Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jo and Lynda Meet


The family walking towards the venue where Lynda and I had arranged to meet. The children were very excited at the prospect of the "party" we were going to with my friend and her little girl

Two weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of meeting a long-time online friend and fellow blogger. Yes, at last Lynda (who's blog can be seen here) and I managed to meet in Johannesburg.

In 2005, Lynda and I met online through a weight loss club member board. She was (and still is) an expat in Tanzania and I was in Guinea, West Africa. Our mutual love for animals and concern for the underprivileged made us click from the beginning. Slightly incongruous I know: Lynda is John and Debbie’s age; I’m a grandmother and Lynda has a young family; she lives in one country, I in another; but there you have it. We became firm friends despite the age differences and the logistic challenges.

Lynda spoilt me (not for the first time) with a special gift. This time it was beautiful coffee mug and matching box, all decorated with cats. Now how could she have known I like cats? Mmm?
Lynda has always been a supportive friend during tough times and good. She cried with me when I lost my darling West African cat under tragic circumstances. She was there (online) to console me when my precious Rottweiler had to be euthanized. She laughed and rejoiced with me when my grandchildren were born.

I felt for her when her beautiful cat, Jessie and later Jessie’s offspring died. I cried with her when her faithful old dog, Zonde died.

Hours into our meeting, Lynda and I were still talking nineteen to the dozen!
I remember when she lost her baby in Tanzania, and felt with her, the trauma of being hospitalised far away from the comforts of South Africa. I felt her sadness then and I praise God for the safe arrival of her beautiful new baby today.

Lynda and I in Johannesburg - what a wonderful meeting.


She motivated me to start my own blog and assisted me continually. I cannot tell you how many times I e-mailed Lynda with yet ANOTHER query and how kindly and patiently she helped me every time. Once I’d started my blog, she did a special post on me which encouraged people to visit my page. How wonderful a friend is that? Even as recently as the weekend, I had a visitor commenting that she found me through Lynda’s blog.

After I moved back to South Africa in 2006, there were many times when Lynda came out to visit her parents and we thought we might meet up. It never materialised until now...

John, Debbie, I and my three grandchildren met Lynda, her mum and their little girl at a lovely tea garden in Johannesburg. The little ones got on so well and played together all day. We never heard them all the while we were there. It’s just as well because Lynda and I, over copious cups of tea, never stopped talking! It was also such a blessing to meet Lynda’s mum and for them to meet my dear children as well.

For those of you who follow Lynda’s blog, she is as lovely in real life as she comes through on her posts. She is well-groomed and speaks with a beautiful English accent (not usual in South Africans). She is highly intelligent and self-confident. Lynda is no shrinking violet; she displays a that certain strength which is needed to survive as an expatriate on a remote farm in Africa, yet a gentleness and goodness shines through her talk as it does in her posts.

Lynda, thank you for being such a wonderful friend over the years. I really enjoyed our meeting in the city and agree with you: next time our husbands will be with us and we’ll be meeting on your farm in East Africa. Amen!

For the readers who’d like to follow Lynda’s blog and her post about our meeting, click here.

Visit My World Tuesday by clicking here.

16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful and inspiring post! The blogging world has certainly brought wonderful friends into my life and it's delightful to learn that it has done the same for others. Thank you for sharing this part of your world!

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  2. What a wonderful story, Jo! I must also visit Lynda's blog. I have managed to meet two fellow bloggers - Joan at SAPhotographs and Claire (who has emigrated to Ireland). But they are new friends and you and Lynda have a rich history of walking together!

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  3. Oh I'm so happy for you guys! I was wondering if you would be meeting up this time, and am so glad you did!

    Warm hugs from the West,
    Esther

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  4. Blog as a friend maker tool, that's great.

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  5. What a wonderful meeting. That shopping mall in the first photo looks like every shopping mall in America.

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  6. Hi Jo. Nice story of friendship.
    Thanks for sharing. Great post as always.

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  7. Lynda's post about you was what led me to your blog all those months ago. :o) I'm so glad the two of you were able to meet. Such wonderful, happy photos the two of you shared!

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  8. Hi Sylvia K;) thanks for visiting and the kind comment. Yes, the Internet has opened up worlds for many people.

    Hi Eleanor ;) nice to "see" you again. Wow, you have met up with TWO fellow bloggers. Yes, Lynda is very special to me and I'm blessed that we eventually met. Blessings to you.

    Hi Esther;) thanks, it was very special to meet up with Lynda. Thanks for popping in and your kind comment. Warm (((Hugs))) from a frigidly cold Central South Africa!

    Hi Deslilas;) welcome to my blog! Yes, you're right. This is a nifty tool for making friends. I'll pop over to your blog shortly.

    Hi GG;) thanks for popping in and your kind comment.

    Hi Wolynski;) thanks , this shopping centre is actually one of the really up-market ones in the city. After meeting with Lynda, my family and I shopped in the supermarket and it was "to die for, doll" Just as notch up on the ordinary. Thanks for your visit.

    Hi Regina;) thanks - bless you lass.

    Hi flmom;) You're spot on- Lynda gleaned me many followers. She is a generous and warm-hearted young women. Very special. Thanks for your kind comments:)I'm popping into your blog shortly to see how you are. (((Hugs)))

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  9. This is a GREAT story! Congratulations on being able to get together.

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  10. How wonderful it is to actually meet someone you've gotten to know thru blogging. I loved your story. I look forward to meeting a blogger friends also in Johannsburg. Thanks for sharing this.

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  11. Hi mountain.mama;) thanks; it was a very special meeting.

    Hi Gaelyn;) good to "see" you again. It is wonderful getting to know people through blogging although Lynda and I have been corresponding since before we both began to blog. Thanks for visiting and for your comment.

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  12. What a lovely post and testament to a beautiful friendship. I almost cried just reading it. ;o)

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  13. The world is fullof wonderful people and blogging is a great way of meeting thm. I am so glad the two of yu found each other.

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  14. Hi Jackleen, it was a very special time for both of us. Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Arija;) yes, we were indeed blessed to correspond online and eventually meet. Thanks for popping in.

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  15. Jo, it was so wonderful to finally get to meet you - and the added 'bonus' of meeting some of your wonderful family, too. I value our friendship & just know that we will always be friends - both 'online' & 'offline' !
    xxx

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Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo