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When I started blogging in January, I viewed it as an isolated endeavor, a forum in which to practice writing and photography and to record events in my travels and daily life.  It did not occur to me that I would develop friendships online. There are several people whose blogs I follow closely and I have begun to get a sense of the person behind the blog.

Although I do not share intimate aspects of my life on my blog, I do share enough that those who follow it know quite a bit about me. Because I’ve written about my travels and job in China last summer, I’ve “talked with” quite a few English speaking bloggers who live in this vast country.

One such person is Sandi, an American who lives and works in Hangzhou, about an hour from Shanghai. She writes an inspirational blog about her profession as a midwife and about her incredible weight loss journey. Check it out: Flamidwyfe’s Blog.

What a treat today when Sandi met me in Shanghai! As we explored the city via foot, subway, bus, and taxi, I found that I like this strong, intelligent, and funny woman who grew up just a stone’s throw from where I lived and taught in Florida (we both miss the South Florida beaches).

Meet my friend Sandi

It’s rare for me to be on this side of the camera lens.

Sandi is more outgoing than I am; I like to hide behind the camera or at the edge of the crowd. She asserts her way across the chaotic intersection and with shopkeepers, but she also reaches out and talks to people.

And then, Sandi took me to a hamburger place; I had a big, juicy HAMBURGER! The Blue Frog .. What a treat!

I don’t know if I’ll see Sandi in person again, but I’m sure that we will continue to relate through our blogs and email. (I love the Internet!)

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown