It’s good to hug a person

Amtrak by Rod Melotte

I bought one of Rod’s pieces, but not this one! It had a train in it however!

Ten years ago I lived on Delaware Road in London. Colin had gotten himself half-addicted to internet poker (mostly because he understood the algorithms) and I, in an attempt to connect with him in on his online poker island, suggested writing a couple’s poker blog.

It was adorable… called “Poker Sweet Home: Married to the Flop”.

It didn’t last very long. It was a great idea, but I wasn’t in love with it… so both of us peeled away from the writing after a half of a year, for our own reasons. (While trying to make a baby as well…)

One great thing came out of my blogging at that time: Colin and I met a fellow online poker player who went by the name “Grinder.” He lived on “Grinder’s Island,” which, as far as I could tell, was in Wisconsin somewhere.

And when he wasn’t reading our poker blog or writing his own posts, he now and again followed my personal blog here.


Over the course of the years, through commenting, then guest blog posts and emails, and of course now Facebook, we became friends. I met his wife and daughter virtually as well. We poked each other in the original FB way… then in the now more common FB way, in light-hearted comment battles.

This past spring, I dropped “Grinder” (now I know him as just plain “Rod”) a postcard. The kids and I were going to be in the general Wisconsin area and probably it was time for us to meet face-to-face.

Elizabeth Howard and Rod Melotte

So we did!

While visiting with my best friend, I discovered Rod was showing his photographic art at a juried show in Lake Mills, WI… JUST 12 MILES AWAY!

My daughter, Tati, was pretty sure that Rod was an old boyfriend. But I told her, no, that was definitely not the case. Even moms have friends who are boys! Some of the best friends are boys!

Rod Melotte Curious Cows

I bought one of Rod’s pieces, but not this one. Though these cows were in contention.

I was glad to see him at that art show, because I had been trying to buy a piece of his work for awhile… and since we’d driven out from CT, I could do it on the spot!

Like Colin and I, Rod had reinvented himself a couple different times in the last 10 years. Grinding away at the poker blogs had given way to a love of art, photography, meteorology, and local politics (the good kind!)

It’s beautiful to watch another person’s creative spirit expand and shift.

But really, after all this time, it’s just good to hug a person! Finally!