Friday, November 16, 2012

What'sa Girl To Do? It's A Long Story!

And so there are the "blingy" fashion blogs and the shelter blogs.  The blogs who are full of DIY or spiritual insight.  I've read blogs that describe themselves as mommy blogs or garden blogs. There are the blogs who air their laundry, dirty or not.  Some write political blogs and photography blogs...decor blogs...advertising blogs and on and on it blogs, word blogs, coupon blogs, sales blogs and craft blogs, blogs blogs blogs.  Name one.  It's there. 
It's such a beautiful thing, this thing called blogging.
Then there are the "Blog Rules".  Rules? Yes, rules.  Everyone knows you are supposed to follow the rules.  If only you follow the 10 steps to successful blogging you will soon have a plethora of follower's comments and  rising rock star status.  I'm not denying the importance of any of this. You've read it too:  always remember why you have a blog, oh yeah, and um have plenty of high quality photos (sorry) and keep your words to a minimum (sorry least with this posting)  set an appointment with your blog because your audience depends on it, stay true to your original intent for having a blog, develop a network and community, build friendships ( with random strangers around the world) globally, make sure your blog is eye catching, advertise...or is it no don't advertise (just kidding...the blogging community is all over the map on this one) know your audience, say what THEY want to hear not what YOU want to say (oops again), make sure it's pretty, interesting, entertaining, informative and the list continues.
So what are you supposed to do as a blogger (like, myself and I) when you are random and busy and just simply like to blog, because you...simply like to blog?  And you don't necessarily have anything interesting to say or a fabulous life experience to relate or anything necessarily insightful, spiritual, pretty or yummy to show and tell? 
OK here goes. 
Are you ready for this? 
I have a blog because my niece who has blogged since blog time began (or for like 10ish years literally) told me I "needed" a blog and set it up, and then emailed me and said here it is, now blog!  So I waited 3 months and figured out how to write a post and have NEVER published my first blog entry.  Nope, probably never will either.
Then I waited 3 more months and thought,  "Hey, a blog would be a great place to sell stuff."  So I started writing blog posts and attempting to build an online boutique with items similar to the ones I sell locally in our Historical Downtown.  And I did sell some "stuff".  In the meantime other work opportunities came along that were more practical than selling "stuff".  One opportunity led to the next and since I started posting on my blog back in January 2008 I've gotten busier than I could have ever imagined.  I haven't been selling "stuff"  through my blog so my original reason for starting to blog literally fell by the wayside. 
Across these five years, I have realized that I miss blogging when life is too busy to keep up with personal, family and business demands and certainly doesn't allow time for blogging.  
A gentleman in his 80's whom our family admires recently told me, "Rachel, I hope you are writing, writing your story, somewhere besides your blog."  His comment took me back.  Sometimes in the silence there are thoughts and emotions that cannot be expressed adequately until those feelings give birth to words.  The birthing of words, if there really is such a thing, can be painful and labor intensive.  For I believe once a word is spoken or written it becomes an action, it takes wing and flits thither and yon, sometimes never landing and certainly never to be retrieved.  Once it leaves you, it is gone.  In a frightening sort of way your thoughts have been exposed, no longer in the shield of your internal embrace.  Yet there is freedom in expression when the thought brings words of light and encouragement. 
In reality I don't fit the "rules" I suppose.  But what's new?  I was taught to think deep thoughts and feel deeply.  I was taught to do the "right" thing whether it fit the "rules" or not.  I guess I'm just saying I don't fit into the polished plan of 10 steps to successful blogging and all that.  And that is OK.
I've lived long enough to learn that every life has dark chapters. Sometimes there is no way to fix it or make it pretty, and I like talking to you, so when I can come out onto the porch long enough to chat and have a little visit, that's exactly what I like to do.  I like visiting with you and hearing what you have to say.  What you say matters to me.
On a side note, recently I was contacted by someone who wanted their wedding to be based on the theme "A Romantic Porch" as in THIS blog.  Really?  Yeah, really!  If this blog inspired them to have "A Romantic Porch"  themed wedding and hopefully a romantic life, well then, I'm all over that!  
I better go.  It's getting late.  It's a little chilly on the porch tonight and family duties are calling.
It's been great to chat.  Have a wonderful weekend. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Mother's Birthday and Voting

On January 7, 1917, a tiny bundle of  female joy named
 Ernesteen Frances Shumaker
  was born to an United States in which women had no right to vote.  This baby was my mother.
It was not until the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution in 1920 that women were given the right to vote in a Federal election in the USA.  If you choose to research these facts you will find that there were many years of hard fought battles for women to gain this privilege.
It takes my breath away when I say, "If my mother were living today, she would be 95 years old."  Ninety five? Are you kiddin' me? Women didn't have the right to vote until she was 3 years of age.
Women have had this privilege to exercise the freedom of opinion and cast a vote for a candidate whom they feel best represents their values, for 92 years.  THAT'S ALL. Just 92 years.  As I ponder these facts it reinforces in my mind how quickly time passes and how the causes that we feel passionately about can take deep roots and effect generations right on down the line so to speak. 
I cast my ballot on October 31, 2012 because early voting is available in our state.  As I went through the line I asked the people manning the poll stations, what controls they had in place for voter fraud and how the ballots were secured and counted.  When I finally took my place in the voting booth I was overcome with a weighty sense of responsibility and awesome freedom that is mine.  I can do this, this very thing called voting.  If the people who had gone before me and my mother had not been passionate about THEIR rights then THIS right might never have been mine.
And so I VOTED.  Prayerfully I VOTED. 
May I always be faithful to the freedoms that I believe are the right of EVERY American...Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Embrace the day.  Embrace the future.