It's a gray Saturday morning and I'm in the car, cruising down the highway toward Ann Arbor.
Everything is gray, black or white. The charcoal-gray stretch of pavement beneath my car is anchored by expanses of white snow. Rising from the snow are stark black trunks of trees, with branches spreading like tangled spider webs. The sky is only a half-shade darker than the snow, the overpasses somewhat darker.
Even the cars are all silver, white, gray, black, pewter. The only colors present are occasional green mileage signs and the goldenrod signs that say "Watch for Ice on Bridge." A lone bright blue sports car whizzes by, a welcome relief.
But my mood is as sunny as the other bit of color in this scene -- two bunches of yellow daffodils, resting on the car seat. These are for my luncheon companions.
But before lunch, a couple of stops. First to Hollanders, an amazing paper and gifts store in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown district. And while I'm there, an unexpected farmer's market beckons.
At this time of year, most of the vendors carry things like artisan bread...
Some craft items, like these hand-made rugs, kissed by the snow...
And even ice cream -- no cooler required.
There's still time before lunch, so a quick trip to Treasure Mart -- the most overcrowded resale shop on the planet. (You may disagree; I'm sure there are others!)
I leave with a few treasures myself -- more on those at the end of the post.
Then I reach my destination -- Amadeus. I've written about this restaurant before, when I met blogger Anno in the past. And today we will meet again, along with blogger Becca, whom neither of us have met before.
Ah, but don't think that means we don't know one another well. In some ways, I know both these women better than people I see every day.
As we sat at this table right in that left window, wonderful light spills onto the table, warming us against the winter chill. We laugh, we smile, we eat!
Between bites of the Amadeus pancake, dill pickle soup, tasty rolls and lots of tea and coffee, we talk about family, blogging, writing, and so much more.
I feel very fortunate to have a lot of wonderful friends -- both locally and out of town. they are people in whom I can confide, laugh, enjoy a great night out. Some are extraordinarily special and have provided a wealth of support during the most challenging times of my life. They are sounding boards on the phone, at tea, on a road trip -- and I do the same for them.
Yet bloggers form a unique bond. You may well have experienced that -- in writing a post about something deeply personal, you are amazed by the outpouring of support. A surprise in the mail. An email off-blog that continues the conversation.
We may not spill our guts in full on our blogs (well, sometimes we do, but that's because we feel safe), but we share our dreams. We share our work and our creativity, our art and our poetry and photography. For some of us, the blog is the first, gentle foray into sharing our work with a wider audience.
And we share our hearts as well.
So, when I met Becca, I felt -- as I did with Anne before -- that I was meeting up with a friend I just don't get to see so much. One who has listened to my rants, raves, problems, concerns and dreams and who has shared hers.
But the Napoleon above, elegant, beautiful, sweet, delicate, beautifully textured is a fine representation of our time together.
I think we could have talked for hours, but we parted and I went off to Trader Joe's (where I proceeded to leave a bag of groceries on the bottom of the cart -- and had a terrific experience with their customer service when I called them from home) and here...
Yes, one of the closing Borders bookstores. I wondered, as I stood in line for 45 minutes to buy books I could probably get for less on Amazon, how our world will be with fewer bookstores. For me, there's nothing like feeling the page under my fingertips.
I told you I'd show you my Treasure Mart finds -- a small pink Depression glass for my bathroom; a silver-toned (not real) jug, also for the bathroom and this apple pitcher.
A story about this apple pattern -- my mother had this dish pattern; it was sold when my dad moved from our house. Years later I regretted I didn't keep it -- or a piece (preferably the teapot!) Marilyn at Delights of the Heart suggested I might someday find a teacup, and I liked that idea -- it was the memory that mattered, not eight place settings. So when I saw this -- perfect for flours or juice, and only $6 -- well, I was happy!
I found this, too. Silly, isn't it. But it made me happy.
A final word -- this is my 700th post. Not a milestone, I suppose. It seems 750 or 1,000 will be more so. But things with two zeros seem important -- so it seems fitting I should share this post with you, speaking about the bonds of blogging. It has meant a great deal to me knowing you -- and I so look forward to much more posting in days to come!
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