Yesterday started out with some extremely crappy news from our (former) billing company. [Good news in disguise, y’all. Hindsight.] But the rest of the day, thankfully, was wonderful enough to tip the balance on my happiness scale.
It’s Fall Break for William, but not for Lorelei, but I let her “ditch” (her words–“play hooky” was what I called it) so that we, along with Emily, who had the day off from work, could go to Dollywood. It was a perfect October day–the high just reached 70, it was sunny and breezy and the air was full of flying leaves and smoky smells–yes, you could just about insert every autumn cliche and hit the mark for yesterday. Dollywood is having its Harvest/Gospel celebration and they’ve festooned the place with pumpkins and mums. It was beautiful and even though it was crowded no one wanted to go on the water rides except us apparently so no lines!
As I was waiting on William who was in line for the swings (along with the train, his favorite ride) I was looking at Facebook on my phone. I saw my friend Helga posting some familiar looking pictures and realized she was at Dollywood too! Now I say Helga and I are friends–and we are–but we had never met in person. If memory serves, we got acquainted online a couple of years ago through our mutual comments on my friend Katie’s blog. I’ve written before about the connection I feel with my virtual friends, so it was the absolute highlight of my visit to Dollywood when I heard someone hollering my name and I looked over at the next ride and saw Helga! We only had a second to exchange a big hug before she had to get on the ride with her darling granddaughter but I am still smiling. [Still smiling as I read this over. There’s nothing like the thrill of meeting an online friend in real life.]
After dinner at our new favorite restaurant in Pigeon Forge (Fusion Cafe, which is Asian because if you dine out with William it pretty much has to be Asian) we went home to wait for Teddy, on his way home from Notre Dame for Fall Break. John had gone to pick him up Thursday, and they were estimated to arrive at 8:30. However, John texted me that Teddy wanted to stop at the KCHS football game first. I remember my first visit home from college, and how my family didn’t understand my need to spend time with my friends during my brief visit. So I accepted the two hour delay, and got my first glimpse of Teddy in two months via Facebook!
When Teddy finally got home at almost 11, William was the first one to get a hug. We had to make him let go so the rest of us could get a turn. Then Teddy came in and sat down at the counter and said the magic words: “Do you have any food?” I was THRILLED to get out my frying pan and cook for him. 🙂 And finally I was able to get a little information out of him about school and what he has been up to for the past two months.
Teddy eventually went back out to go see Jake, who was at a friend’s house, and then I sat down with William and watched the last half of The Return of the King. It was one of those rare days in which no matter where I was or what I was doing at any moment, I felt like I was exactly where I should be. I need more days like that.
Oh Leslie, this brought tears to my eyes (again). It was really the perfect day for me too. I love that I finally got to meet you after having been “cyber” friends since that dreadful fire. Kudos to Katie for bringing us together in the first place! I would love to meet her also some day!
Now I’m crying again too! I felt a little silly for having tears in my eyes until I saw that you did too. 🙂 Maybe you and Katie and I should ALL have lunch one day. And what I would really love to do is hang out with you in Gatlinburg one day. By the way, John and I are going to a German dinner tonight!
I love it that you had such a perfect day! You deserve many more!
Thank you, Ellen! Today wasn’t bad either. 🙂
I totally feel you on the connection with your cyber friends. IDK if you knew this or not but for a really long time I have been a part of an infertility support group online. This past summer 17 of us
9the long term sisters) got together in a rented house in Conroe,TX and met for the first time and spent 3 lovely days there. Laughing.hugging.crying.and praying together. (Since then I’ve seen 3 of them seperately and spent 2 weekends with two of these ladies,and we did some color runs) It was really a wonderful time and I am always so gad to hear of other people meeting friends for the first time. It’s awesome to make those connections and form strong friendships even before you have even seen this person face to face. LOVE IT!
Of course I knew that you went on that trip from the Facebook pictures, but I had no idea you had never met them before or what the connection was. That is SO COOL! It’s hard for people who have not experienced this to understand how deep and real such connections can be. Thanks for sharing that.