Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Traditional Fifth Anniversary Gift: Wood
The traditional gift for the fifth anniversary is wood.
Bernie neatly chained sawed some wood for me.
After all...five whole years of blogging ought to be worth something, right?
There has been a lot of changes in my world during the past five years.
Some changes were big, others quite small.
For instance: five years ago...on June 1st 2006, I didn't have a peony bush and now I do.
(Truth be told, last year I didn't have a peony bush either...)
Five years ago I began to blog because a friend was blogging her life from Switzerland.
She encouraged me to give blogging a try too.
(Eventually Bernie and I got to go visit our transplanted Texan friend in her new European digs and I was able to blog the whole visit!)
Five years ago I began blogging because wanted a place where I could do writing "finger exercises", a place where I would practice my written communication skills daily.
I didn't even have a digital camera back then.
All images had to be formed via carefully selected words.
I had to use storytelling and re-counting situations for posting about my life on my blog.
With family in California and Utah, and me in Texas...I wanted a way to communicate without making them feel like they had to take the time to respond like they might if I just wrote them an email.
A blog post could be an easy way for them to tune in to my world for a moment if they wished to.
Some family members wanted to read my posts, others were too busy to bother.
(I also never had bleeding hearts in my garden five years ago....)
I had hoped to use the blog to engage in both light hearted and serious prose.
When it struck me to do so, I would research and react to whatever came my way.
(Because that's what librarian's tend to do anyway.)
And then there was the millinery part of the blog.
The blog would become a place to document millinery wonders that I found, and millinery creating attempts that I made.
By the way, I am still really interested in millinery.
If you are interested too, HERE and HERE are links to milliners in the UK that I really admire. Classic, classy wearable hats, headpieces and bridal pieces too.
Sigh. Makes me want to clear some time for some millinery work really soon.
(The lily of the valley: first time I've had that in my garden too. It just bloomed today!)
My blogging had to have a bottom line, a guideline if you will: Blog to please myself.
Sometimes that easy sounding guideline really wasn't easy at all.
It was tempting to peek at other blogs that had gathered a large audience and wonder if I should target subjects of interest to broader audience.
It was easy to feel hurt when I would labor to communicate something I felt strongly about, only to have only one or two comments, while a post about something unbelievably trivial would result in a string of comments.
I got the mind frame that friends and family had actually read what I had written, and was irked when they asked me about something I had just written about, like where I had gone on vacation.
More than once I have considered putting the old blog out to pasture and just enjoy taking pictures for my own pleasure instead of writing about what is going on.
Mostly I am over all that.
Five years down the road: What have I gained by this almost daily exercise in cyberspace?
I've gained a way to revisit special days and moments, like Fourth of July Parades, arriving in my great grandparent's home town in Germany, the farewells to pets and places.
I find I have forgotten a lot of details about days and events until I re-read what I wrote at the time.
Like how it was when it snowed on us on Memorial Day....in Switzerland.
That's the kind of stuff that slips from one's memory too easily.
As a way to back up one's memory, blogging just can not be beat!
What I really really like though is all the interesting people I have come to know via blogdom.
Some blogging friendships moved from random blog comments, to email discussions, then phone calls and then even in person visits.
The Weather Channel map now has names and faces to go with their places. Funny how one can suddenly care about a storm in a place from which a blogging friend writes!
Just a couple of weeks ago I got a "do not publish" comment from a woman in Connecticut. She said she believed we were relatives after finding a post I did several years back about my paper clip inventing great grandfather Corneilus J. Brosnan.
In the comment, she included her email for me to contact her.
I wrote her an email...she wrote back:
I have been trying to locate information on my grandfather Tom Brosnan for years. He was born in Ireland and came to the US with his family.
My father always said his dad had a brother Cornelius who moved to Massachusetts. So while searching for my grandfather, I also searched for Cornelius. I found his baptismal record... and was thus able to get a baptismal certificate for my grandfather. I am so happy to have finally reached you!
Once I found the Brosnan info on your blog, I wasn't sure where to go...I tried the libraries in SLC, and then a friend suggested I try reaching you thru the Blog.....
Interestingly enough, I am also a Librarian (Archivist) I have a cat, I love to garden, and I collected stuffed mice....including a Christmas tree trimmed with mice!
I also know that there were Brosnans in Wallingford who were milliner.
My family has wondered for years where my great grandfather was born in Ireland...thanks to this long lost cousin, I know have not only the town he was born in, but also the church he was baptised in!
And who would have imagined two women with a relative in common that was born in the early 1800's would have so many things in common!
So that is what comes of day by day blogging...you just never know when a new friend or long lost relative will land in one's life via blogdom.
(When I began blogging I had never seen a Lazuli Bunting before...)
Yes, it is about that, and gardening and birds, traveling (oh so much lovely traveling!) and creating, family and friends, seasons and weather, politics and problems, work and play.
(Five years ago it was Tiggie and Tidbit that cuddled together like this...good Texas cats that they were. Now the two Utah born kittens snuggle and purr as I write.)
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
Or so says Socrates.
It really would be too much to say "the unblogged life is not worth living"...But I will say this: blogging really does make one much more aware of the stuff that makes up one's life.
A blog is a way of creating a window into one's world.
Others may stop by for a moment and enjoy seeing what I view or they may simply pass by without looking or even knowing the window exists.
For me...every time I use a blog post as a window into my world, I feel more aware of my days and my world, and find I am more likely to celebrate and be thankful for all that life has given me.
(And as for the "Finger exercise" of blogging to improve my writing skills? Oh gee...I confess my prose and sentence structures have actually become much worse. I'm OK with that...I have promised myself that I will go back and fix all that some day. Yeah right....!)
So if you will humor me a bit on this, my fifth blogging anniversary: Will you leave a comment about when you first remember reading a post on my blog?
I'd like to have a tiny record of when through this blog we first met.
You will be writing on an electronic format, so we can say you are saving a tree by not using paper...and that tree wood that you save will be my Fifty Anniversary gift!