Tuesday, July 2, 2013

sols: connect

Slice of Life hosted at the 

My Mom, my girls, and I took a little road trip during our vacation --

Two hours in the car through the hills and valleys of Arkansas over the state line into Missouri.  We landed ourselves in Branson -- the "Puts the show in show me state" town.  All sorts of attractions to see and places to go, but we were there for only one reason.  (Well, actually, two -- the first stop was at the winery.)

The other attraction was to meet with the ONE, the ONLY, real-life slicer and comment extraordinaire ... elsie!

Yes, Elsie in real life!

(I know some of you recently connected with her and many others are wishing it was you!)

I wasn't nervous about meeting Elsie because one knows through her stories, her words, and her comments that she is quite possibly the sweetest person on earth.  She knows how to connect with slicers.

My mom spotted her first.  Elsie was carrying two little baskets filled with goodies for my girls.  What a sweet gesture!  (Thank you, Elsie, for connecting with my two special little people.  And thanks to Robin for the suggestions!)

We went through the brief introductions and perused the goodie baskets.  We wandered inside Bass Pro so the girls could see the fish while we chatted about family and locations, connecting the cities and towns we knew.

We moved through the store and M spotted some benches.  We rested and chatted more while the girls colored and explored the contents of their baskets.  Elsie shared her excitement about the All Write!!! conference and gushed about the connections, the conversations, and the camaraderie.  She talked about specific slicers, knew their names and blogs, and more importantly, knew their stories.

We meandered outside searching for a spot for lunch conducive for kids.  Our lunch destination was selected and it was time to eat, but the chatting did not stop.  We continued to connect our lives through the stories we shared.

It can be difficult to be fully present and connect when three year olds vie for Momma's full attention (who is also hoping to keep everyone calm and safe).  My Mom was so thoughtful by taking the girls for brief periods of time to provide Elsie and I several opportunities to connect and chat.

And then our time was over . . . not before we snagged a picture of the three of us!

Elsie, me, and my Mom, Judy

We hugged, said our good-byes, and Elsie turned and walked away.

It was a H.O.T. day.  But, thankfully, we did not melt during our three hour visit.  I was worried we "over-cooked" the girls, but once we were in the cool air conditioning of the car, they went fast asleep.

My Mom asked, "So, what did you think?  Was she exactly what you thought she would be?"

"Absolutely.  And so much more!"  I responded smiling.  Thank you Elsie for connecting with us!!!

* * * * * * * * * * 

I now understand the feeling of connection that so many slicers shared last week when they met at the All Write!!! conference.

Connections and relationships are key to learning.  I've depended on Elsie for her words of advice and comments to support and encourage my writing and to know that my stories are significant.

I realized that everyone has a story and we may only know bits and pieces, but we are not alone.  And that is why I write.  I write to share, to learn, to connect.

And it's truly a gift to connect in real life.  I hope to meet you one day too.


  1. Count me in the "wishing it was you" pile. And for highlighting the word connecting, which is what we do every Tuesday, and any other opportunity we can create. PS. Loved that Elsie had baskets for your girls...so Elsie, right?!

  2. It surely was a hot day, but weather cannot interfere with meeting and connecting. I knew the girls would collapse once they were in the car. I love the way you weave the word connect throughout your slice. Connecting with words is great, but when you can meet face to face it makes that connection stronger. Now what's this about stopping at a winery? :-)

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful visit Michelle! I agree, Elsie is as great in person as she is at the other end of the computer. Your story does matter and I always enjoy reading it. I'm glad the goodie baskets helped your girls stay busy! Thanks for sharing and "connecting" today!

  4. Oh man I would have gladly drove the 5 hours to meet both of you...maybe next time??!! What a fun side trip to your vacation. Memories to last a lifetime (and Bass Pro too)!

  5. I love that you bolded any version of CONNECTION in your writing. Connecting in person is a gift. So glad you got to spend time with a fellow slicer. The community connections are unexpectedly gifts to me and to many others. I enjoyed reading Elsie's same story about meeting you and your family.

  6. CONNECTION: YES!!! I love this slice and feel like we were all there for a huge SLICER HUG!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all . . . even the girls ;-)! Great photo!!!!

  8. How great that you guys got to connect! Sounds like you had so much fun! I love seeing the picture of the three of you!

  9. The smiles on the picture radiate the joy of the meeting.

  10. Great slice and yes, it was wonderful to connect with Elsie. I felt like we had been friends for a long time instead of just meeting in person for the first time. We connect thru our slices, but to connect in person puts everything on a new level. Love ya M

  11. Loved what Elsie said and now you too! Would be such a gift to have a big gathering! So happy you all had fun! The baskets were the icing on the cake. (I'd love to meet those sweet girls too!)

  12. Connections! They are so much fun. There is so much joy in photo it radiates and touches me in the virtual world!

  13. So fun! I loved reading all the details.

  14. I had already read Elsie's post about connecting with you. It was fun to hear the same event from your perspective. Those connections are precious!! I love my online friends and how they help me think/grow, but my favorite times with them are when I get the opportunity to chat with them in person. Love the picture!

  15. What a wonderful in-person connection you made. (All these midwestern meet-ups in the past few weeks have been so exciting to read about. Can't wait for NCTE in Boston! Are you going?)

  16. All I have to say is...all of you....beautiful. We are all so lucky to have met Elsie this summer. I know your trip to mom's was wonderful too. xo


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.