Thursday, January 28, 2010

And, Who Might You Be?

Kate to Florist: "Howsabout orange? What have you got for orange flowers?"
Florist response: "We don't have much. People don't like orange." 
Outraged Kate: "Whaddyamean people don't like orange? I love orange!"
[You don't fully appreciate me until you hear me fight with a florist.]
Been pondering the strangeness of the blogosphere for about a month, now. This began when I saw a blog post title from Bloomingwriter that gave me the impression she was quitting her blog. (Thankfully, that is not the case.)

Next came Fairegarden's thought-provoking post on what would happen to our blogs once we ran out of steam.

Impeccable timing. The following day I was hopping from blog to blog saying hello and catching up on people's lives when I hit a heartbreaking snag.

Seems a woman who's blog I've been following for several years had fallen ill and was in the hospital.

I 'met' this blogger through her daughter's blog. The daughter and I are about the same age. At least I think we're the same age. Hard to know, for sure, because this is the blogosphere, where identities are a bit obscure.

Even so, I feel I know a lot about these gals. I know how the daughter suffers when the sun doesn't shine. I see how her Mom, GJ, strives to preserve the eclectic craziness of her tiny retirement town.

And, yet we've never met. Half the time I don't even know what my blogging friends look like.

So, GJ is ill. She's in the hospital. Blogging daughter updates GJ's blog saying it's doubtful her Mom will continue blogging since mobility is now a problem.

I'm blinking back tears. AND madly scouring the internet for a local florist because no friend of mine is gonna get stuck in a hospital without some brightly blooming goodies to boost her spirits.

Got the hospital room and address from blogging daughter and proceeded to drive the local florist nuts with my demands... Eventually, we reached agreement.

And, then the florist made the simplest demand of me: 
"Now all we need is GJ's full name and we'll deliver it this afternoon."
My response? 
I didn't know her name! 

Here I am anxiously trying to send a bouquet of flowers to GJ and it had never occurred to me that I don't know her real name! She's GJ the blogger. That's not enough?

It got me wondering about Buffalo. Site of this year's Garden Bloggers Annual Gathering ~ where everyone meets up in the real world, full names and faces included. I wonder if I should go. Are you planning to go?
* GJ is feeling better. She did get the flowers ~ though I have a strong hunch there wasn't nearly enough orange in that bouquet. And, while I'm thrilled to hear she's feeling better this is bittersweet since we no longer get to keep tabs on her via the blog.



Anonymous said...

Good on ya, mate! The online and the real world do intersect to bring us some of the finest folks we DON'T know by their given names.

Hats off to you for making GJ's day with all the orange you could muster. You rock.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Why thank you kindly, Titanium.

How true, how true. I presented your super fantastic plan to trek through the Alaskan wilderness to my outdoor gear client. Awaiting his response... :))

Gail said...

The orange and your post(purple) are stunning. Sending get wishes wishes to your friend.

KC said...

I'm 1/3 of the FAC, thats who. But then you weren't asking me were you? I like orange, but LOVE pink, but then you already knew that too. Pretty pictures and thoughtful gesture. I'm glad GJ is feeling better.

OmegaMom said...

Well, GrannyJ adored/adores the flowers. They were wonderfully bright and cheery, which is what she needed. And, of course, it made both of us weepy! ;-) So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! It was most appreciated!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Omega;
I'm glad they brought smiles to BOTH your faces. And, just so ya know, I generally refer to your Ma as Granny but since I didn't have a chance to check in with you, I thought I should preserve your privacy. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Gail and KC!

Orange has magical healing powers. You heard it here first!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kate! I really love orange flowers, too!! :-) How can you beat that shock of color?? At any rate, your rainbow post was super. Way to go!

donna said...

You've made me fall in love with orange all over again.

Wishing all good things for GJ.


Anonymous said...

Kate, you are awesome. From now on when I think of you I'm going to think orange and smile.

orange u glad u made 2 someone's day? :)

Melanie J Watts said...

This is wonderful ! Funny how our online lives work

jan said...

Orange flowers are very healing! Glad she is better and I'll bet she finds a way to keep a toe in the blogging water... (It is fun to meet bloggers in person!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate~~ Blogging and social networking in general bring many unique elements to the table don't they? I hope GJ's recovery is without delay. So nice of you to send flowers. She's lucky to have a friend like you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where to start here, so will by thanking you for the link love. I am so glad that you were able to send flowers, orange is a favorite color here too, especially those roses. Any florist ought to carry those and good for you letting them know that! As for Buffalo, yes yes yes, do come! I have been to Austin, had only just begun blogging then and knew no one and it was the BEST! Friends were made, and real names learned, but that is not what was important. It was like a meet up of old friends, we knew so much about each other already. Chicago was the same, only BETTER, because we had already met some of the bloggers before. Buffalo promises to be wonderful, and a chance to meet even more. GO! I would love to meet you. :-)

Carol said...

This is a beautiful and thoughtful post Kate! WE are in a virtual world here and our work (blogs) stand on their own in a way. I wish I could go to the Meet UP in Buffalo, but I have guests and wedding work on the weekends. I hope your blogging friend GJ continues to improve and that she will be able to blog on! Your photos and flowers are stunning!! I too love orange especially in gorgeous blooms such as you share here. ;>)

Anonymous said...

Kate, you are a wonderful, funny, and thoughtful person. The orange pictures brightened my day and I am very glad your friend is feeling better.

Chloe m said...

That was truly sweet of you. I used to hate orange and have just begun to love it. It must have been all the orange carpet and orange countertops in our 70's era house.
GJ is very lucky to "know" you!

Kathy Green said...

Kate, I'm so glad to see that someone else likes orange flowers. Yes, they can be rather loud at times, but yours are truly beautiful. I love the rose, is that a shrub rose? Your thoughts on our "blog names" versus real names are interesting - I think the same holds true for our avatars. I don't use a picture of me, just pictures of my gardens. Is that a bad thing? Kathy Green aka gardeningAngel

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Shady and Gail! It is nice to meet more gardeners who appreciate that shock o' the world color orange has to offer. :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Bookworm!

I stopped by your joint last night to whine a bit about the passing of Salinger. Aren't you just dying to know if some of his later works will now get published??

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Melanie;
Very much enjoyed your com-post yesterday. Reading your blog makes me realize that I should not have slept through the good lectures in my master gardening classes! :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Jan;
Glad you concur on the healing powers of orange. Agreed! It certainly was a blast meeting you and DSis!

PS: She mentioned you have quite the collection of hankies. We should all do hanky panky posts. I love the artwork of those precious little pieces of fabric.

Rose said...

Glad to hear GJ is better, though it is sad that you won't be able to hear her "voice" through her blog anymore. A month ago a good blogging friend became very ill and eventually passed away, and her daughter kept us updated on her condition. I would have loved to send flowers, but I didn't know her real name either!

Do go to Buffalo! I hope to be able to go, but I'm waiting to make sure all family commitments will work out first. I went to Spring Fling in Chicago last year and had such a great time! It's so much fun to meet people you've corresponded with for a year, but never met. What's amazing is that so many of them were just as I pictured them--their personalities came through so clearly in their blogs.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Grace;
Very true. It adds a lovely dimension to our lives. So many kindred spirits out there and we never would have 'met' where it not for the blogosphere.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hmmm... Frances... You're making some good points.

I'm leaning toward yes but - and this is silly - I'm a little nervous about it, too. I'm not mature enough to go anywhere alone! :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Carol;
Rats! I'm so bummed to hear you cannot make it to Buffalo. I was planning to steal your camera while we were there. Kidding! (Sort of.)

Good to hear that you, too, believe in the magical powers of Orange. Can we talk you into using your talents to do an orange-y post? :D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Peggy ~ You are too, too kind. I don't know that I am all that wonderful but your kind comment has certainly more fodder to my belief that orange is the happiest hue in the garden.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rosey!
Some of that horribly ugly orange carpeting is still alive and kicking -- in my laundry room in this old house.

And, remember olive green refrigerators? Don't even get me started!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, GardeningAngel;
I love avatars. Mine is thin and beautiful and never has to watch what she eats!

It's the Outrageous Floribunda rose from Jackson and Perkins. And, I'm glad you asked because 1/2 of orange's problem is the dumb names they get stuck with. If they'd named her 'Tropical Sunset' she'd have been lots more popular! Just sayin.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rose;
I'm so very sorry to hear that you lost your friend. I guess we don't really think about how important these people are to us until something goes wrong.

I will definitely think about Buffalo. It would be great to meet you, Frances, and all the other bloggers I feel that I already 'know.' :)

Unknown said...

Kate, you are my hero for your huge heart and kind spirit. I'm sorry that GJ has been ill, and glad that your flowers made it to her, even without enough orange. And you're right--we have made cherished friends across the blogging miles, but so often don't even know what they look like. I hope to get to Buffalo, but since I'm in the process of writing a book that is due to the editor on 1 July, it's probably not going to happen.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Jodi;

You've written a book??? DO TELL!

I hope it's a murder mystery. In the garden. With the candlestick. Okay, I'll shut up now...

Anonymous said...

So sweet of you to send flowers...& glad that it touched mother & daughter. You touched me with the thoughts & all the beautiful photos of orange! Wish I could go to Buffalo....will have to wait until it's closer to the west coast.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Susie;
Yes, that cross-country flight to Buffalo won't be very fun. That's part of the reason why I'm dragging my feet on commitment, as well.

sweetbay said...

I'm sorry to hear about GJ's illness -- but I'm sure she loved the flowers, even if there wasn't enough orange.

Noelle Johnson said...

I think it is so thoughtful that you gave flowers to a blogger friend. You did something so interesting in today's age of technology. You stepped out of the boundaries of an blogosphere friendship and extended your encouragement with 'real' flowers. I just love that :^)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Noelle;
I guess the lines of those online friendships are blurring a bit. :)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Sweet Bay;
One can never have enough orange! :)

Unknown said...

Interesting about meeting fellow bloggers. The few I have met in person have looked almost completely opposite to what I had pictured. Too funny. Possibly I did, too, to them.

I find it fascinating that we can feel so close -- mentally, emotionally, spiritually -- to people we have never met in person. To me, it proves that our physical beings are the smallest, most limited part of our whole Selves.

And how lovely to send flowers. If GJ is anything like me, a gift of flowers just instantly melts my heart.

And as for the Chicago gig ..... ooh, I would love to go, but probably won't make one until it's on the West Coast (or Rockies?!) somewhere.

Kate, I always LOVE the colors in your blog. You are the most.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Li'l Ned;

Thank you so much for the kind compliments. We got an update from blogging daughter and GJ (Granny) is doing very well. So, we're all thrilled about that.

Yes, it is kind of interesting how we can become so attached to people who are - technically - not part of our physical worlds...

Anna Flowergardengirl™ said...

Absolutely wonderful post! Says so much about the heart of many I know who have been blogging together. Wonderful thing you've done and said here.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks, Anna;
Remarkable all the great friendships we can make through the blogosphere. :)