January 15, 2005
Warmth and chills
I'll start with the cold and end with the warmth....

It is COLD here in the Lower Mainland of BC. I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. It has not gone above freezing for over a week. Snow that fell over 10 days ago lays on the ground compacted and treacherously icy. This is not normal and it is really starting to get to me. And if I thought it was bad, my Mom is feeling even worse with it. She's got severe osteoporosis. She breaks bones in strong winds, so she can't even attempt to venture even to the store right now in case she falls.

I saw a headline on one of the Canadian news sites to the effect of Vancouver freezes, while the rest of Canada laughs amused at our lack of ability to deal with it. Whatever. If I wanted to be in the cold, I'd move there. I like being in a cushy little mild climate right by the ocean. Rain has never bothered me...bring it on, but take this icy hell with you!

I have my badge of honour for the cold and I wear it proudly. I braved -42 degrees in 2003, when Hayley turned 1. In my naive-ness, I ran across the road for some birthday candles for Hayley's cake. Not thinking anything of it, I went without a coat and only wearing a light sweater. It's just across the road, I thought, what's the big deal? I found out. At that temperature, the insides of your nose freeze and the air hits your lungs like a sharp knife. I learned my lesson, and have not forgotten it. I like my rainy, mushy world!

Last night, I had a pleasant surprise in the form of a phonecall from one of my blogworld friends, Stephie. Granted, she wasn't having a great night, but it was so good to hear from her. It's times like this, when the line between the 2D world and the 3D world collapses and we learn that these friends we have inside this little piece of hardware and keyboard, are truly good people. If the world was a smaller place, I have no doubt that we would not have enough time in the day for our friends. The miles between us make us all appreciate when good connections are made. I admit I used to be unsure of actually meeting people this way - I'm a shy person by nature - but the more I've had the opportunity to travel, the more I find that there are great people all over this world.

In 1996, I joined a mailing list for the TV show, Friends. Internet and e-mail was so new. But I'd always been involved with penfriends since a young kid. My aunt Phyl taught me very early the gift of letter-writing so the whole e-mail thing to me at that time was facsinating. But I lurked back then. I think I may have written a few people but mostly I kept quiet and watched. Later that year, the mailing list crashed and died. I felt sad...some of these people I thought seemed really nice. Soon after, one of the girls took a list of some of the people of that group and emailed us all asking if we still wanted to keep in contact. There were about 25 of us that did, and we renamed ourselves The Basement Party. Internet was so new then, and what we were doing seemed odd. As we became close friends, emailing each other in a list form daily, we also tended to keep this part of our lives quiet. Most of the group was from either England or the East Coast of the US. At some point (I think it was in '97?), an idea for a meet was planned for the English contingent. From that meeting, two of the members actually saw sparks and they have now been married for 6 years. I continued to write to the group, both 'publicly' on the list and privately, we forged friendships that became very strong. So in 1999, when one of the girls was getting married in Washington, DC, it seemed the perfect opportunity for me to go. I flew to DC, not even really knowing anyone and them not really knowing me. I arrived at the gate to find a girl holding up a lipstick-drawn sign saying 'Welcome Sue'. It was the beginning of a great chapter in my life.

There were about 10 of us from all over that made that trip. A bunch from England, a few from all over the US, and little ol' Canadian me. We went to Wendy's wedding, we danced and laughed as if we had seen each other every day for our entire lives, yet until that week, had never even seen each other. We took a side trip up to New York as well, went to the WTC and to the UN, which seemed particularly apropo considering how we'd met.

The group has continued. I consider those 20 people the best friends I could have. Some have left since it's inception, but we have had no one new, a decision based on keeping our group what it is and somehow keep it special and private. At times, they make me so mad, and others my heart is warmed by their support. We have now been through quite a few marriages and births within the group, as well as divorces and breakups. Often, we laugh about the second generation of our group as some of the babies are now getting to be school aged.

Two members of the group are getting married this summer in England. I am not going to be able to go, and it breaks my heart. There are so many reasons why I can't, some financial and some more involved. I haven't been able to meet with the group since a wedding in San Fran in '02. The entire group will be together this summer for the wedding....

So, when Stephie called last night, it reminded me how small this world really is and how fortunate we are to have a way like this to reconnect with people. We shouldn't take it for granted in this crazy, busy world.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
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  • January 2005
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  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie