I've met a lot of people thanks to the Internet. And packing myself off to Skedaddle, as one now-non-imaginary friend calls it, has allowed me to meet up with some of them, or remeet some of them, in the flesh.
But one of the nicest visits I've had was my trip out to my friend Joan's farm.
If my own trajectory (copywriter to actress to communicatrix) is mildly odd, Joan's defies description. She grew up around horses, out here in Seattle, and rode dressage as a girl. She trained as an actor, then acted, then wrote screenplays. Somewhere along the way, she started talking to animals, a skill she now leverages full-time, along with speaking and writing.
We met doing a play that was in many ways like doing time (as I understand it) or serving active duty in the military in wartime (ditto) or Catholic school (we, uh, both have experience with that one). Things were fraught, and that has a way of bonding you.
So when she moved from Los Angeles and we lost touch, I knew it was temporary, and it was. Every few years, we'll lose touch, and then pick up where we left off via some fortuitous re-meetup. (And for the record, Facebook is proving profoundly helpful in this area.)
When I got in touch this time and told her about my trip, she immediately invited me out to the farm. She lives an hour's drive from my little urban crash pad, in a place so staggeringly beautiful (and quiet, sweet Jesus!), you relax into it right away. We walked and hung and drank too much wine, and stayed up into the too-wee-for-me hours of the morning to do most of it.
We had us such a fine, full visit (and so much damned wine) that I had to miss out on two chances to hang with yet more Internet friends here on a visit (what is it with this town? Is everybody here?), and a fine, fine crew I'd long looked forward to meeting.
I have always liked having a choice of many good things, and have always hated having a choice of many good things. Decide to be an orthopedic surgeon, and it's not going to leave you a lot of time to pursue that dream of standup comedy.
In this case, I confess that there were two items in the farm column that tipped it, and their names are Isabella and Olivia.
Dogs will always tip it, especially if you have been away from yours for 12 long days. In the middle of a long visit from home, it is important to get you some good dog lovin'. And these ladies? Delivered in spades.
Rested and restored...