip cartoon characters.  They cannot fathom being good friends with someone with whom they have never met in the flesh.

I get it.  This is a bit of a bizarre world here in blogland.  I could walk right by one of you on the street and not even know it.  I only know things that you have chosen to share.  We don't have shared experiences to lead to conversations beginning, "Do you remember when we..."  I don't know your mannerisms, facial expressions, or sound of your voice. 

I know you know what I'm talking about. 

But recently, lines have been getting crossed.  Real life has been infiltrated by Blogland residents.

The author of a wonderful blog (and star of an iVillage cooking show) made a badge for me without ever being asked.

I got an email from my friend in England, with a photo of herself holding a giant British pen to go with Hubby's giant pencil.

Remember this?  I still laugh when I see it.
She was thinking of us when she saw it.
Lines were crossed, and I started to throw in quick little mentions of you all to test the waters in conversations with my family. 

And then, a blog friend not only crossed the line, she high jumped it.

The other day, I received this in the mail:

Wow, that's some bad photo quality, right there.  Sorry about that.

My blog friend, Jen, sent me a little "Happy Spring" package full of treats and spring décor.  Such a fabulous surprise it was. 

With this tangible proof, my family must now admit that you all are, in fact, real.  And not just real, but ridiculously nice and thoughtful. 

When I started this blog, I had no idea what would come of it.  I just wanted to have a place to journal our lives all in once place.  (I used to have pen and paper journals for each kid, but that became way too much to keep up with.)  I never could have guessed I would meet and befriend a whole bunch of people from all over the globe.  I've learned so much from reading about the experiences of folks in vastly different circumstances than me.  I've laughed uproariously at the funny things you all have written.  I've actually cried from reading about the struggles some have gone/are going through.

You all are a lovely group, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

My, I'm extra mushy today, aren't I?  I'm guessing those 25 soccer games did something to me.

During this latest phase of mine in which I thought blogging every day in the mother of all bloghops was a good idea, I did manage to meet some wonderfully interesting and funny people doing the challenge right alongside me.  I'd like to introduce you to a few of them.   

A View from the Edge - Pat and her husband sold their house, packed up their belongings and spent seven years traveling around the US in an RV.  They found the most unusual spots, and during the challenge, she documented some of them.  Hubby and I took several vacations in which we simply got in the car and drove back roads, stopping when we found something interesting.  Pat and Jim are folks who lived our dream.  (minus the RV.  I'll be staying in hotels, thank you very much.)

Two Shoes in Texas - Josie's theme for the challenge was "An Attitude of Gratitude".  Each day she made a list of a wide variety of things beginning with the days letter for which she was grateful.  Her lists included everything from microwaves to old-time photos to QWERTY to Jello.  During the month she was also able to take a trip to Savannah, GA, and through her I was able to reminisce about the times I've been to the area with my family.

The Cryton Chronicles - I hardly know how to explain Jak.  He is basically the opposite of me, being single, male, interested in sci-fi and gaming, and he posted his letter posts right before the daily deadline.  (I scheduled mine sometimes days in advance.)  Despite the fact he gives me the creeps when he writes about his haunted childhood home, I find him enjoyable.

Other's I met late in the challenge:

A Tent, a Caravan, 4 Wheels, and Me

Dancing with Dragonflies

Mama, Schmama

Mothers of Brothers Blog

My Crazy Family Circus

A Word or Two, about a Word

Stretching My Wings

Adventures in the Ballpark

Silvia Writes

None of these folks have given me gifts, seeing as it isn't mandatory for being my friend.  I will say, though, that gifts will never be turned away. :)

I shall leave you with one of my grandma's friends, because I have to admit, I do enjoy some Family Circus myself.



Have a lovely day!

21 comments:

  1. Now I'm trying to figure out which cartoon character I am....

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    1. I'm going with Lucy from Peanuts. I see you as the type of person to swipe that football just before Charlie Brown kicks it. :)

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  2. Oh, I had the same thought as Dyanne--who shall I be?

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    1. Hmmmm, It's been so long since I read the comics, but there is one which I loved the mom. I'll have to get a paper this week and figure it out. :)

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  3. Have not been following my blogs as religiously as in previous times - thanks to computer hi-jinks and other things. Whilst still suffering on the techie front, its good to be back, if only temporarily! - and agree with you that although blogging friends may not be real to one's family, they sure make a difference to one when suddenly one becomes ONE after nearly 43 years of being a married couple! Thanks to the ColdhamCuddlies - who've given me a daily purpose in life - and all my blogging friends, this first year has not only flown by (I've heard from others in a similar position that time has positively dragged) but I've made so many lovely new friends - including your lovely family - and am very grateful for it.

    Long live blogland! Isobel

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    1. Oh how I hate computer hi-jinks! This online community can really be something wonderful. I'm glad it has helped you through this past year. I was wondering where you had been, then realized I wasn't following you. I thought I was all along. Glad you are back!

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  4. "I used to be a real boy"

    I understand all too well the division between online and "in real life." Even during the challenge I've had some friends jokingly scoff about my dedication to the A to Z Challenge and such, but it was (is) important to me, and I really enjoy the interactions with the people I've been connecting with.

    It can be hard for those not experiencing it themselves (like most things) to completely understand that the online world is full of people. Real people.

    But look at us now! All invading your household, crossing the line, getting up in your grill! dun Dun DUN! Soon you'll be having a huge anniversary cake show up with The Jak popping out of the top! It's really great people have been sending gifts. That is some loyal dedicated fandom right there.

    I, coincidentally, have no idea how to explain myself either! You are correct on the opposites, though, lol And I tried so hard to get my A to Z posts in early (only the first 2-4 were successful), but the majority were slammed in at 10 min to Midnight. BUT, that's a win in my book! Hahaha

    Thank you so much for the mention, and I know I've said it a handful of times, but it's awesome to have met during the A to Z. I will try to check out a handful of the others you listed.

    There is SO a joke somewhere with that pencil picture... as it were, I am jealous and want one :)

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. Ha!
      Oh, the all-in-fun mocking I received for having my A to Z deadlines to meet. Hard to explain to outsiders.

      The thought of you showing up in a cake cracks me up. It doesn't mean I want you to do it, though. A simple knock on the door would be just fine. :)

      There are endless jokes about the pencil. Endless. Got it on Amazon for $6.

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  5. I don't think I have commented from the A-Z Hop, but I know what you mean.
    I realized not to long ago that 1/3 to 1/2 of my friends on Facebook are people from my Laura Ingalls Wilder and Iditarod listservs. I feel I know them somewhat, but I know it confuses the people in my "real" life.

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    1. It is quite confusing for people who know us in real life. Ah, well. It's not the only odd thing I do. :)

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  6. Oh this was such a fun read. I needed the laughter...I just hope nobody tries to dance in my belly. ;-)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Please let me know if someone does manage to do so!

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  7. I know exactly what you mean! My family thinks my friends from blogwarts are make believe people too. Who does anybody really know in cyberspace? I tell my husband it's more real than launching birds towards growly pigs, trying to knock buildings down - which he does quite often. I think I'm ahead on this one. :-)
    from The Dugout

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    1. Blogwarts!! Hahaha! You win. Angry Birds is just a silly game. This is real life stuff!

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  8. Thanks for the mention, by the way. :-)

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  9. Thanks for the shout out! I am so glad you enjoyed the fun box! ANd unlike you I call you "my Blog friend Christine. I have made them read the hog story and my kids ask if you have anything funny to share.

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    1. You're welcome! I love it. The Key Lime cookies are completely gone, and the shortbread are on their way.
      I have discussed you with my husband, and after the Christmas banner you sent, the kids were in on it. It wasn't until this week, though, that they decided you were awesome. :)
      That is so sweet that your kids ask for funny stories.

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  10. Hehehe I talk about you - even my Aunty likes you ;) She reads my blog and sees your comments and says how lovely you are.

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    1. Would this be wonderful Aunty who helped you so much when you moved? I hope so. She is quite lovely herself.

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    2. It is indeed. She's awesome (and a very good judge of character, I might add) :)

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!