It's funny how you can feel such close connection to people with whom you are acquainted only on the Internet.
You peek into their lives by way of journals or chat rooms or message boards and begin to feel a common thread.
Perhaps some of you don't expect to ever meet your J-land friends face to face. I know I never expected to meet any of my Internet buddies, back in 1998. Oh, they'd talk about having meetups and reunions, but Cliff and I were crawling out of a huge financial hole back then. I envied those who could afford to travel to a central location and meet all their pals. It made me sad to think I'd never get to join in on this.
We did make a trip to Dallas to one of the gatherings, although Cliff couldn't understand for the life of him why I'd want to meet and talk to people with whom I "chatted" on a daily basis; what could we possibly have left to talk about?
He climbed the ladder of success little by little, and then I got a job. And, hallelujah, I could finally afford to buy my first ever airplane ticket, to the far end of Tennessee. I met people that I already knew and loved, but it was just so special hearing their voices and seeing them live, in person. And even strumming my guitar and singing with them! At least two, and probably three, of these have since passed away.
I'll be going to Texas in April to meet with long-time Internet buddies. There will be some there that I've chatted with online but never met in person. It will, as always, be a great experience.
I've met so many friends like this that I now know it's possible to meet up with any of you. I figure most of you will eventually travel through the midwest, and a meeting is not out of the question. When Cliff and I visited our son in Georgia on Thanksgiving, we managed to have a short meet-up with a journal friend, Celeste.
Hopefully, we'll be heading to Colorado this summer. I have blogging buddies in Kansas and Colorado, and would love to stage a face-to-face meeting with any of them.
My boundaries have certainly been extended by this Internet.
And that's a good thing.
Don't think it couldn't happen to you.