Have we told you this story? We met the McEwans on a train from York, England to London in September 2009, when we were on our home-school launch trip. When we got on the train in York, we discovered that Mary Jo and Andy were sitting in our seats (which were also their seats, as the reservation system had double-booked us). We sat down in empty seats next to them and ended up talking for the entire two-hour journey to London. By the time we arrived in London, we had decided to correspond. When Natalie started sending them issues of her “Applewood Quarterly,” Andy would respond with wonderful letters, which Natalie would answer. A year after our meeting, we invited them to meet us in York for 3 days. A month ago (three years after our serendipitous meeting) they met us in Paris.
We were indeed strangers on a train, but not for long. Perhaps the train computer wanted us to meet each other! We love the way a delightful friendship literally fell into our laps. By the way, Andy drew the illustration of Applewood Schoolhouse, which you see on this website. See Natalie’s post “Los Angeles to Glasgow” to read a letter she recently wrote to Andy.
We will soon write a post about the art and fun of letter-writing.