Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
September 15, 2014
It may seem a total contradiction at this point since I am blogging so infrequently, but the friendships that I have made and continue to make through this blog are such an inspiration to me. I was reflecting over the list of bloggers I have had the good fortune to meet in person and am so grateful to say that I’ve enjoyed every single meeting. There is not a single one of them that I would not be happy to spend extended time with. It was exactly four years ago right now that Tish (who no longer blogs, but with whom I am still in touch with via Facebook) and I met for a bike ride near her home. She was the first blogger I met in person. That bike ride turned into almost a week of fun and fellowship. It became a friendship cemented. And simply whetted my appetite for more.
In September, I was able to meet another blogger with whom I’ve been blog friends for some time. Ironically, Betsy, who blogs at Betsy from Tennessee, lives only 60 miles from me, but she and her husband stay on the go and we’d just never managed to get together. I regret that now because we had an amazing lunch and afternoon of non-stop conversation that ended on her wonderfully serene back porch. Besides living in the same state, we have much in common and she was a constant support to me during Bill’s illness despite the fact that we’d never met in person! We are already planning our next meeting. It is a friendship cemented!
Sharon and Betsy - September 4, 2014
Last week, I spent a week at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with my friend Pam, who blogs at NomadicNewfies. This was our fourth meeting, but we were obviously convinced that we would be able to spend four days together and still be friends. We rented a cottage on Lake Michigan and Pam drove down from her home in Wisconsin while I drove up from my home in Tennessee and we spent four delightful days together exploring an area of the country I’d never visited. We found out that a mid-westerner by birth and southern girl by birth got along really well in close quarters and could find much common ground. This was my first time away from Bill since his illness and Pam was incredibly patient with our lengthy phone conversations each evening and my most likely annoying constant fretting about whether or not he was o.k. and eating enough!! She will be down in my mountains in a couple of weeks and we already have another trip planned for November. A friendship cemented!
Sharon and Pam - September, 2014
I spent today hiking with yet another friend I met through this blog. I first met Judi (who no longer blogs) and her husband, Gene, in October of 2011. At that time, they were living full time in their RV and I was envious of that lifestyle! To my delight, the next year, they decided they were ready to settle down in a regular home (after full time RVing for nine years) and purchased a condo less than 20 miles from where I live. Since then, we have hiked many miles together and become wonderful friends. A friendship cemented!
Old Sugarlands Trail - GSMNP
October 6, 2014
There are so many others with whom I didn’t have nearly enough time. I only hope that someday we might have a chance to meet again.
And then there are so many of you whom I haven’t yet met, but will do everything I can to make that happen. Your stories are fascinating, your lives which might seem boring to you, are interesting to me because I seem to always find that yes, we might be different, but in the ways that matter, we are often much the same!
I have so many things to write about that are happening in my life, but for some reason, this is what was on my heart tonight. I am blessed with an abundance of sweet friendships that anchor me and hold me accountable. I believe we are called to live in relationship with one another carrying each other through the good times and the bad. I learned this past winter that one can never have too many friends and friendships can be cemented through an amazing variety of ways! What an adventure we experience in this thing called life!
View from our cottage at Indiana Dunes
September 24, 2014
(much more to come about this trip)