I was a runaway this weekend. A truant, an escapist. I was a veritable Houdini from my everyday life. It was wonderful and restorative and worthwhile. I have not a single photo because I once again, could not find my camera charger in the place where it lives and in none of the places I thought it might have visited. So, I have photos from friends, and lots of memories in my mind.
I went to the Seattle area to see one of my dearest, longest-known pals, and in the bargain got go to meet in person a couple my favorite blogging and bookclub friends. It's an internet story all the way around.
My friend Sara emailed me in October with the latest Ding update from Southwest and there was a really good price on flights from Baltimore to Seattle. (She is that kind of pal, she keeps track of my airport on Ding so we can see each other.) I've been feeling run a bit ragged lately, so the thought of a weekend away, especially with her, was very enticing. Eric, as usual, was completely supportive of this. (He's that kind of hubby, he knows it's good to keep me sane.) In just a few clicks, I was all set.
I thought that was going to be it and I was pretty excited. Then I figured out that the person I drew for our online bookclub's Secret Santa lives about an hour from my pal. So I worked it out with her husband to meet her and deliver her Secret Santa gift in person. I had never met her, I just knew I really liked her and her husband's comments on our bookclub forum, plus she has become one of my blogging friends and always makes me glow with her wonderful friendly ways. She made me glow in person, too. Her smart, kind, and warm internet presence in my life was the perfect introduction to her even smarter, kinder and warmer personal presence. I'll always treasure the moment of our meeting and the sweet hour or so we had to talk. Her husband is also pretty special, because my plans became a bit flaky and he was utterly kind and calm about the whole thing. It was a highlight of the weekend for sure.
As for my friend, she's the one I went to NYC with last fall. We have a long history together and I'm just so glad to have her in my life. Being with her is easy and right--fun, happy, and uplifting. It's a yin-yang thing, for sure, because she is elegant and soft-spoken and graceful where I am sarcastic and talk too much and laugh too loud, and everything good I know about how to dress I learned from her. I have many WWSD moments in the store. Mostly, I love her heart and her faith, plus her amazing grown sons are the ones I look to to give me hope about parenting. This time, we drove around on the Kitsap Pennisula. The weather was iffy, so after we visited the Hebers, we ended up staying in a little town called Poulsbo-a Norwegian-settled fishing town with a charming city center. I went to the wonderful Liberty Bay Books and lots of amazing art galleries and gift shops. I found Norwegian gifts for my part-Norwegian mom and lots of other lovelies for loved ones. There were carolers walking around and a horse-drawn wagon with sleigh bells going up and down the street. It was wonderfully festive. For us, leisurely shopping like this is a way to connect, to find out what the other likes and is interested in, and to have all that time to talk in between.
So, now I'm home, with enough memories of friends and and mornings of waking without an alarm and tall pines and mountains in both directions and misty harbors and Mt. Ranier and seeing 4 of the Cascade Volcanoes in the sunset from the plane to get me by until the next time I can get back to my beloved Pacific Northwest.
The ending note though, must be that I'm so glad to be home-that's the real beauty of a trip like this, I remember that I really do miss my family and even my run-ragged life when I'm gone.