There is an old saying, “Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they are always there!”. This perfectly sums up my friendship with Karen. If I had the time, I would go back through the years and years of blog posts to find the the very first comment she left. One comment led to a dialogue which led to a friendship. We have had five years of weekly comments, which led to weekly phone calls, which led to random texts whenever something popped into our minds, which led to a visit.
I am so grateful that we were able to have this time together. We arrived Sunday evening to a home cooked meal. After a long day driving from Ohio, and two days of eating out, we were thankful for real food cooked with love. I think my favorite memory of the time we spent was sitting on Karen’s back porch with the fairy lights, watching the girls turn cartwheels, talk about crafting, and playing with Nomad and Augustus. Like Grace said, it was like we have known each other forever. Which we have.
When we were driving to Alabama we stopped in Kentucky. Something happened between Ohio and Kentucky. We crossed that invisible line between North and South, hot and cold. Ohio was pleasantly warm. Kentucky was H-O-T, a hot we simply are not used to. The girls visited one of Keilee’s favorite places, Point Mallard and wished we had something like this near us. If you asked my girls what their favorite thing to do is, it would be spend the day at a water park. Karen and I had time to sit in the shade and talk, Greg had time to take a siesta, and the girls had the freedom to explore the park alone.
We spent the evening sitting on the banks of the Tennessee River listening to a concert. It was lovely. We were able to visit all the places that Karen talks and blogs about. We saw where Keilee has performed plays, where she has filmed videos, and where she has taken pictures we see on Instagram. Exploring Decatur left us feeling like it is a place that we could easily call home, much like how we feel about Tennessee.
Before we even arrived, we knew that two days would not be enough and we were right. This was one of those times that you count your blessings and make each moment matter. Tuesday morning we visited Huntsville’s US Space and Rocket Center before it was time to say goodbye.
Want to know one of the coolest things about this trip? Karen and I became friends through social media. Blogging connected Connecticut and Alabama. It connected two homeschooling mothers who happened to have daughters the same age. Through this connection, a relationship and then a friendship grew. Karen is not my blog friend, my Internet friend, my Instagram friend or my online friend. She is my friend. We Instagrammed this visit and our other friends from all over the world, chimed in and commented on our meeting. It was like a giant group hug. It made giving Karen a real hug goodbye a little easier. We will see each other. We would see what we are up to and what our girls are up to. The texts will still be sent. The phone calls will still take place. Greg’s parents will still be in Tennessee and the next visit we make, a side trip can take place!