Last week I became the luckiest girl in the world with Toiny flew into the Minneapolis airport for a fun-filled 36 hours with me. In real life. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous – we’ve known each other for 9 years online – so I was filled with worry that we wouldn’t click as well in real life. But, my worries were for nothing – because from the second we saw each other – it was like old friends seeing each other again for the first time in a long time, not for the first time ever.
We had a lot of fun, shared wine, food and adventure. We spent a day in the beautiful Stillwater, MN. Watching the river, the boats, wandering downtown and enjoying a delicious meal. After lunch, I took her to my favorite local winery, Saint Croix Vineyards, for a tasting (and to see the goats). After a flight of delicious wine, wandering the apple barn and playing with the goats we headed back to the car.
I know words will not do this story justice, but I am going to do my best –
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Toiny loves her camera and her photos – so before we left, she wandered away to take some photos of the pond and some playful little squirrels. There was this one little squirrel who stared her down, as if he was posing – but he got a little too close for comfort, so Toiny started to walk back towards me – but the squirrel followed her. So, she walked faster – and the squirrel started to run! Toiny started to run, and the squirrel was in a full out sprint right behind her! I stared – I’ve only ever seen wild animals run away from people, not chase after them!! There was an adorable couple enjoying some wine (and watching this spectacle) in the parking lot that Toiny jumped behind – and the squirrel followed suit, jumping behind the tire of my car.
At this point, Toiny’s heart is racing – she’s afraid that this squirrel has it out for her! I’m sitting on the ground in fits of laughter, and the women Toiny was hiding behind were not entirely sure what was going to happen next! We all crouched down to look under my car, and as Toiny came into the squirrels line of sight, he started to come towards her – she jumped back and so did the squirrel. Then he came back, with his little fist raised – ready for a fight!
This continued for several minutes – to the point where Toiny refused to get into the car (worried the squirrel would follow her)! With a little effort (I wish I was kidding) we were able to chase him under another car so we could drive off!
I have NEVER seen such a sight, and I’d give anything to have gotten it recorded! I don’t know what was funnier – the look on Toiny’s face, or the look of Mr. Squirrel chasing her!
It took another glass of wine at home, and a delicious dinner of fresh corn on the cob and pork chops to bring Toiny’s heart rate back down – and I don’t think she’ll ever look at squirrels the same way!
I know that Toiny and my relationship isn’t the only amazing friendship built through our hobby, our industry. I am sure that many of you have dear friends you have made in the forums, through creative teams, through scrapbooking. I encourage you, if you have the chance, to step out of your comfort zone and meet them! I’m sure that your friendships will be just as natural in person as ours is. And when you do, please share the stories! They make for great memories!