life

The Beauty of Blogging

When I was a kid I read Jelly Side Down by Erma Bombeck every whatever-day-of-the-week her column appeared in the Detroit Free Press.

Somewhere in my subconscious I wanted to write a column, too.

And that, right there, is the beauty of blogging.

You don’t have to wait until you’re invited to write a column. You don’t have to work your way up, or know someone; you don’t have to hope and pray someone will publish your words.

For that matter, flashing back to today’s earlier post*, you don’t have to blow anything or anyone up in order to be heard. We may not have even had a unabomber had blogging been available back then (except that Ted hated technology).

All you have to do is click the Publish button in the upper right hand corner of your post.

So what if you don’t get paid.

So what if only a handful of people read it.

Or is it that you didn’t want to write a column so much as you wanted to be a rich and famous columnist?

“Do what you love and the money will come,” Dr. Morris said.

And I say do what you love even if the money has no intention of coming.

If you’ve always wanted to be a coach, coach little league.

If you’ve always wanted to be a counselor, volunteer – the non-profit will train you.

If you’ve always wanted to be a mom, be a foster mom.

You get my drift.

I’ll never get to be Perry Mason without first going to law school, however, and knowing what I know about how the legal system works, I’ll never get to be Perry Mason even if I do go to law school.

But I got to kind of live out my desire to be Perry Mason and my desire to be a counselor all in one during my juvenile court days as a social worker.

And now I get to kind of be Erma Bombeck, sans her humor and her audience.

What have you always wanted to do that you are kind of doing?

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, “I used everything you gave me.” – Erma Bombeck (one of my heroes)

*Forgive me for breaking my no-more-than-one-post-per-day rule.

 

 

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life

Bring it on home to me.

When my phone starts playing Bring It On Home, I know the Hub is calling.

It’s such a great marriage-as-it-should-be song.

And it’s great blogging advice.

Sometimes I miss the start of my blog – back when I was completely anonymous. When I could take to my keyboard and type furiously until I got it all off my chest.

Now that I am out of the closet and can no longer say what I really think, I bring it on home to the hub.

Or to my daughter. Except she is conflict averse and gets a stomach ache.

The hub is old enough and wise enough to just listen and say something soothing. Or say nothing at all.

Anyway, today Suzy Speaks posted about self-censoring one’s blog and she made an excellent suggestion.

Something I had never considered.

She wrote, “Remember that you don’t have to publish more personal posts on your own blog – talk to a trusted blog friend about posting on their blog anonymously. You get to write what you want, they get the views. Everybody wins.”

So fellow bloggers (who trust me), if you have something to get off your chest, feel free to bring it on home to me.

 

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life

Goodnight Friend.

My daughter discovered Delilah when she was nine, while visiting her grandparents in Florida.

She fell asleep to her smooth, nurturing, hopeful voice every night until sometime in high school.

At the end of the day, Delilah supplied the perfect song for whatever her callers were living through and all was right with the world.

When I was nine, until sometime in high school, I watched Marcus Welby, M.D. every Tuesday night.  His kind and caring manner, paired with the kindness and caring of his nurse and office manager, Consuelo Lopez, sent me to bed knowing that caring, competent people were out there in the world.

And if the ABC Movie of the Week was a scary one, my sisters and I ALWAYS watched Dr. Welby afterward.

To take our minds off the scary before bed.

It worked most weeks – unless Dr. Welby was the scary.  Unless we went to bed convinced we were afflicted with that episode’s malady.

Why am I telling you this?

Last week WordPress notified me that I have been blogging with them (with anyone) for three years.

And I started thinking why?

What, three years in, is the purpose of my blog?

And then Delilah and Dr. Welby came to mind.

And I think I’d like my blog to sorta’ be that.

At the end of a day – if you are anxious, scared, lonely or just tired – you can read about my ordinary day, my ordinary life and go to sleep to a familiar voice.

 

 

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life

Gardener. Priest. Stranger. Friend.

The hub had a garage sale the other day.

A table full of fishing tackle.

Lots and lots of tackle.

A table of woodworking tools.

From when he had a shop.

Two tables were covered in framed Red Wings posters and photos.

Some of them autographed.

From when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups.

A woman – a stranger – walked up the driveway, breezed right past the garage’s offerings and headed for the arbor that leads to the backyard.

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I intercepted just before she entered.

“I want to see your beautiful flowers,” she said.

“There’s not much to see,” I said, puzzled.

She brushed her hand over a plant in one of my trugs.

“What’s this?”

“Cilantro.”

She took a whiff.

She wanted to see my garden.

“It’s pretty wild this year, I haven’t been out here much.”

I pointed to where the garlic and raspberries grow.

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“See those Lamb’s Ears? I didn’t plant them and yet there they are.  Just appeared out of nowhere a couple of years ago and now they’re spreading everywhere.  This is the first time they’ve flowered.”

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“I’ve got lots of large, overgrowing yellow flowers that my mother gave me,” she said.

She described her house a few streets away – with two big white swans in the front yard.

Invited me to come by and dig some up if I want.

Before she moves.

“I bought a small house with a big patch in the middle of the backyard.  It’s all overgrown – used to be a vegetable garden.  I don’t know what to do with it.”

“Turn it back into a vegetable garden!,” I suggested.

Enthusiastically.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Do you have any brawn?,” I asked.

“Brawn?”

I pointed to my husband. “Yeah, you know, someone who can till the soil for you?”

“No,” she said, “I just divorced a sense of direction.”

There are ant hills in all the cracks in her patio at the new house.  Biting her ankles.  A gardening blog suggested pouring boiling water over them.

So she did.

“This is my confession,” she said.

She looked me in the eye and implored, “I’m giving you my confession.”

I gave absolution.

“Killing them with chemicals probably wouldn’t have been any easier on them.  At least the water isn’t toxic to you.”

“Or my neighbors,” she quickly added.

There it was. Absolution. She had already come up with her own.

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“Is that basil?” – she pointed to two healthy plants in the near trug.

“Yes, we’re having pizza tonight. Margarita pizza.”

“What time should I come over?,” she laughed.

I pointed out my black krim tomatoes.  “They make the best pasta sauce – such a great depth of flavor.”

She admired my trugs some more.

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“My husband built them for me,” I said.

“He builds and you make your own pasta sauce. A match made in heaven,” she chirped.

“Turn that patch back into a vegetable garden,” I insisted.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Make friends with some brawn. Do you cook?”

“Yes,” she looked puzzled.

“Make friends with some brawn – maybe a few – and then make a deal.  They prepare your soil and you cook them great meals from the bounty.”

The sun rose on her face.

She high-fived me.

“I have to go pack.”

She said as she breezed back down my driveway.

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And I felt strangely sad.

 

 

 

 

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life

A Successful Failure

I was a brand new blogger when I signed up for my first NaBloPoMo in 2014. I thought the challenge to extract something interesting out of every single November day might be fun.

It was fun. And it felt good to succeed.

Well done good and faithful blogger.

My daughter cringed. She said real bloggers don’t participate in things like daily prompts and NaBloPoMos. By real bloggers I assume she meant bloggers like Ann Voskamp and Glennon Doyle Melton.

I’m not a real blogger. I’m a real person who likes to blog.

So I signed on again in November 2015. My self-imposed assignment was to look at life through 1 inch frames.

Every day.

For 30 days.

Some of it was drivel, I confess, but again I met the challenge.

Success.

This year I thought NaBloPoMo would be a breeze since I wasn’t hosting my large family for Thanksgiving dinner as I had the previous two years.

So, again, I signed up.

I was clipping right along.

And then on Saturday, November 19 at 10 pm I had nothing to say.

I had been running on 5 hours of sleep/night for several weeks and I was profoundly tired. Profoundly tired.

Come on rally, I thought, you still have 2 hours.

But I couldn’t, I wouldn’t.

I thought about looking for something interesting to re-blog. But my fried brain started to whine and my fatigued eyes kept slamming shut.

I thought about re-posting one of my old posts. But whenever I scan old posts I can never find a good one.

I wanted to earn that swig of Gatorade. I wanted to give myself a last-day-of-the-month high-five. I wanted to, once again, be a NaBloPoMo success story. 3 for 3.

I ALWAYS rally. ALWAYS.

But that fateful and exhausted night I made the decision to be the boss of my blog and just let it slide.

And slide it did.

It slid for two more days down that slippery slope.

And once you’ve murdered one three day block, it’s easy to kill again.

I failed to post six times in all during NabloPoMo 2016.

And it feels like success.

Success because my affection for you, my dear blogging friends, won out over my desire for perfect attendance.

I spared you an excess of drivel and that feels right.

I can high-five that.

Makes me feel like a real blogger.

So long November.

#fadedglory

 

 

 

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