Today I am going to reminisce about the first time I met Friend Cherylyn in person. We had known each other through the late, not lamented e-group Lives of Simplicity and through other groups and had really hit it off. I knew she lived in Oklahoma but, not having much occasion to go to Oklahoma, I didn't think much about being able to meet her in person. That was, until I took the girls to camp one summer (I'm thinking 4 summers ago now) and realized I'd be within driving distance of her house. Or maybe she realized that. At any rate, we set up a meeting date and time and looked forward to meeting in person.
Now, I will say that I don't make a point of meeting everyone in person who I like online. I am a little nervous about that endeavor, depsite the fact that it's always worked out well for me (note the presence of Friends Gina, Diane, Cherylyn, and a few others in my life today). I had "known" Cherylyn online for a few years and she never sent out any red flags for me in that period of time. I did take the precaution of leaving the girls at camp with Friend Janet, in case something untoward should happen, but I went off excitedly to meet my friend.
As I was nearing Cherylyn's house, I called Friend Husband to tell him I was on my way. He questioned me extensively about who it was I was meeting, how I met her, and how it was that I knew she wasn't an axe murderer. (On a side note, why is it that they always ask about axe murderers? Why not serial killers or Ginsu knife murderers? How many axe murderers are there in the world anyway?) I answered him the best I could, while trying to figure out how to get where I was going and added, "Well, I left the girls at camp with Janet so if I get hacked to death, you don't have to worry about them."
He was not amused.
I signed off with the promise that I'd call him when I left so that he wouldn't worry, parked, and made my way up her tidy sidewalk. And from then I was engulfed by the energy force that is Cherylyn.
Now she will probably take offense, but that was one of my first impressions of her: her enormous energy. That and her big brown eyes, full of humor, intelligence, and interest. Her three little girls were there and we had a lovely afternoon, chatting and laughing, watching the little girls play. I left exhausted but happy. It was a lovely start.
Over the years, Cherylyn has become another sister to me. It was to her house that I went after leaving Mother in the hospital for the last time. She has welcomed not only me but my family and even my nasty dogs into her lovely home and always makes me think I'm doing her a favor by letting us stay. Her home is one of the mainstays in our summer sojourn to Oklahoma. I'm so lucky to have her in my life and I thank God for her.