Have you ever wondered about those people you talk to online, what they are really like? If you are a writer there are some who faithfully read your articles and you return the favor. One of my most faithful and best critiquers has been Verna. She reads me on Faith Writers, My Pet Tale, Searchwarp and World Wide Bible Studies. I have read many of her encouraging and through provoking pieces over the months too.
Yesterday was one of those wonderful “Colorado” days; sunshine, melting snow (yea!) the most intense blue skies, a dream come true after a pretty cold, lengthy winter. A dream come true in another way too. Verna and Paul (her hubby) were in transit from Arizona to Iowa. They planned to swing through Colorado Springs so I could finally meet them in person. Then came the weather forecast last week. Friday it was supposed to snow. They actually predicted more snow at one time than we’d had previously this whole winter. Some of the places between out cabin and Colorado Springs were supposed to get up to 16 inches. It would have only Saturday to melt so I could go see Verna and Paul and the forecast predicted more snow in Saturday.
At that point I tossed up a prayer to the Lord. HELP. I didn’t want them to have hazardous driving conditions, Raton Pass was notorious and they had to come that way to get here. I also wanted to see this woman who had been there for me online. We were supposed to meet last summer at a writer’s conference and my Mick was in the middle of surgery for cancer. I didn’t go to the conference after all, for good reason.
Mick took me out Saturday afternoon to do a road check. The snow was melting and it looked promising for going on Sunday. I spoke with Verna and Paul Saturday night and they were doing well each driving a separate vehicle with a GPS. We planned to meet at Golden Corral and keep in touch by cell phone.
I already “knew” Verna from her writing. Serious about the Lord and outspoken – suspected we were cut from the same piece of cloth! They were soon to leave and lead a mission trip to Ukraine which has become sort of an annual event for them.
I finished my errands and went to the restaurant parking lot with my library book in hand. I barely began reading when the cell chimed. “Hi, we’re here.”
“You mean at the restaurant? I’m here too, wait and I’ll get out of my truck. I’m wearing an orange knit top.”
“I look like the wicked witch of the west and have on a green jacket.” Travel will do that to a person.
Moments later we were hugging and hugging. To see this incredible woman face to face was more than wonderful. I shook hands with Paul and thanked him for coming my way. March is the one month on the calendar which Colorado gets the most snow of any month of the year. Yet they were willing to be brave and do it so we could all meet in person. She looked me up and down and said something about my picture making me look bigger than I was. I lit up like a Christmas tree! At 5"8" I am sure she didn't mean I looked shorter. I passed off to the shirt I was wearing but maybe that "blue shirt" photo is a "fat" photo? To say we had a delightful time would be a serious understatement.
We stayed 3 hours to talk and share. Their home in Iowa had been broken into and they were going back to that mess. Their focus on that was praying for the robbers. Verna decided if they were caught they wouldn’t press charges if the robbers agreed to go to their church (every service) for a year. They planned to buy a Bible for them and share their Jesus with those who broke in and took all their family treasures.
And, of course, we discussed pieces we were writing, some just in our heads yet and some recently posted. She was thinking about how safe she felt following Paul home and was writing a great piece about that while she went mile after mile.
What a treat and delight to actually meet a fellow writer in person! I am so thankful to our Jesus and to Faith Writers where we “met” over a year ago. My only prayer right now is that I will be able to meet more and more of you as the months go by!
As we hugged goodbye we were much richer for having met and been able to share those hugs.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.
Wasn't it wonderful! (I know I'm not supposed to use exclamation marks and all that stuff, BUT, this was a dream come true. Just finished my list of losses and headed out to lunch. Many messes to clean as yet, but great memories of meeting you, help me through. You did a great job of writing this. Don't know when I'll get back to writing. Much love to a dear friend, Verna