Books always afforded me introductions to new people in new places with new ideas. However, upon entering the blogdom I dipped into streams of like-minded groups regarding homeschooling, politics, literary avenues, and spiritual guidance. I found little “new” on my programmed paths. Soon, however, I found side-jetting rivulets to recipes and home-enhancement projects with such immediacy that I dropped off the reading of many glossy (ad-larded) magazines and read spontaneous essays and perused casual photo shoots from novices, just like me, dancing through life with interests and hobbies to share. Curiouser and curiouser, I cruised out into open waters of regular-old blogs of unknowns from who-knows-where who elected to open the door and wave the casual passer-by in for a peek. I hesitated . . . I dithered . . . I wondered what it would cost? Boredom? Easy enough to leave unnoticed. Shock? Pretty easy to turn tail and run at the first sign of danger or horror. Confrontation? How virulent a tone did the information fount spill out and would I need reply? Once again I took comfort in the anonymity factor and plunged ahead.
Once I left the well-trodden path of commercial or political sites I plunged down into green pastures of new ideas, verdant coves filled with lives blooming and growing far from the shadow of our cultural constructions. TV, radio, newspapers, magazines all “shared” a carefully constructed view for a purpose: to inform for revenue. More crassly: To convince me to buy whatever festooned the page or framed the dialog shouted my way as I paused in my daily routine for a moment’s refreshment -- crazy really, to fill my free time with a non-stop barrage of pushy ideas. I cast aside TV nearly 20 years ago, found radio to be a droning bore, and loathed the ink-staining from a newspaper splashed with “SALE” ads everywhere. Magazines remained relatively clean and inviting, and the internet provided ink-free news with a world-wide option that informed me beyond the local mind-set. Still, the ads annoyed me and I retreated to books, books, and more books when real conversations ran short at hand.
One night during the final email check before bed (eagerly anticipated, as my overseas friends often shot off a missive early in their day but late in mine), I received a homeschooling newsletter containing an invitation to read the blog of the author’s daughter as she traveled via car through New England and on up to Prince Edward Island. The gypsy would punctuate her trip with stops at an intriguing variety of authors’ homesteads along the way: Walden’s “Pond,” Louisa May Alcott’s “Orchard House,” and many more leading up to the crowning jewel -- a tour of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s precious PEI, home of sprightly Anne with an “E.” I linked to that wonderful meandering e-diary of a young girl in her compact car on a quest for something intensely personal and strangely familiar (having visited the Island recently with my own dreams to find), and read with delight of the wanderings of the heart and gifts found thereupon.
For quite some time I read the blogs of this family alone, having received personal invites as another family member stepped up to the keyboard. I never ventured to seek and find a doorway all on my own. I dared not peep in an intrusive fashion. But one day a comment left on this familiar blog begged following and then it happened . . . like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I found a world most unusual, most open, most surprising, and most friendly. I met dear ones who danced, cried, sought, revealed, and lived most openly within the borders of an electronic neighborhood knitted together via the click of a button and the whim of a reader. Like reading an endless stream of dust-cover introductions, I flitted from this one to that one to another and back again. Exhausted at times, saddened at others, but mostly delighted, and always intrigued to return again for another post, I read as a nameless consumer of thoughts until I found a woman suffering as her father lay dying. Having recently lost my son, I reached out in the form of a simple note of prayer and support set into an ocean of comments. She wrote back!! That thin tendril of real interaction instantly replaced the anonymous window-shopping I had previously engaged in. I gingerly wrote back and a pen-pal effect ensued. I then ventured out on another’s comment page, thus beginning a new phase of blogging.
Eventually some of my “real life” friends began engaging in blogging and I thought it made sense to start a blog of “current events” in our household and break the need for that lengthy letter each Christmas. I never intended to find new friends, nor did I believe I would unbutton my heart and spill forth deep feelings – rather, this bloggy thing would be a message board with pics and entertaining tidbits to allow me to communicate in bulk about our bulk activities.
Okay, you know the next line as well as I do: My friends didn’t come to visit . . . but others did . . . and they became my friends! I never entertained the idea of such a world-wide pen-pal fest and SO MUCH FUN! I feared a time-gobbler but found the necessary restraint through various automated “readers” and tools and SELF-CONTROL (which I pray for DAILY). This journey to e-Wonderland has even yielded connections with truly-live writers who formerly only inhabited the back leaf of a dustcover for me. What a Gift!
Thus, a girl who lived much of her girlhood with nose firmly planted between the covers of a book, grew to be a lively woman who lives, loves, and learns in a life filled with family, friends, books, and now bloggers. It’s a WONDERFUL LIFE!
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And Now I leave you for a few days as I whisk away to San Francisco with Miss Lydia. We have received invite from a dear sis-in-law/auntie in the Bay Area to come visit the sights of San Francisco with her. All others opted to stay home for one reason or another, so Lydia and I embark on some rare “alone” time. I will return at week’s end with pictures and memories captured in words and whims. Until then . . . ; )
*All pics from Disney's Alice in Wonderland