Sunday Election Issues: 5 October 2008
The Election and the Political Left

Elderblogging Friends in Person

Back in May, results of the TGB survey of elderbloggers, 50 percent said they had made friends through blogging and 27 percent said they had met at least one blogger in person. In the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with four bloggers.

Stan James of Wandering Stan (and a founder of Lijit) is, in his 30s, hardly an elderblogger, but he has become a good friend since we met in Seattle at the 2007 Gnomedex conference. This visit was his second long weekend with me here in Portland. In between rainstorms we drove up to Wiscasset for lobster rolls at Red’s Eats. That’s Stan on the far right.


It doesn’t feel like there are 30-odd years between us and from our first meeting, as sometimes happens, it was as though we had known one another for years. It was nice that he likes the name of this shop in Wiscasset as much as I do.


A couple of weeks ago, Citizen K and his wife, Premium T – who live in Seattle and keep eponymous blogs – stopped by on their way to New York City after visiting K’s father in northern Maine. Over brunch, we talked politics (of course) and books and places we’ve been and people we’ve met.


It’s such a shame we all live to far apart, but good to know that when next I travel to the west coast, there are people I look forward to seeing again.

Last week, I spent three days with Alexandra Grabbe and her husband Sven in Wellfleet on Cape Cod where Sandy runs a bed and breakfast – Chez Sven.


It’s a beautiful, 200-year-old house where Sandy cared for her mother during her last year and half which she recounted in her blog, By Bea’s Bedside, where I first became acquainted with Sandy online.

The place is surrounded by gardens…


And I even had just-picked raspberries for dessert one evening, a fresh treat I’ve not had since childhood.


Sandy was generous with her time. On a tour of the town and surrounding area, we stopped by the ocean…


And went by the local library, the hub of community activity in Wellfleet, says Sandy, which you can see from the bulletin board of upcoming events.


Sandy managed to snag free tickets for us to a new play, The George Place, at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater (W.H.A.T.). All three of us decided the play needs work, but it was an enjoyable evening out.

Sandy and Sven were warm and comfortable hosts, providing me with not only a lovely mini-vacation just before winter descends, but a chance to get to know another elderblogger in person.


Plus, there was this peculiar, little shrine just down the dirt road from Chez Sven. I’ll blame it on old age that I can’t remember the story Sandy told me about its origin – maybe she’ll stop by and explain in the comments.


[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Linda Carmi explains the importance of Yoga Schmoga.]


That is wonderful you got to visit Chez Sven. I've often thought I'd love to go there with my Swede. We will be bringing the Finns to Maine for a couple days in October and staying at the Inn by the Sea. I hope the weather will be good since we have a suite with an ocean view. How did you like the Cape?

Thanks for your visit, Ronni. Sven and I both enjoyed it so much. I would be glad to explain the shrine again. The neighbor, a non-resident, built it this summer because her tenants had been having a hard time finding the location of her house. The neighbor thought I might mind, but no. I liked the fact that she designed and created it herself. I am not crazy about the tea cups, but she was planning on putting a lot more and did not when I suggested less might be better. They symbolize her gratitude to an old aunt on Nantucket with whom she and her husband drank tea in these same cups. The aunt left the couple the money that allowed them to purchase land here and build their big house. I afraid the shrine may get knocked down by a snowplow some winter but did not mention it, determined not to spoil the satisfaction she derived from its construction.

How nice to meet our blogging friends in person. I feel as though I really know friends I have met through your blog. I'm sure that if they walked through my front door I would recognize them and enjoy their company. Our conversation would flow just like it does here.

I know from experience how nice it is to meet fellow bloggers! It is nice of you to show us your friends and places, Ronni.

What a great set of experiences you described with friends. I love shrines, always find them fascinating.

Welcome Home!

We missed you.

Looks like you had a great little respite. I've never been "up north" that far.

Like Rain, I love mysterious little shrines. Usually in our part of the world, roadside shrines are erected to remember the death of a loved one due to a car accident. This was mostly a far south Texas phenomonon until the last few years, when the Hispanic population exploded across the state.

Ronni is too modest to mention that she's a great cook, as well as great company! I only wish we could have arrived earlier and stayed later.

Lobster sounds good about now! Thanks again Ronni for being a great host and for a relaxing weekend away from the city.

Welcome home, Ronni!

In the short time I've been blogging, I have already met online friends that I hold dear. How I would like to meet them in person! Maybe some day.

You lucky duck! All the while we were missing you & you were have a grand ole' time with wonderful friends & to boot they are old & young! Lucky you. Couldn't happen to a nicer person.:):) BTW, I fantasize about visiting Chez lovely for you! Dee

All this sounds delightful! I'm so glad you had a good time. That's been my experience, too, when I've met blogger friends in person.

I'm glad you included photos again. I just love to see them.

This was such a fun post. It's nice to "meet" these bloggers through your blog. Nice photos, too, Ronni!

I envy you these meetings. I would love to meet some of my Elderblogging friends. And Chez Sven looks great!! I really love the Cape. I have met several online friends an it's always a positive experience!

Thank you so much for sharing the anecdotes and photos of your trip. How wonderful to be able to meet others previously known online. Well done, Ronni, and everyone.

What a delight it was to meet a fellow blogger! Many thanks for the convivial hospitality, spirited conversation and delicious food.

Fascinating read, Ronni. You're right, it's great to meet bloggers in person. If ever you come over to France you're very welcome to stay with us.

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