Monday, August 28, 2006

The blessings of friendship

Those of you who read Sylvie's blog probably know already that we finally met in real life last Thursday, after a year's correspondence and blosoming friendship.

When one gets to meet "for real" someone one knows through the Internet, a little anxiety is usual - what if we were disappointed in each other? What if we didn't connect? Wouldn't it be best to stay on one's good impressions?
Yet when Sylvie suggested she came to Paris during her holidays, I didn't feel any of those scruples. Our friendship has grown so steadily and happily since I met her through Becky's SBEBB board at the end of last Summer; we've always found ground for deep understanding, never for disagreement. Actually, the closer our meeting date was getting, the more thrilled I was growing.

I was so afraid to be late at the station that I arrived 30 minutes early (Paris has four main train stations and I don't know the gare Saint-Lazare too well). But the chill of that rainy and cold day vanished when Sylvie finally appeared amongst the travelers from Normandy. Her luminous face and sweet smile were even better than anything I'd imagined.

Once we were home, Violette first affected coyness: after she enjoyed a few cuddles, she decided it would be more dignified to go sulk under the bed. Fortunately, Sébastien made a round trip from his lab just to meet Sylvie and take our pictures - and he took Violette from under the bed. Little Miss Cutie (a translation for P'tite Mignonne, which is how we actually call Violette) decided to stay with us from then on.

Just look how enraptured Violette was with her new friend:
Sébastien told me later that we looked like sisters...

Sylvie didn't come empty-handed: she'd brought a pretty blue bag (which Little miss Cutie dutifully searched) from which she took a delicious cake for dessert, and lovely gifties.
She gave me the stitching of a kitty inserted into a box which she'd also decorated, and an adorable fabric cat sewn from Tournicoton's pattern. Both gifts match perfectly the flat's colours.


I gave Sylvie her birthday gift a couple of weeks in advance:

Even Violette was spoiled: she got a catnip toy.
She has hardly left it since last Thursday...

(this picture was taken on Sunday)

After lunch, time just flew away. I still haven't figured out where some of the afternonn's hours went. I looked at my watch, thinking we had still plenty of time left before leaving - but we were actually running late!
We talked about so many things - stitching of course (Sylvie showed me her latest work, all lovely, including her Celtic Banner whose length is truly impressive); but we did not merely chat about stiching or cats - our kinship ranges far beyond either topic, although they did initiate our relationship last year.

I rarely saw time passing so quickly. Sylvie even missed her train... I was so so sorry about that, since that meant she'd be home late. I would gladly have her stay overnight, but Plume (her cat) had been left alone... As Sylvie remarked, though, this gave us at least time to part properly before she caught the next train.

Just as Sylvie does, I find it truly difficult to fully express the profound happiness this meeting - as well as her continued friendship - have brought me; but what matters in the end is that she senses it too and that we understand each other.
I cannot thank Becky enough for allowing us to "find" each other. If it were not for the SBEBB, I don't know whether our virtual paths would have ever crossed.

I can't wait for us to meet again!

24 comments:

Carol said...

Oh my! What a lovely visit you and Sylvie had! Violette is too, too cute! How sweet of Sylvie to take care of Violette with gifties too!

Barbara said...

What a beautiful post! You and Sylvie do indeed look like sisters, and it's obvious that Little Miss Cutie had made a firm friend. So very glad that you enjoyed a wonderful visit together - and I hope it is only the first of many. :)

Katrina said...

what a lovely and special time you had with your friend Isabelle, great photos, great gifts, and great friendship!

Heather said...

What an amazing day it sounds like you had. The photo of the 3 of you is wonderful.
The quilt and the other gifts are amazing.

Nicki said...

I saw you had a lovely time on Sylvie's blog, but it's so good to hear about it from you too. I'm so pleased you had such a good time together. :)

That's a beautiful picture of the three of you and the gifts are gorgeous! Your quilt is stunning :)

I hope you get to meet each other again soon too!

Dianne said...

I think if you are friends online for a long time, usually you will remain great friends when you meet in real life as you two did. I enjoy reading posts like this. I'd love to meet all the people online IRL who have enriched my life over the last few years. Thanks for sharing.

zohrah said...

You wonderful ladies do looks like sisters. How about bringing Plume next time?

Thanks for the cat link...I'm going to try to make them tonight. :)

Stitch or no stitch said...

What a wonderful post full of true feeling about true friendship. What can be more beautiful!!!

Margaret

KarenV said...

What a lovely post, Isabelle! :)

I'm so glad you and Sylvie had such a good time - the photo of you both with Violette is wonderful. And such lovely gifts that you exchanged too!

Chiara said...

Your post and your felicity make me happy....you have had such a lovely day!!! It's a pleasure to read your blog :o)
hugs

bunnyhead said...

What a wonderful visit! It's amazing how we meet those special people in our lives.

Kim said...

So glad you had a great time together! It's so fun to find new friends with so much in common!

And look at all the wonderful things you've been making! I was out sick all last week and missed a lot of your updates. I love the tops you made and all the charity work. As always you do great work!

Hope you are having a great week!

Susimac said...

Oh its lovely when you get to meet virtual friends and everything goes so smoothly, you can tell by your words that you are special to each other.

zoeandcooper said...

How wonderful that you and Sylvie got to meet! I am glad you both enjoyed yourselves. Seb is right, you do look like you could be sisters:)

Cathy said...

Thanks for sharing with us the details of your visit. Stitchers are truly wonderful, friendly people and you and Sylvie are no exception! Glad you had such a wonderful day together!

Zoanna said...

Sounds like you are kindred spirits. What a blessing! When you honestly can't figure out where time goes while you're talking and laughing and exchanging gifts and stories, that's a wonderful time. YOur gifts to each other are so sweet. Your quilt is amazingly detailed. I'm afraid if I keep looking at it, I will surely change my mind about sending you anything I make!!! Just kidding.
I read Sylvie's blog. She is obviously feeling the mutual blessing of your friendship. Is this the same Sylvie who made Katrina bags? And Seb said what I was thinking: you do look like sisters!

Von said...

It's so wonderful to read both your and Sylvie's account of your meeting and the cementing of your friendship begun online!

Ali B said...

I am really happy for you both to have enjoyed your first meeting. Friends are wonderful and life is all about being happy and having fun with lovely people!

Ali B said...

Oops, I forgot to mention, I have tagged you on my blog - its a little word game for you to enjoy ... so pay me a visit and see what its about :-)

Hugs Ali xx

Chelle said...

I really enjoyed this post. I love to hear of friendships that form on the internet. It is true that the road to a stitching friend's house is never long.

~Harsha~ said...

what a beautiful post Zabelle. You two do look like sisters..

amazing gifts too.. stunning quilt!

Jenna said...

Hmmm... I thought that I had already commented on this post, but apparently I didn't! I was really tickled to see that you and Sylvie met and gave similar descriptions to your feelings of one another. I think you really do look like sisters and you seem to have a very kindred friendship between the two of you. I hope that you get to meet again soon!

Ruth Rachel Vendsel said...

What a truly touching post - good friends are a rare gift. How nice to be stitching sisters!

lena-lou said...

Ooh how nice to meet a cyber-friend and even nicer that it all went so well :-)