January 11, 2009
Sweeping the clouds away
It might be cheating to call it a blogger meet-up, because I knew her for years before she had a blog. Mostly, we see it each other at conferences, which means talking for hours in lobbies and bars and hotel rooms. Sometimes we will walk all over a strange city to find a place to hang out and chat. But last Sunday, I took a train from where I was staying in Big City Like No Other to visit Sarah Sometimes and see her home in Borough Where A Tree Grows.
We sat on her cinnamon couch, letting sunshine drench us with warmth. I looked out at her street, where buildings grow side by side with no space in between and tree branches hang over the stone staircases that lead to each building. The scene seemed so familiar I felt like I'd been there before. Then someone clanged a garbage can lid, and that's when it hit me: Sesame Street! As we talked, I kept peeking out to see if a large furry animal would come along, but I guess it was too cold for Muppets that day.
We had a lazy afternoon, drinking hot tea and looking at a photo album and catching up on all the details of our lives. We wandered around the neighborhood, took pictures of a famous street sign, and ate sandwiches and fries served by a waiter who kept teasing Sarah Sometimes for the way she uses the phrase, "I guess."
Sarah Sometimes has often mentioned to me that she lives near a park, but always I pictured a tiny little park, just big enough for a volleyball net and maybe a sandbox. Of course, since her neighborhood is named after the park so I suppose that should have given me a hint that the park was of some importance. It turns out the park is huge — 585 acres altogether. We walked on winding paths along big lawns overhung with giant trees, took a trail through a wooded area, and ended up at a pond, just as the light was beginning to fade into dusk. Since I'd promised Sarah Sometimes I'd take a new facebook photo for her, I took out my camera and began snapping photos, shouting instructions the whole time.
"Yes, that's great! But maybe take off your coat."
"Perfect! Just ... take off the sweater."
"The light's just right. But you don't need that shirt."
Too quickly, she caught on. "It's winter time! In a public park! I'm not going to pose naked for your blog!"
Perhaps if it had been warmer, I could have talked her into it. But by the time she was down to her short-sleeved shirt, goosebumps were already creeping into the photo. And we were losing the light quickly. So readers will have to settle for the photo I took of Sarah Sometimes on her couch, looking out to see if Big Bird was around.
Posted by jo(e)