Wow! I had a really exciting day yesterday! I met a blog/visitor friend, Roberta! What a great day!
Roberta and I have been corresponding for the past year after Roberta found my blog and wrote to me. Actually, Roberta hasn't started a blog so I didn't really know much about her, only that she is Italian and that she and her husband are missionaries in Italy. I also knew that Roberta is a quilter and she is the one that sent me the Happy Villages book last year and some lovely fabric.
Sometime earlier Roberta realized that my home town in California and the area that her daughter lives in weren't too far apart AND that both of us were going to be in the same area at the same time this summer. We were hoping that we'd be able to meet somewhere for lunch or something but didn't know our schedules nor if we'd have access to transportation. I'd given Roberta my mother's telephone number and she had e-mailed me earlier this week. We decided that no, we weren't going to be able to get together since she would have to ask her son-in-law to drive her around and wait around if we visited etc. I could understand that. If you are a guest somewhere it is difficult to ask someone to drop their activities to take you to meet someone. Yesterday morning I e-mailed Roberta to say that I'd probably hit the mall anyway and was sorry that we couldn't meet.
About 15 minutes later the telephone at my mom's rang. It was Roberta!
"Tanya, I really want to meet you and my son-in-law offered to take me to the mall today!"
"Yeah! Let's meet at 12:00 today in front of...."
So it was decided! Take a quick shower. Invited Leiya and my niece and off we went to the mall that is about 20 minutes away!
Leiya says to me,
"Who is it that we're going to meet?"
"My blog friend, but she doesn't have a blog so I don't really know that much about her."
"Do you know what she looks like?"
"Hmmm. I hadn't thought about that. No, I guess I don't. But she must know what I look like since she's seen pictures on my blog."
"Aren't you worried that you aren't going to have anything to talk about?"
"Well, it's just for lunch. The time will go quickly."
Roberta and her LOVELY daughter and her son-in-law and her mother were waiting for us in front of the Cheesecake Factory and after introductions and hugs all around we started chatting and chatting, and chatting. We barely stopped to eat! (Well, Roberta's mother only spoke Italian so she basically smiled a lot and nodded whenever Roberta or her daughter translated. I barely paid any attention to Leiya and my niece but I guess they chatted with Roberta's daughter and husband.) Roberta and I just kept on chatting! Leiya certainly hadn't needed to worry about whether we'd find anything to talk about!
As lunch finished we suddenly decided that Grandma and the kids would go their separate ways to the mall and Roberta and I would try to find a quilt shop together. Ahh... The adventure begins!
Never turn two middle-age ladies who don't know north from south loose on the streets of Southern California when they have no idea where they are going. As driver I'm afraid I'm responsible since I had a feeling there was a quilt shop somewhere in the general direction of my left hand! Couldn't remember the name of the quilt shop and only remembered my brother taking me there last year so I hadn't paid much attention to directions.
Roberta's daughter and son-in-law thought they knew which quilt shop I was referring to not far from their apartment. A quick map was drawn on the back of a receipt and then Roberta and I happily waved good-bye to everyone in the parking lot and started on our way.
Well, we were still busy talking and after about 20 minutes of driving Roberta says,
"You know, I don't think my son-in-law drove through these hills when we were coming to the mall today. Do you think we were talking so much that we missed the street?"
"A good possibility. Um... The sign says we're in Orange County. Does your daughter live in Orange County?"
"I'm not sure but maybe we should ask at a gas station."
We were so far out that we couldn't even find a gas station and nothing that looked like a quilt shop nor Roberta's daughter's apartment. Finally I turned around and we headed back to a downtown area. Roberta, armed with map, asked at a shop and we found out we'd been going east for 20 minutes when we should have been going west! Not really a problem since we were just getting in that much more talking and neither of us had a time schedule.
We headed back in the direction of the Cheesecake Factory.
"WAIT! I think the quilt shop that my brother took me to last year is around here somewhere!"
and with tires squealing I pulled into a small strip mall and there we were! A quilt shop! Not the one that we were trying to get to but as it turned out an excellent one with a wonderful selection of fabric and books and tools.
We both started pulling bolts off of the shelves and after hearing that a sale was starting the next day boldly told the girl at the counter that we were from ITALY and JAPAN and that we HAD JUST MET THAT MORNING through my QUILT blog and that this was a MOMENTOUS OCCASION and that we NEEDED to have our picture taken in front of the shop's lovely fabric!
A couple of the customers overhearing us smiled and the shop owner gave us each a complimentary gift and let us have tomorrow's sale fabric today!
Roberta and I were just bubbling when we got out of there and we decided that we'd spent as much money as our budget would allow so we wouldn't even bother to go looking for the other quilt shop. Another 20 minute drive in the right direction and our map took us directly to the apartment. A few more minutes of chatting in the parking lot. A promise to pray for each other and our families. A request (from me!) that Roberta get a blog going since I want to see all the exciting things that she is making over in Italy. A hug and our paths divided again.
Blogging is fantastic. I met a quilter, a sister-in-Christ, and a friend because of the blogging world.
Thank you for a great day Roberta. Hugs to your mom and your beautiful daughter and your wonderful son-in-law. Keep in touch! I know you will!