February 20, 2013

Blogging Buddies in Tucson

Last summer Betty and I vacationed in Portland for two reasons: it is an exciting city with great weather compared to Phoenix in July. But, more importantly, we wanted to meet several people in person who had become blogging friends. Our time spent with Galen Pearl, of 10 Steps To Finding Your Happy Place, Barbara Torris who authors, Retire in Style Blog+, and Bill Birnbaum whose blog, Adventure Retirement, has taken a hiatus, was tremendous. We instantly fell in love with them as friends. Along with Earl Torris and Wendy Birnbaum we felt so comfortable in their presence we will be spending most of our satisfying retirement next August back in Oregon.

When the chance came to expand that type of contact came along, I jumped at the opportunity. Barbara and Earl Torris have owned a winter escape home in the Tucson area for a dozen years. Since that is only two hours from us in Scottsdale, we made arrangements to get together this winter, to renew and strengthen the friendship we started last July in Portland.

But, then things got even more interesting. Linda Myers's blog claims she is A Bag Lady in Waiting. She and her husband, Art, live in the Seattle area. This year Linda and Art decided a few months of southern Arizona sunshine would be a nice break from the winter time clouds and gloom of a Pacific Northwest winter. So, they rented a place at a huge RV resort just outside Tucson.

Suddenly, I had two blogging friends living within 10 minutes of each other and just a few hours down the Interstate. Here was the perfect chance to see Barbara and Earl again while meeting a new couple, Linda and Art.

Arrangements were made for a time to meet and talk with Linda and Art, hook up with Barbara and Earl, share a meal together, and add a few more people to my expanding circle of blogging buddies.

We already knew and loved Barbara and Earl. How would things go with Linda and Art? This past Monday Betty and I made the easy trip to Tucson to see what would develop. I can report a total success. Linda is an absolute ball of enthusiasm and energy. She is loving her time in Tucson in the sunshine, and has every intention of returning next year. She is inquisitive and so easy to talk to.

We chatted with Art about his powerful book, Return to Viet Nam. It details his journey back to Vietnam in 2005 to deal with his memories from his time in 1968 when he was stationed at Da Nang. He and Linda gave us the full tour of the resort. We even learned about Pickle ball.

Art and Linda, Betty, Barbara, Me, and Earl
A quick trip up the road and we arrived at Barbara and Earl's part time home. Earl was busy building a deck out front when we pulled up in front of their home. Frankly, I think he was happy to put down hammer and nails for a lunch break! 

The six of us drove to a neighborhood Mexican restaurant for big plates of chimichangas, Taco salads, enchiladas and blogging talk: how long will you keep blogging, what do you do about spammers, how do you make money....all the normal stuff bloggers talk about.

All of us seemed to instantly hit it off. When it was time for Betty and me to head home to make another appointment we felt we had made a great start on a solid relationship with Linda and Art, were reminded of why we like Barbara and Earl so much, and were pleased that we had taken the time and effort to connect with these fine folks.

If I have learned one lesson during my satisfying retirement journey it is to take a risk every now and again, especially with people. I kick myself for all the friendships and enriching personalities I overlooked in years gone bye because I didn't make the effort. 

I refuse to do that again.


13 comments:

  1. I love meeting blogging buddies. I skype with a few, which is a great way to transition for a face to face meet-up. I'm looking forward to meeting Diana Bauer soon when she comes to the states for her book tour. If I ever make it to Arizona (which I would love to do. We have a nephew in Phoenix)I'll be looking you up!
    b

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    1. We'd have lots of radio stories to share. That would be fun.

      Skype has become an iumportant waqy for family and friends to stay in touch.

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  2. Great post! My satisfying retirement has gotten sidetracked lately & to add insult to injury (so to speak) I have a cold. This post absolutely reminded me WHY I want to lose weight, to get into better health so I can try new adventures & step out of my proverbial Comfort Zone.

    thanks!

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    1. Betty and I have an RV trip planned to your part of California next fall. We will have to connect over a glass of wine or other beverage of choice!

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  3. How nice that you got to see Barbara and Earl again, and to meet Linda and Art. I have read their book about returning to Vietnam, and it is a powerful read. I recommend it. I am looking forward to seeing you and Betty (and Barbara and Earl) on your return visit to Oregon. Maybe Linda and Art could come down to join us all for a meal.

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    1. I am reading Art & Linda's book, too, after getting a copy yesterday. It is an important story and an important issue.

      If Art & Linda can't come all the way down maybe we can meet them part way. I also know Early Retirement Tamara and her husband, Mike, are going to be RVing in the Portland area in August and have asked for a get together. This is taking on a life of its own!

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    2. Depending on the date, we can drive down.

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  4. What a handsome, intelligent, lively group of people! And it looks like a nice venue, too -- you musta had a lot of fun!

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    1. Well, it helped in my case that the camera was slightly out of focus! But, we had a good time and ate our fill in the neighborhood place Earl and Barbara suggested.

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  5. I am so jealous of all of you guys and thrilled for you too! My husband and I dream and talk about doing just what your doing(minus blogging)meeting people around the country while traveling in an RV.We are about 5 yrs behind this part of our lives but soon! So keep sharing how you meet up,share stories,compairing blogging info etc.It makes for great reading and for a tiny bit I can live vicariously lol

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    1. I will bring you along for the written ride!

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  6. I loved reading this Bob. We do have a wonderful life don't we. Linda and Art stopped by today so we could buy an autographed copy of their book, "One Veteran's Journey of Healing". I don't have the authors of my books deliver the book to my door every day! Golly, I do like those people.

    It turns out I passed Art at Sprouts grocery the other day. I was totally oblivious and passed him by...I need to pay closer attention to stuff don't I?

    Be well. It was great to see your guys again. Until August!

    b+

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    1. I am quite moved by the courage Art showed in making that journey back to Viet Nam and then in Linda writing it so the story could be told.

      Yes, I enjoyed meeting them quite a bit. They both have had fascinating lives. Linda and Art have offered to drive down to Portland see all of us in August. It will be fun.

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