Love By Blog: The Back-Story

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Thank you all for such a warm welcome to! Some of you asked how I came to be in a small, remote fishing village in the Highlands of Scotland, so I’ll tell you! I promise that after this I’ll go back to stories about life in this wee village.

Really, it’s one of those things that’s probably becoming more common these days: Love By Blog. My now-husband and I both had blogs on the same site, and by some random alignment of stars we ended up with one mutual friend, out of thousands of bloggers. I’d noticed his comments on her entries, and was immediately intrigued. I was also, however, realistic… For starters, we were both in relationships, plus he lived in Scotland and I was in Pennsylvania. I had to consider him “my online friend,” and nothing more. Well okay…. I did feel ‘more’ but I knew it was impossible. My relationship wasn’t great but I assumed his was fine, and so for a couple of years we were friends without the possibility of anything deeper (little did I know). But then our lives changed at about the same time. I ended my relationship (doomed for quite some time), and I got used to the idea that mine was likely to be a solitary life. Meanwhile in Scotland, his relationship (similarly long-doomed, unbeknownst to me) ended as well and he, too, settled in to a life on his own.

One crisp October day I discovered one of those phone numbers that would let me call most places in the world for pennies per minute. I wrote in my blog, “Anyone want a phone call?” It was a question aimed solely at him despite being oh-so-casually general, and to my delight he answered, “I would!” Soon we had our first phone call, and that was it, for me; I was hooked. By then, our poor long-suffering online friends were regularly howling ‘get a room!’ when we got flirtatious in comments to each other’s posts, and we’d been emailing quite a lot each day as well. While I had little idea what he looked like, I knew his heart, and before too many months had gone by he was planning a trip to America to see me. I often thought, “this is crazy!” but equally, “this is going to happen, isn’t it?” and soon I was breaking it to my mother that a guy I met on the internet was coming to visit for two weeks and that yes, he was going to be staying in my apartment. I was never worried that he would turn out to be some creeper armed with a bag of tools and a ‘bottle of perfume’ for me to sniff. Instead, I worried about being a disappointment to him – I’m not the prettiest flower in the garden, and I am basically round – but as it turned out, Sem knew my heart, too, and that’s what mattered.

It was a fine spring day when Sem came strolling down the International Arrivals corridor at the airport. I’d gotten there early, excited and nervous because we were facing two weeks of constant time together… and how on earth would that be? We’d spent countless hours on the phone, on Skype, and writing emails and private blog posts to each other for the better part of a year but this was real-life, now. What would happen? 

What happened was that he spotted me first – and he didn’t turn around immediately to catch the next flight home (whew)! Instead, I saw him leaning around people to catch sight of me waiting impatiently behind the barrier – and I most certainly did not want him to go in any direction other than towards me! My heart thumped a bit and then he was there. Hugging him was as natural as breathing, and he looked as happy to see me as I was to see him. On the train home we sat close, holding hands, hardly believing we were together at last. I can still feel the heat of the day and the warmth of Sem’s leg against mine as the train clacked and clattered along the tracks towards home. The strange feeling of familiarity with someone I’d never actually met was offset by my certainty that this was the right thing – us, together. I was pretty sure he felt the same way. 

The drive from the train station to my apartment was short, and soon we were home. What next, I wondered. I closed the door behind us and when I turned, Sem was down on one knee. “Marry me,” he said, taking my hands in his… and, saying yes, my life changed forever in every good way.

Deb Segelitz was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and is astounded to find herself living in the Scottish Highlands. Equally surprising to her is that she now has a small business restoring and selling old fountain pens. These two facts have convinced Deb that life is either beautifully random, or filled with destiny created by someone with a sense of humor. She hopes the fine north state residents will accept her as an honorary member, since she has some cousins in California who she visited once, but even more importantly because the north state folks she actually knows are fabulous people, who are also the reason for her presence here on An enthusiastic amateur photographer, Deb is grateful that she lives in a place that’s about as point-and-shoot as it gets. Her tortoiseshell cat, Smartie, rates her as an average minion, too slow with the door-opening but not too bad on the food-dish-refilling, and her husband hasn’t had her deported back to the States yet, so things must be going all right there, as well.

Deb Segelitz
Deb Segelitz was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and is astounded to find herself living in the Scottish Highlands, sharing life with her husband, a Highlander she stumbled across purely by chance on a blog site. They own a small business restoring and selling vintage fountain pens, which allows Deb to set her own schedule and have time for photography, writing and spontaneous car rides in the countryside. She is grateful to the readers of ANC for accepting her into the North State fold.
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32 Responses

  1. Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

    Ain’t love grand? The world is filled with amazing stories where good things happen and the right people find each other and I’m so happy you shared yours!

    More! More!

  2. Avatar Erika says:

    Sniff… now I’m all ferklempt. What a lovely story!! More, please!! And more pictures!!!

    Thank you, Matt for cluing me in to this!

    • Deb Deb says:

      Thank you, Erika! I’ll have to ask Doni about how many photos I can add to future articles without going over a limit of what’s ok to post. I’m glad you enjoyed my ‘love story’ – there are many days when I still can’t believe this is my life 🙂

      • Oh, Deb, feel free to send photos galore. (Joe will kill me for saying that.) If you have more than say, six, we (Joe) can create a slideshow. We love your photos. And I love your story.

        You give love a good name, and you give us hope that it’s never to late to find true love. Thank you, Deb, for sharing your story. 🙂

        • Deb Deb says:

          Thank you, Doni! I will add more photos in the future (while trying not to drive Joe batty)!

          I was for a long time an enormous cynic, when it came to the idea of ‘true love.’ I’ve lost all my single-girl “street cred” now that I’ve gotten married but no one was more delighted (and surprised!) than I was, to find out it could even happen for me. 🙂

  3. Avatar Kathleen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story!! I too would like more. I so enjoy your writing style and the insight into your life.

  4. AJacoby AJacoby says:

    AHHHHHH!!! All in caps. . . . with a line of exclamation marks and a couple of sniffs at the end. Welcome . . . now, both of you, come visit!

  5. Avatar KarenC says:

    Lovely story! You know, I was not sure how I really felt about on-line meeting, between the opposite sex. After all, some folks post photos of themselves 50 pounds lighter or 15 years younger, so in actuality, one was telling a lie. After reading your story I came to realize what a great way, and possibly less dangerous, to meet someone and really get to know their heart. Words we say tell a lot about us, when and how we say the words tell much about our true character.

    Anyway, loved reading about you and your Sem…looking forward to more stories about you and your wee village. Oh and by the way, you have a charming face…I see a bit of whimsy, playfulness, a touch of sass and someone I could be friends with.

    • Deb Deb says:

      What a lovely comment, Karen, thank you! My face is now grinning at you 🙂

      The good thing about the various ways of internet communication nowadays is that it doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Sem and I had spent hours (days! weeks! months!) on Skype on our webcams once we got over our initial shyness. He saw me first thing in the morning, or when I was off sick from work, or when I was happy, sad, tired, etc. Similarly I saw him when he was tired or unwell, or excited and happy or grumpy or sleepy or any of the other seven dwarves. By the time we met in person, we knew exactly what we looked like, “warts and all” as they say. There were no surprises.

      I agree with you regarding how words say a lot about who we are and what we believe/think/feel. I know there are a LOT of scammers out there, and people who know just how to use words to deceive, and who only show their ‘best face’. That makes caution a sensible thing to practice, online! But with the amount of communication Sem and I had, first in the written word and then on the phone and then face-to-face via Skype, it really was a great way to truly know each other.

      Thanks for reading, and I’m already cooking up my next article! This is FUN!

  6. Avatar Ginny says:

    Love makes life beautiful!

  7. Avatar Jennifer Mitchell says:

    Deborah! What a lovely story! I have always known you are an amazing writer! This give such a beautiful insight to your relationship and touched me very deeply and gives me hope I might some day be as fortunate as you both are to have found one another. I love the photos and all the blogs. Can’t wait to read more. Sending love from Pennsylvania! 🙂

  8. Avatar Dee says:

    Thank you Doni for posting this beautiful story on Facebook. Now that I have moved from the North state to the Southern Ca I sometimes forget to read anewscafe.
    Did you ask Deb if Seem has any brothers?
    The story was inspirational and gives us all hope to find that love and soulmate.

    • Deb Deb says:

      *Grin* No brothers, Dee, sorry! There is a cousin but he is apparently somewhat disreputable, so I wouldn’t be steering anyone his way! Glad you enjoyed it. Many days, I can hardly believe it myself!

    • Great minds, Dee. I already asked Deb the same question. 🙂 (And I’m glad you rediscovered Welcome back.)

  9. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    I started working at a high school over 20 years ago and I had no support. I was shown a classroom of desk but I didn’t have paper, pencils, books, a stapler, nada. What saved me was a chat room of teachers..who gave me so much encouragement and assistance. In the time that I spent with these people, I learned about the true “heart” of the people who helped me. I didn’t need to know what anyone looked like. I learned who they were. I can so relate to this wonderful love story.

    • Deb Deb says:

      What an experience, Joanne! I understand that, too. Now that I’m 3,000-8,000 miles away from family and friends, the support of friends both seen and unseen in various groups is immeasurable. I’m glad you found people who kept you going during a difficult time!

  10. This lively, wonderful conversation between readers and author is my reason of the day for being so supremely proud of

    Seriously, where else does this happen?

    I feel the love, and it makes me so happy to be here.

    Carry on.

  11. Avatar Bill Hoffman says:

    Twyla Tharp said “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” I’m thinking now, writing is the only way to find home and invite others for a visit. I greatly enjoyed this visit and look forward to the next!

  12. Avatar vix says:

    I’m just catching up with your articles now (you know I am slow on the uptake) but I am squealing at the thought of how it really happened; I don’t think I ever knew the real story and that is so, so romantic. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all and I am off to your next adventure!