Celebrations in Virtual Communities

Aunt Baby - A strong figure in her community
Aunt Baby - A strong figure in her community | Source

A Community...

Currently teaching Nursing Care in the Communities to nurses working on achieving their B.S.N. degrees, I am reminded of the many communities that form our life tapestry:

Family - school - church - work - social groups - volunteer efforts ...to name a few, not even including the physical neighborhoods / environments we have lived.

Wait...! How about the virtual communities that readers, writers, anyone with a technological device find themselves belonging to?

In fact, opportunities for employment, higher education and social play are plentiful, just for the looking, in the virtual world.

Neil Diamond: Girl You'll Be A Woman

My virtual reality

While admittedly cautious and slow in all things 'tekkie', I joined a virtual community three years ago called HubPages.

For me, it was like moving to a neighborhood and not understanding a thing about the demographics, climate, protocol, really anything to survive...kinda silly, huh?

I surely cannot imagine moving into a new home, taking on a new job, entering a school program, or joining a social group without doing a great deal of research into the community, the norms and the philosophy. Yet I signed on to HubPages like a trusting child running into a den of cobras.

Neil Diamond: I Am I Said

My virtual connection

Before I knew it, I had followers on this site. I admit at first it felt like being stalked...soon learning it was simply a matter of semantics.

In shift report as a new graduate nurse, I was told a patient had eloped. I got so excited, happy in fact, at the joyful news...!

The overworked, overweight and chagrined supervisor informed me the patient had escaped from the unit. I was simultaneously embarrassed and confused.

Today I tend to use words that mean what I think they mean - if you know what I mean...?!

To elope is to get married and to run away is to escape. And followers are acquaintances, if that. In fact, virtual friends are just as precious as our friends in reality and for me, just as few.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, someone touches you. You realize that you share both vulnerability and bravery with this person. You connect as effortlessly as peanut butter and jelly. You both love Neil Diamond's music and getting lost in gardening.

My 'peace' of reality

A burst of Spring
A burst of Spring | Source

Neil Diamond: I'm Alive

Consider this...

"We know the rules of community; we know the healing effect of community in terms of individual lives. If we could somehow find a way across the bridge of our knowledge, would not these same rules have a healing effect upon our world? We human beings have often been referred to as social animals. But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail parties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task--our essential, central, crucial task--to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceed."

M. Scott Peck
The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace

Martie Coetser

Source

Neil Diamond: Forever in Blue Jeans

My Virtual Twin


I cannot imagine a day for the last three years that Martie Coetser hasn't enriched my life.

With nerves of steel on the exterior and the innards of a marshmallow, Martie inspires me each and every day through her example, actions and ever salty mouth. I am proud to be her big Sista and reign her in -- not nearly as often as she would have you think!

I am forever proud of the subjects that Martie tackles in her writing. No issue is too controversial, yet every issue is written in a most honorable and objective manner.

Now, mind you, Martie serves quite often as my big Sista too. She is 'no holds barred' in telling me when to shape up or even to go easy on myself about the issue of the day. And in 100% of the situations, her counsel is sage and has helped me grow.

I can be myself with Martie, serious or silly as the situation warrants. I imagine what it would have been like growing up with her, while feeling as though I've known her my whole life. It is quite funny how often our daily moods match before we've even read each other's correspondence. In short, she is a 'true blue' jeans friend...!

And on this lovely Spring day, April 15th, I wish my Sista, Martie, a happy, healthy and perfectly beautiful birthday. May the gifts she gives so freely to me and all of those who love her be returned to her a million times over...

A Maple for Martie

As per your request, my Sista
As per your request, my Sista | Source

Neil Diamond: Play Me

A virtual celebration

Break out the streamers, the balloons and virtual cake and ice cream (every flavor under the rainbow) on the house for Martie's big day! How wonderful there are no concerns about the calories or the cost when you stop on by...!

And my dear Sista, if there are already not enough reasons to celebrate your role in our community, then here are a few more:

M otivator

A dvocate

R espectful

T eacher

I nspiring

E ager

C ompassionate

O utspoken (in the best of ways)

E nergetic

T enacious

S incere

E thical

R eliable


Please take a moment to tell Martie what gift she has given you in the comment section.

Happy Spring to all and my love to Martie always, mar

© Maria Jordan (April, 2014)


Just wondering...

if you have an online best friend?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

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48 comments

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Wonderful, beautiful and touching.

Voted up, ABI and shared.

love and hugs

Shyron


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Aw ... I just knew there was something extra special about this very day ... our beautiful Martie's birthday! Woo hoo, I do not believe I have ever read a more beautiful birthday tribute. And I am not surprised coming from Martie's ... just as beautiful virtual twin, Maria.

I hope I am the first to arrive to the party, so I will not be crowded out and able to give Martie her many birthday (((Hugs))) from me! I have my blue jeans on and dancing to the tunes. Maria, you are a most excellent party planner here. Those flowers are oh so lovely but they pale in comparison to the beauty Martie radiates ... just look at that lovely photo of her beautiful smile.

Maria, you have outdone yourself on your acrostic poem, as it is excellent and just perfect for Martie.

I am so glad Aunt Baby was invited to the party too.

I do love my HubPages community of special friends. Maria and Martie you are both more valuable than the rarest of gems on this planet.

Dearest Martie, I am so thrilled to have met you here in the community. I respect the beautiful, strong and oh so wise woman you are, and I could not imagine this community without you in it!

I hope this birthday is the best birthday ever, as you deserve the best this life has to offer. Enjoy your day to the max!!!

Up and more and sharing with the world ... I hope you don't mind dearest Martie if the world celebrates YOU!

More (((Hugs))) and much love as always,

Faith Reaper


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

P.S. Love music by Neil Diamond.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

My dearest Maria, how wonderful to wake up on my birthday and to be surprised like this. I am laughing because I am so happy to have you as my online sista/best friend, and I am crying because I am so happy to have you...

Mar, you have no idea how much I appreciate and enjoy your love and support.

Thanks you so much for this.

This is going to be a wonderful day.

Let's party!

Oh, and thanks for inviting my most favourite singer and favourite songs...

Forever in blue jeans..... yeahhh!

Hi, Shyron and Faith! Thanks for attending my virtual party :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Faith, you are a very-very special lady and I feel so privilege to have you as an online friend. I am giving you a big, virtual hug :))


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Happy Birthday, Sista Martie...It is 7AM (EST US time) and I am just waking up. Thank you for keeping your party going as I was sleeping! Hoping everything is just lovely for your special day...I have told Mr B that "the sky is the limit"! Love you with my heart and soul, mar

Shyron, Thanks for coming by the party twice! I am thrilled that you love Neil Diamond's music as well. I am planning to read some more of your wonderful poetry soon.

Faith, Thanks for your meaningful and thoughtful comment to Martie. Mom always taught me to give people flowers when they are alive. You have done this to our SA Sista with your words of love and friendship.

Love and hugs to all, Maria


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Mar, 1pm down here. B is spoiling me with a lunch beyond believe - Gordonbleau - fillet steak stuffed with smoked oysters and cheese smothered in red wine, with caramelized baby carrots and Brussels sprouts with a cheese sauce. Desert will be Black cherries flambeau with ice cream. I'm having champaigne while he is enjoying his favourite red wine.... Neil Diamond, of course, in the background.....

I am overwhelmed!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about...

B did get my memo...hee hee!

Please tell him I am thrilled at the menu selection...now please, back to your man, my dear Sista!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh Mar, this is the most beautiful birthday tribute. What can i say that will let Martie know how much she means to me. We became friends about four years ago. We were both in pain from hurtful events. We consoled each other by taking trips together, we went to all of the exciting places in the USA, then she took me to Africa, ( Her private pilot picked me up. ) We had a ball!, of course this was make- believe trips in which we played out our imaginary fantasyland on paper and emails. I have watched Martie become an excellent writer. Happy birthday Martie. Mar, you are a true friend to many in this community we call Hubville. I am proud to call you a Dear and devoted friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday dearrrrrrrrrrr Martie. Happy Birthdayyyyyyyyyy to youuuuuuuuuuuu.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

How very lovely of you, Maria, to write this for Martie. Happy Birthday, Martie, and to you, Maria....love always.

bill


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Oh darling Ruby, I know how crazy Martie is about you as well...I entered the picture as you two were already good gal pals and you were both so very warm and supportive to me. Thanks for this awesome comment!

As Momma would have said...'another country heard from'! You are showing off some powerful vocals, young man and I thank you on behalf of the SA Guest of Honor!

Thanks for stopping by the party, dear Bill! Both Martie and I appreciate you so much...

Hugs to you all, Maria


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

@ always exploring – we have come a long way! So good to know you, my dear Ruby.

@ mckbirdbks – ever thought of singing opera? I honestly heard your impressive tenor voice :)

@ billybuc – Thanks a lot. So good to have you in my circle of friends :)

@ marcoujor – Mr B says your memo hit home; he could not ignore it. BTW, the lunch was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait for dinner...... :)))


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Sista,

Wear loose fitting slacks for dinner...I wrote Mr B quite an essay outlining dinner requirements...all I can say is mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Enjoy!


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman! What a lovely tribute to the hubpages community, as well. Not too mention Neil! Maria, you are one of the loveliest people I have the good fortune of knowing. You and your sista do hubpages proud! Xo


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This was absolutely delightful to read, fun to listen to and wonderful information on community. Neil Diamond, how dreamy and perfect for this grand birthday celebration. Happy birthday Martie! I was amazed by the poll where 100 percent of readers have an on line friend - Wow. That is powerful information. The pictures were fun too - I loved seeing Aunt Baby and learning more about you.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I came back to listen to Neil, one more of my favorites...


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

Both you and Martie are the best in my book.

TFP


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

@ marcoujor – Puleez, I am trying my best to act my age, so, I am wearing my blue jeans...... Lol!

@ btrbell – With Maria in our corner we can do about anything. She WILL protect us against whoever are against us

@ PegCole17 - Aunt Baby is so part of Maria, in my mind I always see the two of them together. Two ladies of stature. I see this virtual world (HubPages) as a more divine reality, and I feel so-so privilege because all my friends in here are part of the crème de la crème on this planet – wise people with insight and vision – everlasting virtues.

@ always exploring – I will never get enough of Neil Diamond :)

@ The Frog Prince – I am sending you a hug and a kiss, even while I am not supposed to flirt while I am the girlfriend of the most awesome man in the world. He he......


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Hi Y'all,

Randy, You are lovely as well and thanks for stopping by with such wonderful remarks today.

Peg, I am a bit surprised at the poll as well and always fabulous to see a comment from you. So happy you like Neil's music also!

Ruby, I'm not surprised...our musical tastes are so similar!

Ah shucks, thanks, TFP :)

Hope you enjoyed your dinner and movie, dear Martie...have a happy and peaceful night's rest! Love and hugs to all, mar


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a beautiful tribute to Martie, Maria. Thank you for creating it. Best wishes to you and a very happy birthday to Martie!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

I joyfully join in this virtual birthday celebration and wonderful tribute to the talented, outspoken (in the best of ways), compassionate Martie, who does indeed have all the other wonderful attributes you so creatively pointed out in this hub.

I bring admiration of both of you to this fun party and if we were all together in real life I'd whip up some frosty Margaritas in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions.

Sending a Bouquet of Blessings, Hugs and Love to both of you,

Gail


suzettenaples 2 years ago

What a beautiful birthday tribute to Martie. I love her warmth and sense of humor and her intelligence and concern for others . She is a hoot and she does make each of us feel special and her friend. I am amazed at her ability to reach around the world to each of us. Happy Bithday Martie, to a great woman to know on social media and HP. You light shines brightly!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Came back to see how your wonderful day is going, and it is going wonderfully and then some ...

My goodness, Martie, your B is a keeper no doubt! That lunch is beyond divine and making my mouth water! Enjoy every delectable bite.

Cheers to you and B!

Hugs again to you too, Bluejean Maria, as I see a little behind the scenes planning there went on ... what a special friend you are indeed, and all of us already know, but I believe in saying it as much as possible.

Love to all


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

@ AliciaC – Thank you so much for your best wishes – Amazing how much power lies in positive wishes; they reinforce our guts.

@ Happyboomernurse – Your Bouquet of Blessings pulled my tears. Thank you so much for your continuous support.

@ suzettenaples – The wonder of online friendships is that we are not obliged to accommodate people we don’t like. That ‘unfriend’ and ‘unfollow’ buttons are just too easy to activate. I feel honoured to have you as an online friend :)

@ Faith Reaper – Oh, that lunch was supper delicious. I wish I could have it again today. Sadly, it destroyed my plan to become a vegetarian. Now I need to feed my feelings of guilt again with some gruesome videos. Gosh, I hate being a carnivore!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Good Morning, Y'all,

As I suspected, this party has no intention of stopping any time soon...!!!

Alicia, Always a true pleasure when you visit! Hope you are well.

Boomer is in the HOUSE...and bringing hub hugs and Margaritas for us all...seeing you Gail is an instant smile! Welcome to the party...

Suzette, Your words for Martie are beautiful and ever so true.

Faith, Did you sneak a coconut cake into this party because I have a hankering for a morning (OK, afternoon, Martie...!) visit with my Sistas!

Yes, coconut goes with Margaritas...LOL!

Hugs and smiles to all, Maria


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This may be the very first party ever that I have arrived "late!!" However, seeing who the "Guest of Honor" and "Hostess" are....I'm confident this is an on-going kind of celebration!

BOTH of you ladies are made of gold and diamonds.....an honor and a pleasure to know. I love you to pieces! I call you my "friends" with pride.

I understand the bond you share and am not at all surprised. The "kindred-soul" attraction. Yes, I have an online best friend....as though the entire community doesn't know WHO! My FIRST Hub-Love, of course.......my "main squeeze,"...."Sister From Another Mother"...! Linda Sue Sunshine625!! If not for SS, I wouldn't have joined here.....and may have bailed early on if not for her help and support (patience of a Saint).......Which means.....I would not have all the wonderful, gracious and BRILLIANT Hub-buddies I treasure today! I owe her a debt of Gratitude.....and believe me, she'll make SURE I pay!! LOL Short little spit-fire that she is!

I'm always happy to celebrate with a Sister-Aries.....they're the most FUN in the Galaxy!! Happy Easter to all!! Love, Paula


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

A wonderful read Maria and voting up for sure.

Here's wishing you a great day and lots of love from Wales.

Eddy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Happy Birthday, Martie! I'm so sorry I missed the actual celebration day. Maria, you are right. Martie touches the lives of those who know her. She's intelligent, funny, ready to lend an ear, resilient, strong and stands up for what and whom she believes in.

What a wonderful way to celebrate our friend from S.A.!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

@ Fpher - you and SS suit each other like sticks and drums, like Mar and I, and yet we are all playing in the same band :) Imagine having a holiday on a tropical island, playing our favorite songs.... Thanks for joining us in here :))

@ Eiddwen - lots of love to you from S.A. :))

@ bravewarrior - I can't imagine our circle of friends without you. What we see in each other are reflections of ourselves; the more we see of our admirable traits the more we like each other, the more we see of our less admirable traits, the less we like each other. I like you to bits :))


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

This is awesome and what a lovely way to wish Martie a happy birthday. Marty has always been one of my favorite people as a friend and great respect I have for her as an author.

Maria you or another person that I have great respect for and I am just amazed at all you have accomplished with your writing in the last few years. Absolutely awesome and beautiful club


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I hope I’m not late the party. What a wonderful birthday tribute…and from one of my favorite hubbers to another favorite. This brings such a warm and generous smile to the heart. Happy birthday, Martie! Hugs to both you and the amazing Maria. :-)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Oh wow, Sista, I have obviously been too busy having fun at your party to comment...my, my, my!

Paula, You are clearly not late for the birthday bash (LOL)! Us golden gals need to make an entrance that will not soon be forgotten! And you are 21-karat in my books!

eddy, Always so lovely when you stop by...thanks!

Sha, You have summarized our Martie in a most accurate manner...and I can certainly say the same about you!

Pamela, Thanks very much for your visit and warm remarks. I also have the utmost respect and admiration for you. I am looking forward to catching up with the work of yours I have been missing.

Thanks, sweet Genna. I am heading to read about the fabulous Robert Redford soon...hope all is well with you.

Martie, hoping you are resting and being very good to yourself this weekend. Know that you are loved with all my heart!

Happy, peaceful weekend to you all, my dear friends. Hugs, Maria


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Traffic was a b*tch, but I finally made it to the party (enters room and quickly looks around for the drinks with umbrellas because she is feeling feisty) I'm so glad you enjoyed your birthday SAA! I'm sure Mr. B made your special day even more special! :) I DO have an online best friend also...I have many amazing online BFF's, but my heart belongs to Effer, she has an abundance of patience for Sunshine ;) as does MM and SAA. I love y'all XOXO


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

I think Matie has touched many of us in a special way. Her unique writing and thorough way of covering any topic is so enjoyable. I hope her birthday was fantastic. This is an awesome hub and makes some great points about friendships online. Hugs.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

I can't tell you how much this moved me. I will say that I feel sometimes like peanut butter ( Reese cup) and I have a dear friend who allows me to be a *nut* every now and then. I am so blessed to read your work. And so grateful and humbled to consider you a friend. Shared, tweeted and up to the angels. You are so very dear to a lot of us here. Thank you. :-)


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

I really enjoyed reading this. I was very moved. I shared, tweeted and voted up. You are such a blessing and I enjoy very much your talent and how you are such an inspirational gift to so many! hugs! and Shalom


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Wow, Linda, I must have gotten stuck in the same traffic jam...OK, seriously, I was too busy watching Bates Motel (yes, for ten days!), so thanks for your patience with this tardy response and thanks even more so for "your" kind visit!

Pamela, I agree with your astute comments about Martie and very much appreciate you stopping by as well.

Jo, You are the sweetest and most nurturing lady, who now has gotten me craving a Reese's cup in the worst way (LOL)...!! Your friend sounds fabulous and I know that you both share a wonderful and supportive relationship with each other...nothing like that! Thanks for your visit and shares...I am so terribly behind visiting your beautiful work and will be by as time permits.

Hoping you all have a peaceful and lovely week. Hugs, Maria


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Maria, I love Neil Diamond's music, getting lost in my garden, is impossible with this year's drought, and even yesterday thunderstorm was just enough rain to dampen the spirit, not enough to settle the dust. And I could not turn on the PC for fear a power surge would fry it, and did have one power surge that tripped the surge protector's GFI.

But, friends like you, are reality. You get to know a person's heart by what the write. There are also other hubber friends that I talk to on the phone.

And to Marti, this is one beautiful birthday bash that virtually, will never end....so as long as we keep this going you can't grow older.

Blessing †

Love Shyron


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Thanks so much for this detailed and beautiful comment and warm thoughts to Martie, dear Shyron.

I have been spending some time catching up on your latest and thinking what a gifted poet you are...hoping others take the time to do so as well.

Have a lovely week. HI to you too, Martie. Love, Maria


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

This hub says everything about the beauty of friendship and the importance of community. A wonderful birthday tribute to a dear friend. Beautifully done.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Thanks for stopping by with these lovely remarks, tobusiness.

Hope you are having a great weekend. Hugs, Maria


Car51 profile image

Car51 24 months ago

Not especially into online messages -- I much prefer face to face contacts. I often find just responding to emails overwhelming!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 24 months ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Totally understandable, Car51...it's certainly my preference whenever possible as well.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 8 months ago

Maria, I had to come back and share this again with all our virtual friends. It will soon be Marti's birthday again and she will be just another day older, I hope it is fabulous.

Blessings and hugs dear friend


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 8 months ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Thanks for coming back and remembering a special friend's birthday with me, dear Shyron.

Have a peaceful day. Hugs, Maria


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 8 months ago from South Africa

Auuw, so nice to read this one again, Maria. Thank you, Shyron, for sharing it again. I believe my birthdays will always be fabulous, thanks to wonderful relatives and friends :)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 7 months ago from Jeffersonville PA Author

Your birthday IS fabulous because it celebrates YOU, my dearest SA Sista.

You have made our Tax Day a wonderful day indeed...Love you, mar

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