We’re back from our annual weekend camping trip at the Wild Goose Festival, both refreshed and exhausted.


The view from our campsite


Tent sweet tent




As always, we enjoyed good music and inspiring speakers. Perhaps best of all, we made new friends and we were able to renew and cultivate old friendships we’ve made over the years.

I reckon I can grumble about technology as well as anyone. But, grumblings aside, I’m grateful to live in our ever-shrinking world. Thanks to blogs, Facebook and the like, we’re able to stay connected with friends from around the country and the world. I’m enriched by those connections. The internet enabled us to discover this festival and it enables us to keep in touch with friends we only see in person a few days each year. As far as I’m concerned, that’s entirely a good thing.

Of course our on-line world allows us to develop relationships that don’t require any personal contact. I consider many of you friends, despite the fact that we’ve never met in person and probably never will.

One such friend is Laura Shea of Applewood Farm. I’ve never met Laura, but I’ve long been a fan. She writes beautifully and has a wonderful blog (HERE). She has the rare gift for making posts interesting, informative and witty. I learn from her, and she makes me laugh.

Laura has been on my mind a lot lately. When I read her latest blog post, a month and half ago now, my heart sank.

As a testimony to the awesomeness of Laura and her family, they were able to very quickly raise the money needed for her surgery. The bits of news I’ve seen about her progress are good and encouraging. My hope is that she is on her way to a full recovery, and a healthy and happy future. And of course I hope we’ll be enjoying posts from Applewood Farm again soon.

I don’t have any profound conclusion to offer. I’d prefer a world in which no one hurts. I even choose to believe that kind of world is our destiny. But in the meantime, I call it a good thing that we live in a time when we can share the joys, and the pains, of friends we may never meet in person.




23 comments on “Friends

  1. Laurie Graves says:

    Yes, yes! As for Laura…here is something encouraging. Ninety percent of women who have breast cancer make a full recovery. Six years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I am now considered to be cured. So take heart, Laura. And know that you have a “sister” in Maine who is rooting for you.


    • Bill says:

      Good for you Laurie! I’m sorry that you had to go through that experience, but it’s good that you can now be an encouragement to other women in that situation.


  2. So glad to hear you had a great time at the festival and assume the farm survived alright in your absence.
    I am inspired by Mary Oliver’s poem and love “the world offers itself to your imagination”. It will be a good mantra should I start to feel lonely or down.
    Positive, healing thoughts to your friend Laura.


    • Bill says:

      It’s a wonderful poem. “The world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese–harsh and exciting–over and over announcing your place in the family of things.” I like that very much.

      Yes, the farm managed just fine in our absence. We dropped off a week’s worth of produce at the local food bank on the way out of town, so nothing went to waste. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. avwalters says:

    I see the internet as an extension of that 19th Century endeavor of “correspondence.” It is what you make of it–on one hand, a way to connect with the like-minded or a way to quickly research things of immediate import in your life, on the other, mindless chat or stupid photo sharing. It is what you make of it–and it will take you wherever it is you want to go. I imagine that, for most of the readers of this blog, that the internet enriches our lives and informs. It lets us connect, share and support people who have become part of our lives, whether or not we ever meet.


    • Bill says:

      For those of us who love knowledge and learning, the internet is one of the greatest inventions I can imagine. For all intents and purposes, all the information in the world is available to us instantly and at very little cost.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanna says:

    Well thanks to the internet and partly your blog, I was able to meet with someone this last week, one of your regular commenters 🙂 and we had a lovely time, if a little too short due to preparations for the felting course.


  5. Susan says:

    I’m glad you had a great time. I bet it was nice to just “get away” for a bit.
    And as for the internet-it is THE perfect resouce for someone like me that likes to learn from others. I’ve met a lot of fine folks…..some even in person, and each one was a delight.


    • Bill says:

      Yes I’m a huge fan of the internet. The perfect resource for us philomaths, and a great way to connect with like-minded folks regardless of where they live.


  6. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, the digital culture can be entertaining, informative, helpful, scary at times, and expands one’s influence all across the globe. I can’t help but remember my mother and her staying in communication with over 100 penpals. They were all across the world and many she never met in her entire life but had dialog with for 60 years. I inherited that from her and have only 8 penpals but over 200 digital friends that I communicate with. The number is bigger only because it’s easier to send an email, write a blog, or respond to Facebook. The realm of influence for anyone person has increased tremendously since my Mother’s day. if I was to pick one invention that has influenced the world the most, the Internet would be in the top five. Number one in my humble opinion would be electricity.

    I’m glad that you had a good time at the Goose Festival. It’s good to get away for rest and relaxation. I have away times through out the year that are only a day or two but just breaking the routine of life can be relaxing. In my case, when I leave home for a short vacation, digital media is also left behind. Some can’t do that because of business or home situations that need immediate responses. It’s quite refreshing for me to totally unplug for a short time. I liken it to a computer reboot. Then it’s good to be home.

    Have a great day at White Flint Farm.


    • Bill says:

      I remember how expensive long distance phone calls were, and therefore how infrequent. I do feel a little nostalgia for letter-writing. But the loss of that art is a small price to pay for the amazing advantages of the internet. Even though I have my Luddite tendencies in some respects, count me glad to live in the information age.

      Every year I feel a little nervous about our weekend away, and every year I end up glad we went. Cell service was very poor where we were. My phone was dead within a day. On Saturday morning we walked out to the parking lot to plug in and check messages. Cherie had a text from our neighbor that read: “Have your farmsitters told you about the storm damage?” That was the entire message. For all we knew our house had been destroyed. We were nervous until we reached them. Turns out we had a violent storm that blew down some large trees, one of which crashed through one of our barn sheds. An expensive mess but we’re glad it wasn’t worse. And our being here wouldn’t have made any difference.

      Hopefully we’ll manage to go again next year!


  7. That last sign was my favorite. Thanks for finding and posting it Bill.
    I am with you on the value of the Internet. There are many new friends I’ve made. Plus I have been able to keep up with family members including nieces and nephews in a way I never would have been able to otherwise. –Curt


  8. freethnkr1965 says:

    Beautiful post Bill. And for me at least, very timely. Thanks.


    • Bill says:

      I’m very glad. I don’t have the discipline to only post on farming or homesteading topics. I’m pleased when folks stick around even though I stray onto other things.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post make me so grateful to where I live in the UK Bill.. it is bad enough when one discovers you are ill, never mind having to raise money for surgery.. an amazing lady..
    Loved reading your post Bill and thanks for those photo’s Sue


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Sue. We’re used to having to pay for our medical care, but I know how strange that seems in other parts of the world. I have a friend who lives in Israel and he was astonished to learn that in the U.S. we have to pay to go the doctor. There (as in the UK) medical care is covered by one’s taxes. In this case they had insurance, but the insurance didn’t cover the surgery they needed. Fortunately they were able to quickly raise what they needed from friends, which speaks well of them and their community of friends.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s