“Raise your hand if you like talking on the phone.”
I imagine if I asked you that question in class, the majority of you would say yes. It seems like we are married to our phones these days. They go with us everywhere keeping us connected at all times.
Yet, I have a love/hate relationship with the phone. Sometimes I like talking on it and catching up with my friends and family. Other times, a phone call means a salesperson is on the other end trying to convince me to buy this or that.
So when the phone in the library rang yesterday afternoon and I didn’t recognize the number, I wasn’t too eager to answer. I had things to do, and being interrupted wasn’t on my list. I gingerly answered with a half-hearted, “Hello, This is Julie.”
On the other end was a woman quickly telling me her name was Grace. She had found my blog, and the Nerdybookclub and my love of books. She was going on about how she had noticed that I didn’t have a New Zealand connection and she wanted to fix that.
Stop. Wait. Hold on!
Grace was calling me from New Zealand?! All of a sudden I switched into high gear.
Isn’t that expensive? How do you do that? How did she find my number? How did she find out about our blog? Or the Nerdybookclub?
Why was she calling me?
The phone connection had a little static, and I’m not really used to hearing a New Zealand accent, so my brain was experiencing a little battle from the one side pushing non-stop questions and the other side processing the information I was hearing from Grace.
The answer soon became clear. She loves books, is a retired school teacher and had visited Seattle and Sammamish (where I live) in the recent past. We talked about her visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia and visiting Prince Edward Island where the book Anne of Green Gables was set.
Then she asked if I knew of Peter H. Reynolds. Peter is the author of The Dot and Ish, and most recently, Sky Color. “Yes, I know who he is!” I told her. I wanted to tell her about how we had just tweeted back and forth over the weekend after listening to a discussion about Sky Color, but her next story was too incredible to stop.
Years ago, she had virtually met Peter online. They had many conversations on the computer and Facebook. They became friends and had many commonalities with their families.Eventually she traveled to Massachusetts from New Zealand, staying with his family on vacation and visiting Cape Cod.
I don’t know Peter personally. But she does and she was telling me about it from 7,000 miles away! I wanted to say, “I’m from Massachusetts too. I grew up about a hour away from Peter in Townsend.” I wanted to tell her that I know his work, his drawings, his stories – his fabulous website Fablevision.com
We love The Dot! We celebrated International Dot Day. We all made dots in September and started to make our mark on the world this year. We are all connected. But I didn’t have a chance to tell her and that’s okay, she’ll find out soon enough.
Soon after her Peter H. Reynolds story, our conversation ended. We talked for twenty minutes from Washington, USA to New Zealand. We made plans to stay connected. Then it was over.
Why did we connect in the first place?
Because we love books and reading. All it took was a school blog and a woman with an ability to call from far, far away to bring us all together.
It’s a small, beautiful world and I’m sure glad I answered the phone!