Last week I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with the delightful Jane, aka Modernemama, from the blog Beach House. Jane hung out with me in Lawrence for hours, but as neither of us love being in front of the camera, there’s just a few self-shot pics of us together. She did manage to sneak a few into her own trip report, found here.
I’ve been following Jane’s blog for some time now. Back in the pre-Simmer days, when I was writing about building our house, I discovered that other people also wrote about lighting, and stove shopping, and doorknobs. Jane’s blog was filled with design inspiration, great pictures of her garden and the Long Island shore, and featured quick sketches of her family, her travels, her dogs. I dropped in, and stayed.
So, if you read someone’s blog for two years, you know them pretty well, right?
Well, yes. And no. Each time I’ve met a blogger in person, the effect has been the same: what you see (or in this case, read) is what you get – plus. That is, you get that voice you read, and more. You fill in certain gaps: the smile behind the words, seeing how the wheels turn, and putting a real sound to the voice.
And oh, was there sound. Talk and talk and talk. We sat in a restaurant downtown, dipping bread from a breadboard Jane recognized right away. So much fun to sit across from real-life Jane – laughing eyes, UK accent still strong – and build on my Tell Simmer knowledge by listening to her journeys, her family, and the things she loves.
The thing about lunching with a fellow blogger is this: you do a lot of talking. Not so much eating. It’s like making up for lost time, I’d tell Greg, later. He’d ask “what can you possibly talk about for five hours?” Fair question, but an easy answer. You’re confirming everything you know, and finding out what you don’t know. Back and forth, between bites. It’s simple – whoever’s fork is down…
…is the one listening.
After the world’s most vocal lunch, we walked a few blocks to my house. Oh, she got a tour, and met Greg and Josie, and made much fuss over Cleo – but mostly we stood around the kitchen, talking. I’d baked rugelach that morning, and they were still on a sheet pan. I pulled them off the parchment while we talked, which allowed us to nibble idly at the burnt, melted sugar left on paper. We sipped Limoncello in little glasses, the last of the stuff I’d made for Josie’s bat mitzvah. Jane brought me a present – gorgeous vintage German cookie molds.
Honestly, why would she think I’d like antique baking stuff? No idea.
We headed back downtown for coffee, and sat around chatting about Kansas, about New York, about prices and people and why we do we what do, about how we’re all different, and same. She met a favorite barista, and some of my friends, and some passers-by. We walked Massachusetts Street, and full of Lawrence booster zeal, I told her more about Lawrence history than she needed to know.
By the time The Guy picked her up and they drove away with rugelach, we’d filled in most of the gaps, lessened the spaces in between. Thank you, Jane, for the gift of a real voice. I know you’ve got Polly & Sadie, your own lovely black dogs, but just look: after you left, Cleo was despondent.
Come back soon!