Do you often think how wonderful it would be to meet a favorite blogger – in person – and spend the day with them? I certainly do. And it happened! Well, in order to tell the wonderful story, I must start at the beginning:
It Happened Like This…
Pete Springer is one of my favorite bloggers. Our mutual interest in children and teaching was the start of our connection. It has grown to include the love of children’s books, the great outdoors, how the little things are the big things, and more. It’s a long list, and a good one. When he planned a visit to see his three brothers, he wanted to connect with two bloggers. Yes, he wanted to meet me! Was I excited? You bet!
It was as if we had known each other for years. Well we had, of course, through blogging. ‘In Person’ was the frosting on the cake. With whipped cream and cherries and chocolate sauce.
Pete knew just how to start the day. A letter arrived for the children. It was from Oscar the Otter. We love letters.
Dear Aqua Roomers,
My name is Oscar Otter. I hope you liked my story with Billy Beaver. Even though we’re different animals, we still want to be friends. The most important thing about friendship is we accept others the way they are.
I have a big favor to ask you. As much as I like Billy, I need a vacation. I wondered if it would be okay if I stayed in the Aqua Room with Jennie for a while.
I heard a rumor that one of my good friends, Gloria, is staying with you. Even though people often tell me I’m cute on the outside, I know what’s most important is what’s inside our hearts. I like Gloria because she is kind.
If I stay with you, we must promise each other that we’ll try our best to get along and share. We need to make sure Gloria doesn’t get her feelings hurt, so remember to be a good friend to her, too.
Your new friend, Oscar Otter
Here is proof that Oscar really typed this letter:
As soon as we read the letter and got over the surprise of getting a new friend, one who could actually type and likes Gloria, Oscar appeared. He was immediately hugged by fifteen children, and then he was finally in Gloria’s lap.
You see, Pete understands children. He knew how to bring Oscar into the classroom, knew how important Gloria is, and knew just the right way to combine everything. Yes, he made the stars align. I wish I had been in Pete’s class in elementary school. Reading aloud to children is one of Pete’s passions. He shared the book about Oscar to a captive audience.
We discovered that we both read aloud with heart, gut, and passion. Yes, we laugh our heads off, and cry- in front of the class. That’s how children learn empathy and joy, and all the social and emotional elements they need in order to become good people. Isn’t that what’s most important?
There was music! We belted out singing “This Land is Your Land.” There was building and math. Actually it was intense, because the building was tricky. At lunchtime there were Jennie Stories. Oh, that was fun!
Pete stayed in town at a lovely historic inn. He toured nearby Concord, famous for Revolutionary War history. We had dinner together with hubby that night, which was delightful. A two hour dinner felt like thirty minutes.
What a perfectly wonderful day!
The next day at school, children wrote a big thank you letter to Pete. Gloria and Oscar helped. It’s in the mail to him with a few other thank-yous.
Thank you, Pete!
Your friend, Jennie
P.S. Pete has written a blog post about our visit. He has included many photos. Please visit:
Just delightful, in every way. I only ever met one blogger, when she was living quite near me for a while. Her and her husband met us in a cafe in Swaffham, and it was like we had always known each other. At her request, I didn’t take photos.
Heading over to read Pete’s blog post now.
Best wishes, Pete.
Thank you, Pete. It was wonderful! Can you imagine if we had a chance to meet each other? That says it all. I know you will love Pete’s post. I made sure I didn’t do mine until he had the opportunity, as he wanted to keep the two bloggers he met a secret. Best to you, Pete.
Excellent Nice post
Terrific start to a memorable trip!
This is precious! 🥰
Thanks so much, Ritu!
The world of education is a tight bond, Ritu, even though we live in different continents we can see educators who care.
Truly, Pete, we can 💛🙏🏼
Reblogged this on beetleypete and commented:
Two marvellous teachers meet online through blogging, and then they actually meet in person! A heartwarming true-life story for all the family.
Thank you so much, Pete!
I appreciate the reblog, Pete. It was a magical day.
What a wonderful meeting. I love how you both extended your personal goals to involve the children.
Yes, it was wonderful. Children are central to both of us. Pete’s post has some wonderful classroom photos. One day I hope to meet you, Dan. 🙂
I hope we can make that happen, Jennie.
Everything Jennie does is with the best interest of her students in mind.
A warm story. I have been blogging for 12 years and have never met a fellow blogger. Maybe someday, there are a few I have in mind.
Thank you, Phil. It is a wonderful experience, and I hope you get the same opportunity.
I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity to meet Jennie. Now when she and her husband get to California someday (I hope), they will meet another great lady in education—my wife, Debbie.
What a special day for both of you and for the children. Meeting a blogging friend in person is so special. And I love the message of Beaver and Otter. A perfect book to share with the children.
Darlene, it was THE best. Pete was just the same guy I thought he would be, and vice versa. We connected like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while. Beaver and Otter was perfect! Best day ever.
I knew Jennie would run with this idea. It would have been great just meeting her, but seeing her in her element (the classroom) made it that much more special.
Lovely post, Jennie. I bet you and Pete had a lot to talk about!
Thank you, Stevie. Yes, we had a lot to talk about. What a wonderful visit!
I suspect we could have kept a running conversation if given the opportunity.
This made my Sunday Ms. Jennie! I’m so happy about your partnership and friendships that light the room for the kids! Oscar, Gloria, and you two are amazing! 🙏🏻💕
Awww…thank you K.L. 😍
You’re welcome ☺️ 🥰
Gloria is just one example of Jennie’s brilliance. She is a total hands-on teacher and gives kids plenty of opportunities to shine.
yay! so much good in one place at one time. two of my favs!
Thank you, Beth. It was a twofer. And, it was the best day!
You’re part of the club too, Beth. Thank you for what you do for your students.
happy to be a member )
Isn’t it fun when you meet someone– and feel like you’ve known each other forever? Which in this case you have, I guess. Love Oscar, just gotta say.
That’s exactly what happened, Ally! And Oscar is beloved.
I worried that Oscar might steal Gloria’s thunder for a second, but I knew Jennie would make it work. It’s what teachers do each time a new student comes to class.
Thank you, Will!
No argument here, Will!
I enjoyed your perspective on the visit as much as I enjoyed Pete’s. What a special day for all concerned! The children must have gone home so excited to share the news with their parents that they didn’t stop talking until they went to sleep. I can just picture it!
Thank you, Liz. I wanted my post to complement what Pete wrote. It was definitely exciting and special. It was a day we will both remember, and the children will too.
I used to love team teaching and cross-age tutoring at my school. Jennie and I would have been a dynamic duo.
Oh, the two of you definitely would have been a dynamic duo!
Such a wonderful occasion!
It was! Thank you, Becky.
The whole time I was thinking, “I’m sure glad I’m here.”
Oh, I believe it, Pete!
Superheroes don’t have to wear a cape. Having taught for 31 years, I’ve met many outstanding teachers. Jennie is the latest from this noble profession. The lessons she teaches her students will stay with them for a lifetime. Jennie was, as I imagined—the kind of teacher that we would love to have our children or grandchildren have. One of the best things she does is give every child in the class a chance to shine. It’s no accident when former students return to see Jennie. This experience was one of the highlights of my trip.
My goodness, Pete. I am humbled at your many kind words. Thank you. Meeting you felt like an ‘at last’ experience. We had the best time.
What an amazing way to meet the kids. On my best day, I couldn’t have come up with that. Kudos to Pete, Oscar, Gloria, and the rest of the crew!
It really was amazing, Jacqui. Thank you so much!
Part of the reason teaching goes hand in hand with writing is there are many ways to teach successful lessons. I’ve learned so many things from your tech knowledge.
Oh well done to all of you, what a grand day!
Thank you, FR. It was a grand day, indeed!
It’s easy when you have the right teaching friends.
Sweetest post ever! am a fan of Pete and had no idea he was a childrens book lover too!
Thank you, Michele!
Jennie, being Jennie, sent me a framed photo, a lovely letter from her class, and a great book (The Wild Robot by Peter Brown) that I cracked open today.
Fun time, Jennie.
I loved reading ‘your take’ after reading Pete’s the other day. 🙂
And, all things considered, I am still gobsmacked and more than a little envious of you two! Just sayin’…
BTW: I notice that Gloria doesn’t seem to be at all stingy in sharing the spotlight with your classroom’s newest personality! Good for her!
Laura, I still feel gobsmacked! It was the best day. Gloria has been wonderful about sharing the spotlight. She gets extra attention when she returns from her weekend excursions with students.
That’s part of the Jennie magic. Everyone is welcome in The Aqua Room.
So beautiful… Hugs all around! ❤ xo
Thank you, Bette! 💕
Thanks so much, Bette!
Any day is a good day to welcome new friends. What an incredibly special day.
Yes, and yes!
I’ve retired the moniker “blogging friend,” for Jennie. We’re simply “friends.”
Fabulous Jennie and I have shared both of your links in the Blogger Weekly on Wednesday… a wonderful visit that I am sure your class will be talking about often going forward.. ♥
Thanks so much, Sally! It was a day for the ages, one to enjoy and remember.
Thanks for sharing, Sally. I’m staring at the framed photo that Jennie sent me as I type this note—a fond memory for certain.
Wonderful Pete.. what a moment to capture xx
What a neat experience! It sounds wonderful and I’m so glad Oscar is settling in perfectly.
It was one the best experiences, Deborah. Oscar is well loved, for sure. 😀
Jennie is exactly as she appears on her blog—somebody who loves her students and wants to enrich their lives.
Thanks, Pete, for confirming what I never doubted. Her love for her students and work shines through every post. I’m glad you two got a chance to meet up and took it! 😃
How wonderful you two loving teachers would meet up. What a wonderful experience that had to be for both you. ❤
It was, Debby!
What a wonderful meeting two passionate teachers…I’m sure your class has not only been left with an otter but some lasting memories 🙂 x
It was certainly wonderful, Carol. Yes, lasting memories and a beloved otter. 🙂
I brought those memories back home, Carol, and enjoyed sharing them with my friends.
Those memories will stay with you long after you have shared them, Pete as it will with Jennie and the children taking Oscar was a great idea x
Wow! What a wonderful meeting!😊 Hope to meet fellow bloggers too in the future, who knows?❣️⚘️
I hope you have that opportunity!
I had no idea that I would be doing this when I started blogging, but sometimes you’ve just got to go for it.
What a joyous encounter and friendship… Wonderful share Jennie.. ❤
It was wonderful, Sue. Thank you.
Everyone should be so lucky to have a teacher like Jennie.
I totally agree, I’ve often told Jennie I wish she’d been my teacher in my esrly school years. 😁
This is such a beautiful meeting, wish I could have one such experience in my life as well. So happy for you and your sweet experiences.
Sometimes we have to make these things happen. I’ve often found that when you give a little, you get a lot back from people. Pay it forward.
I surely will give things my all. Thanks a lot for your wise words ☺️.
Aww you finally met!! That’s wonderful! It sounds like he had an astounding time and I love that two blogger friends took the time to meet and enjoy each other’s company IN REAL LIFE (as the kids say)! hehe!
It was ‘real life’ and absolutely wonderful!
Yes, in real life, and it lived up to my expectations. I had a feeling you’d guess one or two of the people I was going to see, BB. I hope to have my other post ready on Friday.
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Thank you, Sally!
What a wonderful meeting! My daughter is always telling me how toxic social media is – and I keep telling her that although there are dark corners, there are also wonderful places, too. Like the book bloggers I regularly encounter. And this lovely encounter just reinforces my belief that the internet has brought all sorts of lovely people together, who otherwise would never have met:). Thank you for sharing this, Jennie.
Social media can be a toxic place, but my experience is there is far more of that on other platforms. 99% of my experiences on the blogs have been positive. Surround yourself with good people and I’ll bet you’ll be happy.
Thank you, Sarah. We always hear about the bad social media news, so it’s nice to know there is good out there. It was a wonderful encounter!
That was so fun to get your “side” of the visit, Jennie. What a joy that must have been for the two of you. Two peas in a pod, that’s for sure. The kids clearly had a ball. 🙂
Your comment made me think of the radio personality Paul Harvey, Diana. “And now you know the rest of the story.”
It was, Diana! 😀
Hi Jennie! Met one of my bloging friends a number of years ago. She was a local Florida girl who had married a Dutch man and was living in the Netherlands with her husband and two sons. She was here visiting family. I met with her and her family at a nice tapas restaurant in downtown Tampa. We had a great time and keep in touch. Best from Florida
That is wonderful, Frank! I bet you felt the same way I did, that your meeting was just as you expected the blogger to be, and more so. Writing is powerful, and it forms friendships. I would so enjoy meeting you, Frank. I’m sure Pete Johnson feels the same way. Best from Massachusetts.
Next time i visit my niece, her wife and 3 kids in Belchertown. Or come to Florida on vacation next winter.
Sounds great, Frank!
love this! warms my heart how blogging makes the world small & sweet ❤
It does! Thank you.
What a wonderful day !
Yes, it was!
So sweet ❤️
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Thank you, Michael!
What a great happening! I had read it on Pete’s blog. Sorry, for the delay, Jennie! It was wonderful to see, how Pete tought your class. Best wishes, Michael
It was truly wonderful, Michael! Thank you.