Monday, November 30, 2009

What makes a friend?

This is Janet Tronstad here, musing about friends I've never met. Cheryl's post on Friday about the fire on their property (their business, not their house) prompted me to think about the friends I have on the internet. I've never met most of them and probably never will. Yet, I count them as friends (and in more than the facebook, you're-on-my-list kind of a way). I never was much of a letter writer, but I imagine this is something like having a roomful of pen pals. Some you know a little better than others, but the daily life of each one matters to you. This is, for me, a blessing of the age in which we live. Today I'd like to single out one of those becoming-friends people -- AusJenny -- for special appreciation. Obviously, we've not met and we're just getting to know each other in various online places (here and Goodreads, mostly), but I'm enjoying learning more about her. I think her struggle with her mom is one I relate to as my own parents are getting to the frail state and I wonder what to do for them. If you have someone you'd like to 'appreciate' today, feel free to leave a comment here and say so. Being cyber friends is a good thing, let's celebrate each other. (A regular comment is okay, too -- maybe you just want to thank the community in general).


  1. Oh Wow Janet thanks for the mention. I am enjoying getting to know the ladies on Goodreads and I do appreciate we have alot in common both being single. I have enjoyed our converstaion.
    I would like to mention my friend Sheri. We have been online friends now for about 6 or 7 years. We meet on a forum and although haven't met we have phoned each other and I plan to visit Alabama one day to see her.
    I also really appreciate Cheryl I have a real soft spot for her after she mentioned cricket in her first book. I am a cricket fanatic and this fanatic was ecstatic that Cheryl not only mentioned Cricket but had a understanding of what cricket is.

  2. I'm attending a new church, and it's always difficult to meet friends as a newcomer. The ladies of this church however have been quite welcoming, which is really nice. We are having a holiday party this week and I hope to get to know more of the ladies of the church during that celebration as well! :)

    I am also enjoying all of the fun conversations we have on Goodreads in the LIH group. I think my favorite conversations thus far have involved looking at all of the pictures everyone posts for a topic and discussing them, such as with the sleigh ride, hats, old homes, etc. The sleigh ride was a particular favorite as so many people got together to do it and then you Janet pulled it all together in a wonderful short story!

    You're right, it's wonderful to not only to have the friends close in proximity, but also to be able to meet people from all over and have such a great connection :)

  3. Janet, I have met so many friends on the Internet. It has been a joy. Waving to Ausjenny.

  4. Jenny and Harmijo -- it's great to see you over here (even in disguise, Harmijo)! And I agree it's wonderful to have cyberfriends in addition to the ones we hang out with. I think for writers (like Margaret (hi) and me) we spend so much time at the computer that it makes a nice break to have contact with our cyber friends.

  5. Great post! Cyber friends are wonderful. I find myself always looking to see if Project Journal (Hannah) posted because I'm getting used to seeing her. My friend Lisa Mondello and I met online. As a matter of fact, my maid of honor, at my wedding, my best friend Cathy McDavid and I met online in the old aol chatroom and romance boards.

  6. Pamela,
    I was bridesmaid for the first time last year for a online friend. We hadn't met till I arrived at the airport in toronto. Bel and I had been friends for about 4 or 5 years and I was so excited to be asked.
    the pic here is from her wedding.
    I Also went to Canada for a retreat with an online group. It was so cool.
    I think sometimes you can be more honest or yourself online or with friends who dont know you. I grew up in this town and even at church people still think of you as that kid they knew. Its only been in recent years its changed for some people. Moving to my own home and actually having my own life now I think has helped. Mum is in the nursing home and I know God worked it this way. They have her pain undercontrol at last and she seems happier now.

    Oh if you are on Goodreads you need to join the love in spired group and read the sleigh ride story Janet wrote its wonderful

  7. Aww, how sweet! I love Ausjenny too! I would have to agree with you Janet. Goodreads is fun to have lots of good conversations.

  8. Ausjenny -- How wonderful that have been blessed with such long-term online friends! And the sleigh story was such fun -- for those of you who are not on Goodreads, we'd been talking about sleigh rides and several people had never been on one so I asked the people in the discussion to answer a list of questions (who was in the sleigh, what were the horses like, etc) and I took all of the answers and cobbled together a short story about a sleigh ride. It did work surprisingly well -- if you get a chance, go read it. You'd have to scroll down in the discussion thread to see it.

  9. I agree. The Sleigh ride story was fun! We should do it again.

  10. The best thing about the Sleighride here in Australia we were in a heatwave!
    I do love the internet for friends because with being a carer for mum I didn't get to go out alot a night or just when I wanted everything was planned to a degree. Which is why I love the freedom now. But The internet was my friend. I have lots of online friends and it just takes a few clicks to connect. I dont have alot of friends who would just ring me or visit but I do have them online. Its a great resource.
    Also getting to know Authors makes me appreciate the books more.

  11. Janet,
    What a great post. I've met so many people through my writing that I never would have known otherwise. It's sometimes amazing when I think I've never laid eyes on some of them, yet I still count them as friends. People who lift me up.

    I once had a women tell me that my computer was the work of the devil. How sad. It's a tool, like a hammer. Sure you can do evil with it, but far more often it builds beautiful things.

    What makes a friend? Someone who is a friend.
    Thanks all you cyber friends.

  12. Wow! I totally missed this post...and now I feel REALLY bad about it!!

    Pamela! Thanks for the mention!! : ) I LOVE coming on and chatting it up with all my buddies! A few that stick out are Pamela(!!), Ruthy, Janet, Cheryl, and Mae(I email with her regularly). They are all so fun! I just hope that someday, I might be able to meet all of you!!


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