Saturday, August 13, 2011
It was when I awoke Tuesday morning that I first heard the voice of a woman whose name I hadn't known until the week before, a woman that I've "known" online for over a year. While I slept she left me a voice mail saying that she'd missed her plane, the plane that was to bring her to Portland, to my house to stay with me for a few days.
Disappointment filled me and anxiety began to cast it's shadow. She doesn't carry a cell phone so the only way of contact was by email. A variety of circumstances prevented us making contact until late in the afternoon. It was so late that catching a flight that evening was going to be impossible. We got everything worked out through dozens of emails and were able to get her booked on a flight the following day.
The next evening, Wednesday, as I drove to the airport I knew I'd recognize the woman that I'd never seen, not even a picture. I knew I'd know her.
While driving through the maze of cars to the pick up point I carefully looked through the crowd. It was at the very end I saw her. I called her name. She turned and saw me. I jumped from the car to hug her, after all we were, are, friends. I'll never forget the look on her face as she looked into my eyes. She stared at me as if she was trying to discern if it was really me that was hugging her, or some random Oregonian.
On the way home we stopped at a restaurant so I could eat, she'd eaten in the airport. I wanted a quiet place we could talk before being assaulted by the herd of kids that call my house their home.
It was nice, it was quiet. We talked, and we talked more. We got to know each other in a way you can't really online. I could look in her eyes and see her depth.
Finally we finished and drove to my house. All the kids and dogs were there to greet her. I can't believe her bravery having to live through such a meeting. But hey she's from NYC, I'm sure she seen worse, or at the very least something close to it.
We got her settled in her room. She was exhausted from the flight and the days leading to it. We said goodnight and went to our various rooms for much needed sleep.
The next morning we were off and running. First we went for coffee and then I took her to a little area here in Portland called NW 23rd. We walked the quaint blocks, browsed in the shops and had lunch at one of my favorite places.
Suddenly the day of walking and talking had to end, it was time to go. After all the rest of the kids were coming over for hamburgers that evening. She had no idea what she was in for.
The night went pretty well. The kids were calm for the most part and we laughed and we talked and laughed some more.
Before we knew it bedtime was upon us. The next morning, yesterday, she had to leave. She had to be back in NYC. She's a singer and had a show to do tonight (Saturday). Some of you may even read her blog, Classic NYC Story. If you don't you really should swing by and check her out. You might even decide to stay a while.
I'll treasure our time together and hopefully I'll get to see her again next year. Blogher is having their convention in NYC next August. It's one I just might have to make.