Marta Silver was one of the first people I met when I stumbled onto blogging via Times and Seasons. I’ve quoted her often as saying of T & S “They are the nicest group of people to completely ignore me” which she corrects me as originating elsewhere (I can’t remember who originally said it).

Considering her name and her quiet almost reclusive presence on the blogosphere, I’d pictured her as very thin and dark and mysterious. She came to visit me week before last and guys, she’s about as quiet and dark and mysterious as Mrs. Santa Claus. She’s also as wise and warm as you’d expect from Mrs. Claus.

I’ve been pretty much a recluse the last five months. I live in this quiet little retirement trailer park and know none of my neighbors. I’ve spoken to one woman a couple of times and she’s very nice and met the couple three trailers down when they were the only ones home and I needed to use their can opener (the things one takes for granted when living in a “normal” marriage…”).

I go to the post office, the library, the grocery store, completely unknown and anonymous. I work and I sleep and eat if I have the energy (unfortunately, that energy is fast returning). Sometimes I blog.

I’ve enjoyed the complete silence of my days—my phone seldom rings, no one visits. It might sound sad, but it’s what I needed. I like being anonymous. My co-workers have no clue that I have another life, that I’m something other than the inept staff who comes in to be regularly manipulated by troubled girls.

There are bloggers I “talk” with much regularly than Marta. In fact, I wonder once in awhile if she’s left the building completely. But she’s e-mailed me a few times in the last few months with gentle sensitive words. When she contacted me with news that she would be in Salt Lake for the Sunstone Symposium (didn’t anybody from MM attend?)and wanted to come visit me, I was delighted.

I’ve met a few bloggers—Brian Gibson and his wife, Heather um, can’t remember which Heather!, Sarebear, and ARJ & Amira (I thought that lunch was rather awkward given that Bill and I separated a month later and things were not cool between us) and it’s kind of scary. How do you act–in real life? Will they like you? All the usual worries.

Somehow, though, I never felt that way anticipating Marta’s visit and when we met, it was like a reunion, not a first meeting. I felt completely comfortable being myself with her. She is every bit as geniune as she seems and she was WONDERFUL with my grandchildren.

I’d already planned to take them shopping for school shoes and she came with—when Rowan asked her bluntly, “who are you?” she replied, “I guess I’m an extra grandma.” Well, Rowan ran with that, she ordered her around, “Extra Grandma, come here!” and Marta went for walks and visited just like she was their grandma.

Just the other day, Rowan said to me, “I miss Extra Grandma.”

Me too. I realized how isolated I’d become when it dawned on me she was my first real company. Besides my daughters and sister, and Bill, she was the first person in my little home. I drank up her serenity and felt at home with her. We had a lovely, lovely visit.

I think her visit was God’s way of telling me, “You’ve had enough time, time to come back to real life.”

Well. I’m resisting that one. I like living here knowing no one and having no association with my neighbors except for the old couple down the street who seems to be convinced that I’m a drug dealing tramp because I drove 20 mph (not 10) on my way to work. No clue who they are–but that’s for another day.

I think we all try to out-do each other, be the first with the pithy phrase and to let each other know this is just a spare-time gig, a hobby, with no real meaning in our lives. We want to be erudite and above emotion here, to pretend it doesn’t matter if someone disses us or our opinions. How silly. Of course it matters. We all want the kudos. Of course, blogging is huge part of our lives and the people we deal with, fight with, commiserate with and mourn with are real people. I’m grateful that God sent Marta into my life.

Here’s a cute picture of “extra grandma” and Rowan and Max. We did have such a nice time.