Friendships


Let me tell you a story.  When we moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the early 90's, we lived in an old farmhouse that was located eight miles from the main road.  The drive to the farmhouse was beautiful, bald eagles soared above and the road twisted here and there through the woods.

I was a stay at home mom with a little two year old girl.  We only had one car which my husband used to get to work and back.  I was isolated and alone in a pretty farmhouse with three sets of neighbors who liked to keep to themselves and definitely were not my age.


As you can imagine, I grew lonely, anxious and incredibly sad during those brief nine months.  I doubted my decision to stay at home, I missed having a community and friends.  In the spring time, we moved to town where my husband's job was located.  I attended story time at the local county library and it was there I met some friends.  Three lovely women who opened the doors of friendship and adopted me in the circle. My sadness lifted as well as my anxiety.


I'm telling you this story because I've been thinking about community and the internet.  I frequently witness online kindness through this blog and through instagram, women helping women.  I see words of support when someone is sad or anxious.  When someone is battling a serious illness.  When marital relationships are severed.  When a loved ones die.  I think back to when I was alone and just imagine the internet there at my fingertips to connect me with others to give me support.

I have friendships with many creative kindred spirits and love how we find a commonality in knitting, reading, lifestyle, spirituality and yes, a sense of humor.

Some say that online interactions are not real, and I think that might be true and real life relationships have a significant value with being happy in the world.  But I also think online friendships have some weight.  I have met a few online friends.  I met Tracey, during a vacation and while I was nervous to "meet" her and talk to her, I found that when we got together and started talking we were not strangers at all.  I have grand plans to meet Steph one day and a few other people too.



On a side note, I started a baby blanket for my dog groomer who is due in April.  There is a wee chance that our daughter might visit us in March.  I'm waiting for some dates and some more information.  As you can imagine I'm kind of excited about the prospect.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

Comments

  1. i too love my little internet community...(even though i didn't find it till very recently) Thank you to your blog and your weekending post for a chance to meet up with others. Have a wonderful weekend Karen

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    1. I am so glad to have met you :) maybe in REAL life too!!

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  2. When I started blogging I knew there was a lovely community of knitters here, but I didn't realize how very dear my "imaginary friends" would be or that I would meet many of them face to face and become fast friends. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. You've been blogging longer than me so you have way more friends!! I'm jealous.

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  3. I am a firm believer in the authenticity of online relationships. When I was a teen who had just moved states and very lonely, I firmed some amazing online friendships that continue to this day. (Just the other day I was skyping with my friend who now is a permanent missionary in Peru!)

    Now I am blessed with a vibrant local community, and I very much depend on it, but I still value the frienships I have made through blogging immensely.

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    1. It's nice to have those friends who move with us through the internet while we meet real ones in real life.

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  4. Your words are so true, and I fully understand what you're saying. I need my friendships. I have learned how important maintaining my friendships is, especially since I am at home homeschooling my kids every day.

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    1. I bet your time is limited since you homeschool but knowing it's important to get together with friends makes it all the more valuable!

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  5. Hello Karen,

    It was a joy to read here today. Reading your story (and thank you for sharing it) brought back memories of when I was in my early 20's and 6 months pregnant with our first child...and a move that took me seven hours away from my family, which was a totally new experience for me. I had postpartum depression after our daughter was born and stayed totally to myself. Then one day the lady who lived across the street reached out to me in friendship and it really changed my whole perspective on life.

    Friendships are to be treasured and I know from experience that on line "friends" can truly become the basis for treasured friendships to develop.

    How exciting that your daughter may be coming for a visit in March! Our son's family is coming for a week in April...so I understand your excitement. :)

    Have a wonderful weekend, Karen.

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    1. how wonderful that your neighbor was your angel! I cannot imagine what I would have been like if I didn't meet those women at the library, they were life savers for me :)

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  6. So well said, my dear. The Internet has made this big world a bit smaller. And knitting has brought us all together!

    Great post. Sending warm thoughts to you this weekend (and always of course).

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    1. I love my small world and meeting you!

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  7. Everything so well said here. I can't imagine my life without all of the lovely relationships that the internet has enabled. I feel so fortunate to have such a gracious, vibrant network and to be a part of this fantastic community. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. the internet is the best thing ever! I love what worlds it's opened for me.

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  8. I loved reading your thoughts about online friendships and how valuable they are. My husband still calls them "imaginary friends" but I have received (and I hope given) real friendship from this online knitting community. Fingers crossed for a visit from your daughter in March!

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    1. I like the way your husband thinks. My husband thinks all the online friends are real life friends and has no problems meeting "strangers' who are not strangers.

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  9. Wait ... are you still in the UP? I love the UP! My mom's family hails back to Ironwood, and I've skied many times at Ironwood and on the Keweenaw Peninsula! We go Up North at least once a year, often more. Maybe we can actually meet!

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    1. I am not in the UP, I am living in PA but if I ever head back there I will contact you! It was beautiful to live there three years.

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  10. I think you are right, online friends can be just as real as in person friends and what is wrong with that! If it were a pen pal that you wrote letters to no one would say they were not a friend! I am glad to have you in my network of online friends! xx

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  11. I consider you one of my dearest friends Karen, and I think we should plan a get together so we can meet up with Steph, some place where we can knit and talk and
    eat grilled cheese sandwiches!

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  12. Please add me to your list to meet! I'd love to have you visit my lys! Fall is beautiful in NC! xo Tammy

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  13. I agree with you Karen, about online friendships, they are amazing, and feel very real. I feel honoured to have met quite a few online friends in real life, and every time we hit it off, and enjoy our time together. These are special relationships we make online, and I am so grateful for all the ones I have.

    How exciting about your daughter, I know just how happy this makes you. Enjoy your weekend. xo

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    1. I hope she is coming, I haven't any dates yet!

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  14. Karen, all good points well taken. Interacting with my pretend friends is a great way to socialize! I love the pink you are knitting up in

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    1. I'm glad you're my pretend friend...

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  15. I'm telling you - since I retired...I have no face to face friends! I do things on my own - all the time - or with my husband. Without my online friends - I would be totally, completely...lost...
    It is what keeps me sane and connected....

    Linda in VA

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    1. Well, I guess I'm retired from parenting and this community helps me think of myself and my creative pursuits!

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  16. Very true. I'm jealous you got to meet Tracey! I love her. Knitting connects us all.

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  17. Karen, I was able to relate so well with this post. I have met so many wonderful women through the blogging world and instagram. I am so glad that I decided on a whim to start a blog nearly two years ago, it has opened up a world of friends I would otherwise have never made. I always look forward to our visits, whether via our blogs or on instagram. You have become a dear friend, and hope that someday we get the chance to chat over a cup of tea!

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    1. I'm glad you started a blog, it's beautiful!

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  18. Such wonderful thoughts. Friends are friends, no matter where or how. The baby blanket looks so pretty.

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    1. friends are friends, so very true!

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  19. I have connected with a few women via blogs over the years who I consider true friends. There is one woman who I chat with via text and phone and we even ran a 1/2 marathon together last year. I don't have many friends in my day to day life who have my passion for fiber so my online friends hold a special place in my life.

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  20. That must have been a thought time, a very tough time. It has taken me a while but I feel like both my real life and Internet friendships are different but both very meaningful in their own ways. If it weren't for the distance there are many I would love to meet..........

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    1. you're right they are different but they do feel like friendships.

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  21. I too have connected with women online who share the same loves as I do. We have formed friendships that I feel will last forever. I was very fortunate to meet one online friend as her inlaws come to Arizona for the winter. My other dear friend is in England ~ some day we'll meet. It's important to have special friends, they give great comfort and joy.

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    1. I hope to meet more of the on line people when maybe my husband retires and we have a freer schedule!

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  22. I have read blogs for a few years. I only recently started my own. I have throughly enjoyed the interactions I've had from the women who have left comments. None of my local friends craft. It is so nice to see everyone's projects, books, and daily life. I started reading "Station Eleven" after seeing your post about it. It is very good. Have a good weekend.

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    1. I am SO glad you started a blog, it's a wonderful way to meet people of like minds. This group is so engaging and creative!

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  23. oh Karen I so agree with you. This online community was my lifeline when I was so sick and could not get off the couch never mind out of the house. The out pouring of kindness from my "internet" friends never ceases to amaze me! I have made many friends on instagram that I have now met in real life and I consider them the best of friends! My internet friends just really "get" me! Too bad we did not have longer to talk when we passed each other a couple years ago at the festival. Hopefully we will get the chance to pass and chat again! I hope the plans for your daughter visiting come together perfectly!

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    1. I am sure we will meet again and have more time to talk! I'm glad the online community helped you out in your moment of need.

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  24. I totally agree too, online friendships are very real. I have really connected with a handful of kindred spirits I've met through my blog. They are Australian, Canadian, French and English. I also have a number of real world friends met in the same way, more than one of whom I see regularly. But I value the friedship of the people I never see just as much.

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    1. I think friendships are so important no matter on line or in real life, it helps me be very healthy!

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  25. I too am isolated, and I totally agree with you - the Internet has been incredibly useful for preventing me sliding back into a desperate mental health state. Ironically, the reason I moved to my isolated farm on a moor in the middle of nowhere is because the problems I was having with anxiety in busy London were ruining my life - I can curate my relationships better now, and I am so grateful to the online community for helping me with that.

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    1. I love how the virtual world helps you connect with people, it does for me as well. Moving away from busy london sounds like you did the right thing for you.

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  26. I too place a high importance on internet friends. They have been my saving grace more times than one can count. Not many moments go by without me thinking of at least one of the important connections I have made through this brilliant community. I am forever grateful.

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    1. truer words, Andi!! I think of someone each day, it could be a yarn, or a circumstance or a post. Incredible!

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  27. Friendship is friendship, online or off and I am thankful for both every day. A lovely post Karen, thanks for sharing your story and I am sorry you felt so lonely back then, but oh so glad you found those friendships. I am thankful for you and for everyone I connect with via the internet. Happy Sunday xx

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    1. I am glad to have met you through blogs :)

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  28. I am immensely grateful for my online friendships and acquaintances. My family is small...and none outside my mother and my own children and husband. We live in a rural area with few friends. Connecting with people...even if its just "online" brings smiles to my face and love to my heart. Especially in times of need.

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  29. Karen, I just love this post and wholeheartedly agree with you. :) I have many friends and family locally and through church, and there is indeed a blessing to spending time in person with these people! Likewise, I have been blessed by getting to know you and so many other ladies through blogging and now IG. I've explained to Dan that you're all friends to me just like old-fashioned penpals only now we don't have to wait for the letters to travel through the mail. Pretty incredible this world of the internet is! Makes the world so much smaller and opens doors to friendships I'd never have known otherwise. xo

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    1. they are penpals but I feel that it's a closer relationship for the instant messaging that it brings. I love my smaller world with you!

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  30. I find it funny that 200 years ago, women forging friendships through paper and pen would have been considered true friends, but the internet is what? maybe too easy? All I know is that I've met more people through blogs with whom I share very real passions with over the last 2 years than I have in real lfe. And believe me, it is not by lack of getting out there and meeting people. I feel very close to my community... although the distance does kill sometimes.

    PS. My cousin lives near Traverse City... We try and visit every couple of years. I'd love to be added to your "coffee meet" one day! :-)

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