Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I have a friend named Ingrid that I met in 1983 when I went on a trip to Scandinavia. I went with the Blue Lake Fine Arts group - the Choral section. There were about 250 of us I think. We had a band, orchestra and the choir. The choir consisted of just 43 of us. The Band and the Orchestra traveled together I think, but the choir was all on its own. I loved it.

We left from Detroit, refueled in Bangor, Maine and then flew over to Stockholm, Sweden. We were to stay in 9 cities in 28 days. I remember most of those cities and most of the faces of the people we stayed with, but the one family that I fell in love with within seconds was Ingrid and her family.


I love her so much.

She is a few years younger than me and when we first met, she held my hand and for the next 5 days she hardly let go. She called me her sister after the first evening. We've been sisters ever since.

I have a rather large box that is just full of letters from Ingrid. They date back to 1983. We have always written letters. We tried email about 10 years ago and it was actually a bad thing. It just didn't work. It was too hurried, too impersonal, too something. We actually stopped writing or emailing for years after our first attempts at emailing. We just lost the groove.

She got married. She had a baby almost 5 years ago and she had another baby in October. They are almost exactly the same age as my nieces! She now lives in the Canary Islands. Her husband is German, she is Norwegian, neither one of them spoke the others native language. By the time I got my first letter after she was married, I could hardly read her English anymore. She and her husband had totally started making stuff up! lol Since I can't read or speak Norwegian, I only laughed a little lol

This Christmas Ingrid sent a card, with of course a wonderful letter and a picture of her and the babies. I had sent her one the morning before I received hers, so that was fun. But today I sat down and read some of her letters from the past. I was so excited to talk to her again through letters...so I wrote to her again today. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I included some photos of me and my nieces and I'll probably include some of the photos that she has sent me in the past, just to show her husband if nothing else.

I love writing letters and I'm very happy to have Ingrid's address again. Ingrid and I just can't do email. It isn't us. I don't have to be embarrassed about it either. I used to think there was something wrong with us that we couldn't keep a friendship through email - but now I realize that what we were missing was our physical connection. The pen and the paper and the stamps were all physical, personal items. Norway (or now, the Canary Islands) and the United States are just a fair amount apart. We need the physical to keep us close.

I'll share pictures of my trip and Ingrid in an upcoming post.

My question for you is... Do you have someone that you need to connect with and just can't seem to do it through email?


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