Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Old Friends Who Just Met

This looks familiar, vaguely familiar,
Almost unreal, yet it's too soon to feel yet,
Close to my soul and yet so far away,
I'm going to go back there someday.

I have super-lucky the last few weeks to meet up with some amazing people. People I have made connections with and laughed with and talked with and totally enjoyed being with.

Working in Sydney on NAPLAN, meeting the lovely Sophie, kindred-spirit Jacqueline, the long-time Facebook friend of my brother's Lisa. Lovely, lovely people who through the power of social media I will keep in touch with far longer than if it didn't exist.

Last week I organised a little homeschool gathering in our little town. Imagine my surprise when a dozen families turned out - old homeschoolers, new homeschoolers and potential homeschoolers all joining together to support each other in our journey! We now have our own Facebook group to keep in touch and organise more fabulous get-togethers.

And then there is the wonderful world of the blogosphere! I have "met" so many inspiring, beautiful and downright funny ladies through their blogs. It's bizzare - you get let into their world - you read their words, see their pictures. Sometimes you really feel as if you know them, their kids and their lives.

I actually was starting to think the distance was too great - insurmountable! Circumstances kept conspiring to keep two potential kindred spirits from meeting. Well yesterday and today, I got meet (you know - In Real Life!) Helena (pronounced He-lane-a, not Hell-lee-na!) from Loving to Learn! Yes! She's really Real!! And her Boy and her Girl and her wacky dude Husband!! 

It was like meeting someone you know, but have never met before.

Our day was filled with auspicious beginnings (funnily enough, when you imagine that when you finally meet someone you have written to for over a year, you don't really imagine it happening outside a toilet block...)...

...vegan lunches that were much yummier than the aftermath of this photo suggests...

It was a very spicy gluten free curried lentil burger

Making pepper tea

...a short play at the playground...

Climbing and getting to know you

...was followed by a long walk on the beach...

Photo-taking of the Great Ball of Sand

Patterns in Nature 
Stunning Scenery

 ...much talking...
Story telling

 ...being silly...
Shell jousting

Battle for territory by the tribes 


Four kids and a Big Kid

Wet and sandy (and cold)

After hours of "catching up", "getting to know you" and much merriment, the sun sank and we de-camped to my house for my first ever attempt at vegan/gluten free cooking. It was a BIG hit and much appreciated by our guests:

Curried coconut carrot soup - yum-o-licious!

...a few games of Set (hey - look Helena, there IS an iPad version!!!)

...and vegan garden loaf with maple apricot glaze and salad (must have been good - even my Hubby gave it the thumbs up!), but which sadly does not have a photo :-(  We had so much fun that we didn't realise just how late it had gotten - which surely is the sign of a good night!

Today dawned sunny and fresh. It just called us out (minus the Sick One) to go fossil hunting...

...and bone collecting...

...and sorting (because it just needed to be done)...

Lunch back at my house saw Helena treating us to her bean mix (which is much nicer than I make it sound!) in burritos. More vegan yumminess! And learning how to play another game Three of a Crime (oh! it's just like Mastermind! I get it!).

A beautiful couple of days - spending time with like-minds. It's always a risk meeting someone you've only ever known online. What if they don't live up to your expectations? What if they don't like me? What if (God forbid) I don't like them (or their kids or husband)? Everyone can breath a sigh of relief, because it was OK. It was better than OK; filled with laughter, crazy stories, silly voices (nicely done!), smiles, games, socialisation (!), deep and meaningful conversations, strange coincidences, and lots and lots of happy. 

There's not a word yet, for old friends who just met,
Part heaven, part space, or have I found my place?
You can just visit, but I plan to stay,
I'm going to go back there someday.


  1. Wasn't it wonderful? Wasn't it grand? Wasn't it just too cool for words?

    Yeah, we had a truly fantastic time, Ingi. I love your version of our hang out! I love that you got to meet my husband. He IS a wacky dude, you're completely right :) How great that you got to meet him in full wacky form!

    I'm so glad for the recipe links. How awesome that Set has an iPad version. Must go check it out this instant!

    Now I'm looking forward to the next time we meet up. Yes, to being Old Friends who only just met :) That's how it feels exactly.

  2. Ooo, I'm so envious! Looks like a blast.

    1. One day, Jane - one day! We will be the Oldest of Friends who just met :-) I told Helena all about us - the letters, the gifts, the friendship that has lasted and lasted. One day!

  3. Oh no! Have we just committed one of the cardinal sins of blogging???? I just read "Maxabella loves...Posts that make me cringe" and guess what number 8 was?? The Blog Dropping post!

    "These are rampant and virtually undodgeable after blog conferences, but they can pop up at any time. It's always wonderful to learn that URL friends become IRL friends, but do we really have to sit through post after post where they tell us about the wonderful time they had last weekend together - often (cringe) on each others' blogs (cringe) simultaneously. It's hard enough wading through the murky schoolyard that is blogging without being constantly reminded that you are not in the cool crowd and are missing out on so. much. fun!!! Squeeeeeeee!!!"

    Yep - guess we are guilty! It's OK though - everyone is part of the cool crowd - you are all invited to come visit!

    1. Oh, I say Blah to that…!

      I say, Let's all write what we want to write, share what we want to share. And the people who like what we write, will come and smile. This post made me happy. I loved that we wrote simultaneously. Why bother blogging if it doesn't make us happy?

      I love posts that lift you into a smile, posts that aren't the mean side of "funny" or judgemental of others, posts that find and share the joy. This one did. And I would have loved it even if it wasn't me you met, IRL :)

  4. I just read Helena's post about the meeting and I couldn't help but smile. Big. I enjoy both of your blogs, and I loved hearing about you meeting each other and how it felt. Simultaneously, even :)


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