Sitting at work on a Saturday can be a huge drag. But since I started blogging, I actually look forward to coming into work, even on the weekends, just so that I can use a computer to check up on my friends. Friends. Yes, I've come to think of many of the people whose blogs I read daily, both near and far, as friends. Every day as I read through their blogs, I am learning who they are and some of the intricacies of their daily thoughts, what their surroundings look like through their gorgeous pictures, and laughing out loud with them - those deep belly laughs, the kind that rolls up from your belly through your chest and out your mouth in loud gusts until you don't think you'll be able to stop, and your cheeks hurt in the best way possible from smiling so much. They take me on road trips with them (sometimes even to my home state!), or to places I've never been, and I live vicariously through their descriptions and photographs...and sometimes just drool over their culinary creations. I feel like I've been standing around with them during the warm and comforting events with their family, met their adoreable pets, and seen them making new friends when they get to meet other bloggers, and sometimes, even sharing a sad moment with them. They not only inspire me, but encourage me, and offer their thoughts. I feel like I know them. You. It's amazing to me to think about bloggers who have been at it for months or years...I've only been doing this a few short months, but already I tell their stories to Loving Boyfriend as if I've known them for years..."...My friend, Ilva, in Tuscany, she posted the most beautiful picture she posted of this villa today - we have to go there someday!" or ..."Vickie, my friend in Vermont, knows how to make little dumplings!," or ..."My friend Shauna in Seattle is the aunt I want to be when my nieces get older!" ...and there are so many more (I wish I could link to everyone!).
It's hard to move to a new place, and I've done a lot of moving in the last several years (13 times in one of those years!), which meant that it was difficult to make close friends. The kind of friends you want to sit with in your kitchen , pour a cup of tea, and talk for hours. When I started graduate school, and met my dear Loving Boyfriend, he had been here in Eugene for over a year...and already had a good friend base. Those people slowly became my friends as well, and I love them dearly, but I've always struggled to find them on my own. As I get older, I've found it more and more difficult to meet people that are like me, want or are interested in similar things, or that I even feel like I could talk for hours with.
Through blogging, food has brought us all together...our love for it, for making it for friends and loved ones (or even ourselves!), sharing how it makes us feel or how it brings us close to those we care about. Even sharing our excitement about finding a new Farmer's market, or a beautiful ingredient in the grocery store, or a cooking disaster we would never want anyone to actually eat...just to share a few laughs. And it's become a forum...for asking for help on how to store something, what to do with that new ingredient, or getting our hands on something we can't get where we live, and even for finding a shoulder to lean on.
On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to meet McAuliflower, the creativity behind Brownie Points (if you haven't checked her site out yet, you should!). I couldn't believe when she commented on my site that there was another food blogger in Eugene...and just a short jaunt down the hallway in the same building I was in. When she suggested we go to Marche Cafe here, I already knew I liked her - it's my favorite place to eat here on campus. But she was so easy to talk to - we talked non-stop for an hour and a half, and not only about food (though, of course, that subject came up)...and to hear excitement in someone else's voice when they talked about how beautiful their salad looked, - and it was! - it was like coming home. Like being back in the days I used to sit around with my favorite girlfriends in high school and college and excitedly chatter about boys we all knew, or things that had happened in our past - girls who knew my history, my parents, my friends (Katie, that's you!)...something I truly miss after all that moving, when there just isn't enough time to learn all the nuances of someone you meet until long after you've moved away. And these days, with all of life's obligations, it seems like too much time goes by without feeling that closeness, talking to a close friend who truly shares in your excitement about something, who realizes how much you truly love something and who knows you inside and out. And I am now realizing just how much I miss that...but I left my lunch with McAuliflower feeling satiated, excited, and yearning to know her more...and I hope I will.
I have no idea if I would be 'friends' with all of you had we met on the street, though I'd like to think I would, but I know that I have come to care about you and think of you as my friends -- regardless of the fact that I've never met (most all) of you. I also know that food, and blogging, has brought us together...and I'm so thankful for that. Thankful for you. And thankful for the new deepness and richness that this world has brought into mine. I hope you all are having a most wonderful weekend day, and I hope that someday some of you will be able to come and sit in my kitchen with me, let me pour you a cup of tea, feed you a freshly baked scone or a piece of pie, and talk with me for hours.
Sometimes it's hard to make friends...and sometimes you find friends in places you would never have imagined...
written by Michelle at 1:00 PM