Let me think for just a moment… How many bloggers has it been that have come through Chattanooga and visited with my family and me?
Let’s see, there was the cute couple of the century, Daniel and Caitlin Klem, who came through before Christmas a couple of years ago. There’s been James and Lydia Neff who’s been by a few times, which was always an encouragement. The Fry’s (Wally & Heather) and their daughter came through while on vacation last year, and that was fun. And how can I forget Heather, Everette, and Emerson?
Well, this last week another long-time blogging friend paid a visit. Last Tuesday Jessie Jeanine decided to swerve through Chattanooga on her cross-country (and half-way back again) search for a place to re-settle (that’s a long story in its own right). She loved it so much here that she stayed over a week! How cool is that?
I will never get over how bloggers can be a part of a community without ever meeting in person. But it is awesome when people who are friends online can meet face-to-face, confirming the reality that there has always been a genuine person on the other side of the computer screen.
Jessie was one of the first bloggers who really encouraged me to keep writing – because she actually replied to my comments and then followed my blog! For a new blogger that was a big deal, especially considering her story (one of horrendous abuse, working with the FBI, and even being a friend to Hollywood stars). To me Jessie Jeanine was a blogging celebrity, and a celebrity I highly respected. That was like 5 or 6 years ago.
However, this past week Jessie ate with us, worshiped with us, and even asked me to work on her car. What’s more, she got to spend enough time with us to see a few of our bad sides. Yet, real friends stay friends even when they are transparent and vulnerable. Real friends being real, that’s all.
We had a great time just hanging out, watching TV, doing dishes, playing board games, talking church, faith and religion, and dealing with a little bit of family drama.
But every good thing must come to an end, so they say, and Jessie is now somewhere in Houston, Texas, I think. My wife and daughters and I will always be grateful for the time we got to spend with her. Needless to say, there were a few tears shed when it came time for her to leave.
May God bless her, protect her, and provide for her needs during this huge cross-country transition in life.
Oh, and eventually we’re all going to pay David Welford a visit in England! Woo Hoo!
So, any more of you guys coming through Chattanooga any time soon? I know a great coffee shop 🙂