Clearwater’s Chemistry

Clearwater, a beautiful Florida coastal city, has much to offer and has a chemistry all its own but the chemistry I speak of in this post is that which we humans find with others.

Joyful children delight visitors at cultural center.
Joyful children delight visitors at cultural center.

We have spent the past ten days in Clearwater being quite the social butterflies, so much more than normal that this little introvert is going to need some alone time to decompress (lol)!  Don’t get me wrong, our time spent here catching up with old friends and meeting new ones has been fabulous!    It seems that many of Terry’s former high-school friends have settled around the Clearwater area so there has been many a get-together, with good food and drink, thanks to the efforts of high-school chum Norm.   Our waistlines have suffered a bit from all this fun but we have been rewarded with many pleasant memories.  Good friends Doug and Donna  migrated south for a vacation to escape the frigid temps of Ohio and their daughter Kelley joined them, getting a break from the Windy City winter.  And we caught up with two couples we shared many laughs with at Amazon.

Terry's high school buds & spouses - Dawn, Rick, Terry, Jim, Doug, Donna, Joyce & Norm
Terry’s high school buds & spouses – Dawn, Rick, Terry, Jim, Doug, Donna, Joyce & Norm
Amazon buddies - Jim, Sharon, Rich, me, and Pat
Amazon buddies – Jim, Sharon, Rich, me, and Pat

For those in the RVing community, there is always a level of excitement at the prospect of meeting someone whose blog you have followed for some time. We were very pleased to have met a couple who have been on my “must meet” list for a long time.  As time passed I thought we were going to be two ships passing in the night and I was feeling a bit sad but the stars aligned properly and a brief window of opportunity presented itself.  Emails were exchanged; plans made; and we found ourselves heading over to Cortez to have lunch with John and Pam Wright of Oh, The Places They Go.  They were as delightful as I knew they would be and we walked away feeling like we were catching up with old friends instead of meeting for the first time.  With the hopes of meeting up again near DC later this year and discussion of hiking out west together, the day ended on a perfect note.

Me, Pam, and John
Me, Pam, and John
John & Terry on the beach at Anna Maria Island
John & Terry on the beach at Anna Maria Island

I had a similar experience several days earlier with another blogger friend, someone I have followed for quite a while, a brilliant landscape photographer who took time out of his busy schedule (in Clearwater on assignment) to have coffee.  What started as a quick cup of coffee ended 2.5 hours later, having covered quite a bit of territory outside the photography realm, as I promised myself I would not harass him for tips.  Ok, since photography is his passion, he generously shared a few tidbits with me, for which I am most grateful. 🙂  For those who haven’t guessed by now, I met up with none other than the talented Rick Braveheart.   If you have yet to see his work, I urge you to go here and check it out.  I promise you will not be disappointed.   As we were saying our goodbyes, I asked for a photo and a quick selfie was taken with Rick’s iPhone.  I avoid close-ups of myself at all costs so sadly Rick’s arm just wasn’t long enough for me to proudly display a photo!   You are just going to have to trust me that there was a chance meeting. 😉

All of this socializing has got me wondering about why we connect so strongly with some?  Common ground is one reason that brings us together initially, which seems to be obvious in the RVing world.  Those who have a wanderlust for travel, a love of nature, enjoy the same recreational activities; i.e. hiking, biking, kayaking, photography, seem to gravitate toward one another.  But there is that certain something that transcends the similar interests after you meet, the comfortable silence in-between the conversation when you know you have met someone special.

As many of us do, I have a diverse group of bloggers I follow.  Writers, artists, photographers, international travelers…the list goes on.   What draws us together, satisfying that desire to learn more about the person behind the computer screen, half a world away?  Since we will most likely never meet face-to-face, yet we are drawn to one another, I believe that the chemistry between others cannot be explained by science alone.  It feels more like a spiritual connection to me, familial, déjà vu, a sense you have known that person before.  Experiencing this kind of chemistry with others rejuvenates me and as I get to know them better, whether virtually or in person, I feel I discover another little piece of me. 🙂

Just a few of our fine feathered friends we saw while in Clearwater: