Friday, February 20, 2015

Yes. I Said Yes.

Now y'all know how, um, reclusive? I am. You know how I struggle with social interactions.
And yet today I let someone come to Lloyd and visit me (hell! I invited him!) and I knew it was going to be great and it was great and I just had the best day.

Here's a hint:

An absolutely atrocious picture I took of him but one which is a very fine example of shadows and light. 
All the way from London! Well, via Tampa but still. He's been in Tampa helping his mama get ready to downsize from the family home and he took an entire day to drive up here to Lloyd and I'm so glad he did. 
I've felt a kinship for Steve for some time now, knowing that he used to live in Winter Haven where I spent a good many of my formative years. A Florida boy, even if he does live across the ocean now. And, well, I don't know. I just didn't have one qualm about meeting him in real life. Sure. I was a tiny bit nervous because what if I was wrong? What if my intuition had lied to me? 
Guess what- it did not.
He got out of the car, we hugged, and I felt like I'd just met my long-lost brother. 
He immediately began taking pictures of Mick and the chickens and I showed him the yard and the house and then I heated us up some soup and bread and we ate in the kitchen where all the best stuff happens. 
We talked like we'd always known each other, catching up the way you do. I knew the boys were coming so I took him down to the post office so he could take pictures which is where I took that photo of him. We came back to the house, the boys arrived and we decided to take a little jaunt down Main Street so that I could show him the fally-down house which I knew he would love with his photographer's eye. 
The boys were a little shy at first but warmed up to him very quickly and when we walked past Papa Jay's Country Store Coming Soon, who was there outside but Papa Jay himself! 
"When are you opening?" I asked. 
"A month!" he said. "Would you like to come in and see what we've done?"
Well. Of course! 
And oh, how nice it looks. Vienna sausages and many other canned goods lined up as pristine and clean as rows of jewels. The coolers are all ready for milk and bacon and eggs ("so you can cook breakfast for your children!" said Papa Jay) and hats hanging up from the beams and there will be subs and beer and there is even a good selection of over the counter medications including children's Tylenol and cold medicine so you don't have to drive all the way to town if your child gets sick in the middle of the night. There's penny candy and Tide and bleach and toilet paper, all of it arranged with mathematical precision on the shelves. Papa Jay is so proud and we also met either his son or his brother or his cousin, I am not sure which, who shook my hand and the mama, the MOTHER,  was sitting in a chair in the corner and she was so sweet. 
This is going to be a very big thing for our little community and it was so cool that Steve could be there for that, as well as Owen and Gibson. I told the Jays that we would be customers and we sure as hell will be. 
We walked on down to the the fally-down house, passing Ms. Liola's on the way where the Sheik was doing some yardwork. We stopped to chat with him a moment and when we walked on and I told Steve that that was the Sheik, he said, "I thought it might be!"

I can't wait to see the pictures that Steve took of the old house with the wallpaper in it. I took some of him.

It was such an adventure and the boys had such a good time. Owen kept showing us how to run with power speed and told Steve to try it too. And he did. He was such a good sport. 

And the thing is, I felt so completely comfortable with him. So comfortable that by the time we got back to the house I said, "Can you keep an eye on Gibson? I have to pee."

I mean...there you go. 

Before he left, Owen whispered to me. 
"Tell SteveReed that I like him. And tell him to take some pictures of nature."
And so I did. 

He is now and forever SteveReed, all one word. 
And before he left, we took a selfie together. 

In the kitchen with the Cypress Gardens fan behind us. 

What a good, good day. I have a new friend in real life. I told him that if he and Dave get back to Florida, they are welcome to come spend the night. 
And after he left, the boys and I had more adventures and we moved Miss Dovey into the house because she is still alive and I want to give her one night of not having the stress of the cold. After spending weeks in the coop she actually left it yesterday and spent the whole night somewhere outside. 

She is obviously far stronger than she appears and so I want to just give her one night of being warm. 

There she is, head tucked under her wing in what I call the "mud room" where the outdoor plants are wintering. 
She is such a beautiful hen. 

It's been a beautiful day. 

Thank you, Steve, for making the drive here and back. 
I've felt less anxiety today than I've felt in a week and a half. 

For right now, all is well. I have a martini beside me, I have a stuffed chicken in the oven. (Yes! I am a huge hypocrite!) The SNL fortieth reunion's rebroadcast has just come on and I have greens for salad in the refrigerator. 

Yeah. A very, very good day.  


  1. That sounds like an amazing day, and I am sorry I missed it.

  2. That pond gets smaller! How marvelous. I met an online friend from Australia when she came to UK Was wonderful. So glad you did this. Have looked at Steve's pics of THAT London Really good but of course never commented having must emerged from the fear of commenting closet yesterday! Hope THAT London means anything to you. Its a north south thing. Am rambling I say nowt for years of reading your blog and then.......! I am so pleased that you and Steve had this day Maggi xxxx

  3. Glad that you and SteveReed had a visit. How fun! I can't wait to see his pics and will be promptly checking for them once I am done here. I was just yesterday wondering about Dovie. Sweet girl. So new to us and already got me to care and worry about her!

  4. A stuffed chicken?! HOW COULD YOU??! :)

    Seriously, thanks for a fab day! I had a terrific time and you are probably one of the best reporters I've encountered in all my news-gathering years because everything happened just as you said. And I also felt comfortable with you instantly, as I knew I would.

    I feel so privileged to have been invited into Papa Jay's for the sneak preview, and to have earned the one-word SteveReed moniker from the boys.

    I hope someone figures out what's going on with Ms. Dovie. So mysterious!

  5. Oh my gods! What an awesome awesome thing, day, meet-up, what joy, what fun!

  6. Sitting here in Ohio grinning like a lunatic :)

  7. Hank- You would have laughed a lot. I promise you.

    Maggi- I have never been to Great Britain. I would love to, though. I feel as if I have real friends there.

    Jill- It was such a good day. And Dovey? God. Who knows? I think she needs anti-depressants.

    SteveReed- Hey! That chicken was dead when we bought it. Plus, it was free-range. Haha! Now you know how truly evil I am! What a great day! Thank you so much! And the boys really did enjoy meeting you...almost as much as I did.
    I'll let you know how Dovey is tomorrow and hey- I forgot to give you eggs for your mama!

  8. I am so utterly jealous of the both of you.

  9. When worlds collide... Lucky you two to be in the same place in the "real" world. What fun! x0x0 N2

  10. This is such a happy post. If you ever come anywhere near me I want you to visit. Please.

    How do you run with power speed? I would like to see video of this unless of course Owen is going way too fast to even video. My son used to do that and he was just TOO FAST. That is what he said.

  11. Meeting internet friends is so great.

  12. Come in the height of summer. Bring thick jumper big coat and umbrella. We do sometimes get blistering heat it it can't be relied on Maggx

  13. Forgot to say l read your book when l was still in the commenting closet. Good stuff. Maggi x

  14. Come in the height of summer. Bring thick jumper big coat and umbrella. We do sometimes get blistering heat it it can't be relied on Maggx

  15. How wonderful! I don't know how I missed his blog, I see his comments here. I will be reading his now too. Gail

  16. This is epic.

    I have dreamed, fantasized really, of taking a drive straight down the I-75 to find your little corner of authenticity. Nonsense, of course, I am as reclusive as you are. I think you should give tours. Lunch of soup and home-made bread included. Give Canadian snowbirds an alternative to Disney.


  17. Dear Miss Moon, over the years I have met many many many online "friends" in real life, and none was different then they appeared online. Honestly. If you like people online and on their blogs, the chance is far more greater that you will like them in real life also. Some of my best friendships have started online... Some of those have lasted for over 16 years now, from the beginning of me and them on the internet. ;o)))

  18. AWWW. I love this. I love meeting "internet" friends. I hope to meet you one day Ms Moon.

  19. You said YES. I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY JEALOUS AND IMPRESSED. May I be so brave. You and SteveReed inspire me. I'm trying to get up the courage to sign up for one of Elizabeth's Books & Bakes salons. Now maybe I will!

  20. Elizabeth- We discussed you and how much we love your intelligence, your fierce dark humor, your writing. So there. Were your ears burning?

    N2- It truly was a fun, fun day.

    Birdie- It has something to do with the pumping of arms and legs. And yes, it is pretty darn fast.

    Jo- At least in this case it sure was!

    Battybint- I sure am glad you came out of that closet. Glad you liked my stories! Thank you!

    Gail- He posted after I did.

    Invisigal- NO! I can't become a tour guide of Lloyd. I wouldn't have time to watch the chickens! But if you ever DO drive all the way down, I'll make an exception for you.

    Photocat- And yet everyone is so paranoid. I guess that meeting people who are on an online dating service or Craig's list is completely different than reading someone's blog for years. I was thinking when Steve was here, what if I HAD made up the magical kingdom of Lloyd and had to recreate it? Okay. Sometimes I'm a little insane. As we know.

    Ms. Yo- I can truly see this happening.

    Angella- Well, as with almost everything in my life, if it comes to ME, I am much more apt to be onboard. But I think you should definitely do that. I'd love to too if I could just suddenly BE there.

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  22. oh, I am so envious of your visit with Steve, of Steve's visit with you.

  23. Ellen Abbott- It is so lovely when we meet kindred spirits.

    Jenny_o- It really was!

  24. SteveReed, all one word...I like it. And you are right about him. Hard to believe I've known him for 29 years...and he still talks to me...I'm glad you both had a good time.

    All he said to me earlier in the week was he was going to do something he knew I'd get a kick out of...He was right, too.

  25. As usual, I'm posts behind reading. This one made me smile, what a nice visit, of course I'm envious, because I dreamed last night that I was in Florida and visiting with you - for some reason we were trying to catch a train, which turned into a ferry boat. But we had a wonderful time, and I woke up and smiled, and now I'm reading this post. Still smiling. :)

  26. Oh, I must confess. I am insanely jealous of SteveReed.
    I like the idea of bloggers visiting one another... scary.
    But in a good way.
    If you every come to California, Mrs. Moon, you're invited chez moi.

  27. So nice that you got to meet Steve. I would like to see those photos too. I really like to photograph old abandoned houses. Something about them tugs at me.

    Sorry about Miss Dovey.


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