|Friends come from different places.|
My introduction to the Internet was in 1994 when I first bought a little computer--a little "pizza box" Mac with a 1200 baud modem. It came with a disk that introduced me to Delphi, a UNIX-based online chat. I joined that forum and found it great fun. Not long after, I joined the "real" internet (Delphi was a closed group, like AOL was) and began chatting on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It was there that I found a great group of friends on (channel) #41plus.
Over the next few summers, I drove across the states and met and stayed with many of these people who had become friends. My driving across the country, meeting online friends is how I came to have the nickname "roadbabe." Over the next 10 years, I would have met face-to-face thousands of #41plus people. I dated a few. I even married someone I met online; we just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. Many of these wonderful people are still good friends, even though they are often many miles away.
In 1998, I started writing on an online diary site, Open Diary (OD). It was the first interactive diary established on the 'web. I soon found that the appeal was greater than having a place to post my thoughts, but that I would become friends with many of those who posted comments to the entries. Again, I traveled and met many of the OD friends; some I would never meet but we stay close and in contact through other social media.
In 2000, I started visiting forums on Delphi Forums, first as a web writer for a beginning website, and later as a social outlet. I would post to an online tavern and eventually became a "barmaid." I discovered quilting and began learning different things from a couple of quilting sites. Again, this became an important aspect of my social interactions. And again, I have visited some of my Delphi friends, but generally we are online close, only.
|A typical Wilma quilt: warm and full of stars|
|Typical Kathy quilt: bright and fun|
This is almost unbearably heartbreaking for me, for us, but one thing upsetting my friend who drove and to me, who was calling, writing, emailing, was the police report. "The police were notified by strangers." Like many, the officer did not understand that we were her family, too. We knew her better in many ways than her own sister. We knew she was in trouble because she wasn't in contact with us. And we were worried enough that someone drove 100 miles in order to check.
I have many many friends--some online, some in town, some out of town. Some we never get physically together and some we get together in person. And I love them all. I know them well. Face-to-face friends or on Internet friends--it's the same. Don't let anyone kid you...it's the same.
Take care of yourselves, my friends.