Happy Tuesday, top o’ the evening to you, and all that good jazz. (Music? Yes, let’s. )
Since this lovely little blog has been neglected the past year, I realized I never got to tell you the story about how I met my kindred spirits, or my people.
About four years ago, after being on Instagram for a year, I “met” a group of wonderful girls. I don’t even really remember how we magically met, except for one of them randomly commented on a photo I had posted of my teacup and a Beatrix Potter biography book. I’m assuming I went to her page, saw that we had a lot in common, and then the rest of our group just snowballed, randomly bumping into each other and forming our little group we like to call The Kindred Spirits Club. (You’re never too old to start a club.)
From this group I’ve received lovely hand-written letters in the mail, birthday cards, Christmas cards, Thinking of You cards, random online messages of inspiration and motivation, virtual shoulders to lean on and bounce ideas off of, and a window into a world with people who were just like me.
To be honest, making friends has been hard for me ever since I left elementary school, when I grew up with the same 20 kids from pre-school through 8th grade. We were a little family and we knew each other’s quirks, talents, and how to push each other’s buttons. I loved them.
And then as I got older I began to realize how little in common I had with people my own age. I felt weird, like I was an outcast. I was teased for liking black and white movies, for listening to old music, for thinking about marriage and a family when I seemed too young, and for spending a Friday evening at home instead of at parties (I did finally come out of my hobbit house and “live a little” the summer I met Paul – my friends at the time could turn any boring night into a thrilling, spontaneous adventure and I loved them for it).
So when serendipity stepped in and I found myself in a little group of women who enjoyed sipping tea and reading Jane Austen, or watching Anne of Green Gables and writing down their feelings, I felt as if my eyes had literally been opened.
(To be fair, I do have a couple of people in my immediate life who enjoy a good Jane Austen novel or will indulge me with a cup of tea. You know who you are and thank you. :))
Fast forward a few years to this past April: I was Paul’s stowaway on his work trip to Seattle and had just posted on Instagram how I was enjoying the Seattle views. I completely forgot that two of my kindred spirits lived in/near the area and received an excited message from Melanie asking if I was available to meet her and possibly Sarah the following day. (To be honest, I was nervous. When you’re about to meet people you’ve held in high regard in a bit of a fantasy life, you get a little worried the beauty of it all will shatter from reality.)
Long story short, we were all able to meet the following day (the day after my birthday!) for a possible picnic and tea party. I was a big ball of nerves and excitement while I waited for Melanie to pick me up. Would this be awkward? Would her voice match her letters/messages? Would we have anything in common? Maybe she lied and hates tea and Jane and Anne and Beatrix! Maybe she’s going to kidnap me!
Oh goodness, it was the easiest thing in the world. Melanie picked me up at the hotel we were staying at and conversation was as easy as if we’d been friends forever. Her voice matched, there was no rope in her trunk (just adorable quilts and a large picnic basket), and we had so much to talk about! As we pulled up to Sarah’s house, the same questions went through my mind, but just like Melanie, Sarah was a friend from the start and we had THE MOST MAGICAL DAY. Seriously, it almost tops Walt Disney World.
Even though the weather was windy, chilly, misty – all Pacific Northwest-ish – Melanie convinced us to hike 20 minutes through the woods to a cliff on the ocean for a breezy ocean-view picnic. I had my boots on, I was ready to go. Thermos full of tea packed in the picnic basket? Check! Beatrix Potter teacups? Check! Individually packaged sandwiches for all of us? Check! A bouquet of flowers for extra magic? Check! A camera to document it all? Check!
This is Sarah’s beautiful art studio. She’s such a talented watercolor artist and I LOVED getting a peek into her old and new art, her latest projects, and just to see where she does her paintings.
Oh yes. Melanie lives in the country and has chickens. She’s adorable and brought Sarah eggs. Of course.
Melanie took a bunch of photos of our hike up (you can visit her blog post to see it – you might have to scroll a bit to see our picnic, but if you have time you can see all the picnics she plans and photographs, they’re adorable), but I started taking photos once we reached the top. It was worth the climb.
Sarah and Melanie setting up camp. I swear I helped.
Wind or rain, we are picnicking!!
She wrapped our sandwich boxes with ribbon, cloth, and Anne of Green Gables paper. People like this DO exist!!
This was the view from our quilt. I just have no words.
A side view from our quilt. Also, there were some people out and about and they were all wearing hiking gear and winter jackets and we were just having a lovely little time with hardly enough jackets/mittens/hats raising our teacups to them as they walked by, pushing against the wind and rain. Don’t mind us! We’re in Heaven!
I don’t think I could smile any bigger, do you?
We survived for about 40 minutes out there. It was as windy and as cold as it looks, but we were so happy. Melanie turned her phone music on and played instrumental music from Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. All we needed was Mr. Darcy to come walking through the fields. Swooooon.
That’s a bunch of wild rosemary on my picnic basket that Melanie picked, because why not?!
And then, because it was “my birthday” and because they’re like little angels, Melanie and Sarah took me to the most beautiful tearoom to celebrate turning 29. Sarah was so generous and footed the entire tea party bill. I’m pretty sure I cried tiny tears once or twice.
I was on Cloud 9. Also, these 2 photos are Melanie’s photos. All day she felt like she was documenting too much – so grateful she did.
My new gal pals.
(Melanie’s photo again.) Because they sneakily told the waiter it was my birthday, I got to wear the lovely crown and even got a candle in my dessert. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Notice I even have Mickey around my neck. Lucky lucky me.
(Melanie’s next 2 photos.) We could have stayed there for hours and hours. Having too much fun, but reality was soon catching up with us and we each had to go back to our own worlds.
Before we split we ventured to the tearoom’s gift shop down the road. Saw this adorable teacup tribute in the sidewalk, snapped a photo, then I bought a Jane Austen mug as my souvenir and proof that this whole day actually happened.
It was so sad to leave them. I felt like I was living a dream. However, there was a beautiful boy waiting for me at the hotel when Sarah dropped me back off and as usual, he always makes everything better. Even when I felt like I had just woken up from the best dream ever.
Since Paul is the reason all this magic happened (his work trip, I’m just a stowaway remember) here’s some of my favorite photos from the rest of our days where we explored Seattle, ate good food, watched fish being thrown, and walked through the rain and jumped in puddles. (Paul was not as good of a puddle jumper as I was. I am younger after all.)
I have ALWAYS wanted to visit Seattle and this little nook of it. I fell in love very quickly.
Ya know, just making friends.
The Seattle Spheres of Amazon!! They’re super cool – I felt like we were in the future while also visiting Jurassic Park.
Turning 29 was not too shabby.
The market was SO MUCH FUN!!!
We watched the fish being thrown. My life is complete.
Well, I suppose that’s it, friends! I hope you enjoyed seeing my new friends and one of my favorite trips with Paul. And I hope, if you’re like me, it encouraged you to not give up on finding your people. They’re out there! Perhaps typing behind a screen or perhaps right in front of your face but you’ve never talked to them before! Or if you’re lucky you’ve found your people. Keep them close and love them lots. Kindred spirits are rare and oh so wonderful. Cheers, friends!! xoxo