So I get this email a while back from Elizabeth Harper, an American from Atlanta who fell in love with an Englishman and now lives in Cornwall, and who writes the lovely blog, Gifts of the Journey: “I saw something that made me think of you and I’ve mailed it.”
I wondered what it might possibly be, while touched and grateful that a woman I’ve yet to meet or even speak to was kind enough to think of me and send me a present.
A pub bar towel. Thanks, Elizabeth! So fun!
The other night, barely minutes after I posted, I got an email from Michelle in Minneapolis, pointing out (thank you!) a typo I’d missed. How unlikely, and helpful, to have a sharp-eyed volunteer copy-editor a few time zones in the other direction.
She and I had breakfast there in October 2012 when I went out to give a speech at the University of Minnesota. We had a blast. It’s the oddest moment, these blogging blind dates, when you finally put a voice, face and body to the person whose writing you’ve been reading for months, maybe years. She writes The Green Study, in a voice that’s consistently clear, crisp and no-nonsense.
Plus, the woman served in the military as a Russian linguist!
Depending what you write about, a fellow blogger may come to know you quite well indeed, and vice versa. I felt immediately at ease with Michelle, and we quickly fell into deep conversation.
My first blog blind date was with Lorna, a young woman in Edinburgh who writes the blog Gin & Lemonade. I met her and her fiance, then beau, at a Manhattan bar.
On our recent vacation, we had a sudden family crisis to deal with and I knew, of all people, Elizabeth would know how to cope. It felt bizarre to fire a panicked email across the Atlantic, but she quickly wrote back a long and compassionate reply — a measure of her great kindness, as she and John had just survived a truly terrifying experience, a head-on collision. Here’s her post about it, with photos.
And then there’s C, who writes Small Dog Syndrome, which I’d been reading and enjoying for a while.
A few months ago, I needed a new assistant, someone really smart to represent me and my business interests. I need a challenging mix of charm and utter tenacity and wondered if she might be the one, and now she is. Thanks to her candid, tart blog posts, I knew we shared a love, and experience of, world travel and ex-pat life, and a stiff upper lip in the face of unpleasantness, personal or professional. You can’t intuit that from a resume!
Have you met or worked with any of your blog pals?
How did it turn out?