Saturday, January 09, 2010

reading, writing . . . and re-reading . . .

I really love to write. It's why I blog. Not so much of a journal or diary exercise (although it is that), but as an outlet to write. I've written stories since I was a young girl. I especially enjoyed writing reports on books I'd read. I made my way through my year at Ole Miss by writing papers . . . for others. For crying out loud, I was a journalism major! I also wrote lots of short stories in college. Not to be published or for notoriety, but for the sheer pleasure of expressing myself, my thoughts, and my very wild imagination with the written word.

The thing is, I am also an avid, nearly unquenchable reader. Which means I understand the importance of a well-written work. I know what I like to read, and I know how difficult it is to read a book, even a paragraph--I can forgive the occasional poorly structured sentence--that is not well-written. It hurts my head.

I started this blog on September 1, 2003. That means I'm in my seventh year with this same blog! It's come a long way, as has my diligence for writing in it. Over the course of seven years, I've only logged in 187 posts, so my faithfulness to the pen (or keyboard, as the case may be) is not to be commended! As I've commented recently, I can either be living life, or commenting on it. It's tough to do both. And besides, writing--the way I want to be read--is WORK! No really; it's w-o-r-k. Not that I don't enjoy the work; just acknowledging the plain fact that it is, indeed, work. I think I've made my point.

All of that being said, from time-to-time I enjoy going back and reading old blog posts. I did just that yesterday, as I realized I was closing in on Post 200. I started back at the first entry and skipped and hopped through the last seven years. The scope of what I wrote about varied. Sometimes I've blogged about my faith and my walk with Jesus; where I've struggled and where He's delivered me. Often I share tidbits from my day; from the spectacular to the mundane. For a (brief) period of time I logged my exercising and dieting. Ugh. (Now I have a *private* blog for that sort of thing.) For a while I blogged about cooking through the Mitford cookbook. It took me two recipes to realize that was a no-go. I've blogged about quilting, cooking, family, and reading; things I've enjoyed and, well, things I haven't enjoyed quite so much.

On my first day, I blogged about pear dumplings. It was the very first time I'd made them and in the course of making them, I found a cool gadget I'd gotten from my Grandpa Wadleigh's kitchen when he passed. Now, it's not likely that I'll forget the dumplings or playing with the pastry frame; but because I wrote about it while it was fresh on my mind, I was able to capture nuances about that day that I might not have been able to remember seven years later. How sweet it is to go back and read that entry and be transported to that day with all its wonderful tastes and smells and sensations. Lovely.

It was nearly a year later when I blogged again. Lemme 'splain. You see I journal, too. I like the physical action of writing, with a pen, on paper. I don't care for redundancy, so typing in the blog what I've already written, seems like a waste of time, effort and energy. Who cares where it's recorded, as long as it *has* been recorded. So when I wrote on paper, I was less likely to make a blog entry. Which I regret, now, but it's water under the bridge; milk that's been both spilled and cleaned up already, so there's no point in spending any more time on it. Except to say that I can't carry years and years worth of journals with me on the RV to read back though. (At least not if I'm going to keep my Tea Time magazines and all my quilting books. Priorities.)

As I was saying, the next time I blogged was July, 2004, where my thoughts mostly centered on Jocelyn. She worked that summer in Hague, Virginia, helping my sister who'd just had her fourth baby. We also purchased Jocelyn's first car, as Joc was getting ready to head to Blue Mountain, Mississippi, as a college freshman. I'm glad I chronicled some of my bittersweet thoughts of Jocelyn's transition from high-schooler to college student. She was my first bird to fly the coop! September and October had a few posts, mostly regarding my (ongoing) battle with weight. And then the blog fell silent again . . . (no mystery there, huh?) . . .

Until for some reason I picked it up again in May of 2005. I blogged off an on through the year until September, when I switched to Xanga. I fell to peer pressure; all the cool kids were doing it. In December I went back to good ol' and meticulously cut and pasted all my Xanga entries to this blog. In my final entry of the year, December 30, I touched on my dilemma of blogging vs. journaling. How appropriate!

In 2006 I posted just as irregularly, but I had figured out how to post pictures to my entries. Pictures made a nice difference. They make a good break between paragraphs. And since a picture paints a thousand words, using pictures allows me to cut back on my typing time. Haha. I crack me up! Notice this entry has no pictures. Heh.

The year of our Lord, 2007, has the fewest posts scattered through it since I'd started this thing in '03. And most of those posts started with, "I need to blog more . . . " Oh well! I picked up the pace just a little in '08. Wait, no I really did not. I went from a skimpy nine entries in '07 to a whopping FOURTEEN entries in '08. Wow and blow me away. In 2008 I started sharing bits and pieces of my quilting. I like the ability to photograph my projects in their various stages and post them for posterity. It's especially nice when I'm working on a quilt that is a gift for another.

Last year I finally got a bit more in the blogging groove. I fancied up the page, brought in a pretty little template, and added gadgets to my blog. I played with color and layout. I started reading other blogs and posting links and sharing stuff, like my favorite websites. I'm not sure why, but I was a little more compelled to blog. Well, during the second half of the year, anyway. Errr, well, during three months of the year, I mean! I started off with a bang in August and trucked right along into September and October, but waned in November and December. I wonder why? It couldn't have been the fact that we moved . . . from our brick & mortar home to our fifth wheel. Or the holidays . . . and our last Thanksgiving in our Hunter Road home. Or Christmas and the whirlwind of activity--parties, shopping, church events, etc.--that it brings.

No, it couldn't possibly have been any of those things . . . :)

A new year, a new leaf, and new resolve to express myself more regularly and consistently. For no one's benefit than my own. So that in seven months or in another seven years, I can sit down and re-live the sweet moments of 2010. Sitting at the picture window watching the birds and animals, with my best friend & husband. Holding precious Sawyer Graham Panter for the first time. Watching my children and their spouses continue to grow in God's love and grace; and love each other. Seeing God's hand in the ministry as it grows and is used to His glory. Spending time with family and friends. Chronicling this amazing, God-given journey.

And expressing myself in my favorite manner (other than pantomime); in writing.

The end.


post script: I'll post pictures again tomorrow. Sheesh!

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