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Ten Years!

This week marks ten years since I began blogging with my first post having been published on February 9th, 2013.  Never in my wildest dreams did I envision I would still be blogging ten years later.  But incredibly since then, I have been coming to you every Sunday morning for the past 520 weeks (with an occasional guest post from one of my siblings).

Those that have followed me for several years know why I post on Sundays but for those of you that may be new to my site, I post on Sundays in honor of my dad who was a Presbyterian minister for over 40 years.  Since he brought a weekly message to his congregation each Sunday morning for over 2,000 times, I thought I would follow in his tradition.

Reaching this decade milestone, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on how I got start blogging and why I have kept it up since then, a story that I originally told in a series of posts seven years ago.

After three years of blogging, I realized it was time to share with my readers why I had created my own website and begun writing my blogposts.  I had verbally shared the reasons with my family but as the number of new individuals following my blog grew, I thought it might help them to understand as well.  Early in 2016, I published three blog posts that really explained the entire process.  Here are links to those original posts (“The Black Book”, The Black Book – My First Attempt, and The Black Book – My Version) in case you want to read the detailed version of my story but for those of you who might just prefer an executive summary, skip the links and read on.

Just by reading the titles of those posts, it should be obvious that it started with a “Black Book.”  But this is not a story of the ubiquitous little black book that men used to carry with them that contained women’s phone numbers whom they could call for arranging dates.  No, this is actually the story of a big black book.

Sometime after my dad retired, my parents decided to write their story together for all of their descendants—my siblings and me and their grandchildren.  “The Black Book”, as it has become known, is a tension-clasped binding of what appears to be manually typed pages.  At the end is a collection of old photos showing my parents at different stages throughout their lives and us four children as well.

It’s a story of all our lives, at least through 1996 when it was finished and now that my parents have been gone for over 20 years, it is the sole source for all our family to go back and rediscover our history.

Inspired by my parents writing their story together, I began to think that my wife and I should write our own story together for our kids to have.  I knew there would be much more time for this after I retired and that this would be a fun retirement project to jointly work on, but I was afraid that if I waited until then to start writing, that some of my memories would be lost forever.  My wife, who has an incredible memory, didn’t share this fear.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that our kids would one day appreciate us writing down these stories.  And with the advantage of modern-day word processors and self-publishing tools my parents didn’t have access to, I would be able to incorporate old photos throughout the story rather than just at the end that would add visual appeal to the finished book.   So, in January 2008, I undertook this project and wrote the first chapter of my life capturing my earliest memories.

Once I had finished that first chapter, I gave it to my wife to read who had been my dedicated proofreader for over 30 years and who in my opinion, is a most accomplished writer herself.  I don’t recall my wife’s exact words but suffice it to say they were not encouraging.  I mulled this feedback over for a few days and then in spite of really wanting to write this story, I gave it up.

Three years after my halted attempt at replicating my own “Black Book”, my niece created a new treasure when she published an updated and expanded version of the Black Book that she gave to her mother (my oldest sister) for Christmas that year.

Seeing the professional quality of my niece’s Black Book resurrected the idea for me to write our own story.  It was fun to read my parent’s story again and see the new photos as well.  And I was even more convinced that our story had to be written.  But time and other distractions got in the way and so the idea was pushed to the back of my mind.

I had never read a blog before so was completely unfamiliar with the concept but when I learned my daughter had begun a blogpost, I went to check it out.  I began to read my daughter’s almost daily posts and felt a real connection to her even though she lived almost 2,000 miles away.  It was a real treat to read her eloquent words—for unlike me, she is a literary scholar—and get a glance into her thoughts and feelings through her prose and photos.

Not long afterwards, my wife started her own blog, and I began to read hers as well.  My wife is very creative, and I highly encouraged her along the way.  Then she invited me to be a guest writer on her blog and thinking it through, decided to write one on my love of calendars.

The feedback I got was tremendous and highly encouraging.  I also found it personally very rewarding to go onto the Internet and find something I had written, something that anyone could find through a search engine.  Thanks to my daughter’s introduction to blogposts and my wife’s invitation, I decided to start my own blog.

My first step was to jot down some potential ideas that I would want to blog about.  I came up with a list of about 25 topics and so convinced myself that I had enough to get started.  I wrote a couple of drafts and had my wife proofread them.  The feedback I got was much better this time.

As I wrote these early posts and added new topics to my list as they came to mind, I realized that I was telling the stories that I had always wanted to write in my version of “the Black Book.”

Interestingly, it is not structured like I originally envisioned my black book would be—in chronological order.  But nonetheless, it tells my story and my interactions with all those I love.  And along the way, it has helped me to discover some things about myself.

Having written now for ten years, I think I have captured many of those stories I wanted to preserve for our kids (and now grandkids).  Occasionally, I recognize the need to relay one more of those old stories but now most of my posts are about current events and activities.  But of course, years from now, I know I will be happy to have told them so that they also can be returned to and relived.

So that’s my story.

Each year as I mark the anniversary of my blogging, I always want to extend a big THANK YOU to my dedicated readers, my followers, as well as my occasional readers, who were it not for your continued intertest, your interactions, and your thoughtful comments, I would just be writing a personal diary.  I am truly honored that you take the time to stop by my simple little blog and I hope you continue to read and enjoy my future posts.

So, in closing, as most of you already know by now, I love cars and love to drive and have often used these rides as a metaphor for my posts.

So, thanks for coming along on this 10-year ride so far.  I hope it will continue to be an enjoyable journey for you.

Here’s to another fun year.  Cheers!

4 thoughts on “Ten Years! Leave a comment

  1. Congratulations, David, on your ten years of blogging. I always enjoy reading your posts. I learn about different things, and I am inspired to pursue my varied interests in a thoughtful way. And that is true for this post, too. I am encouraged to continue blogging. To be honest, with my mother’s passing, I haven’t felt like it lately. Your post reminds me I am capturing memories, and that my blog has strengthened my connections with a number of others in my life – my children who all live far away, a cousin in another city, my neighbors and even friends from grade school who found my blog. I hope to catch up on some of your posts that I missed while I was on my blogging sabbatical. I especially like the “book” recommendations – those posts give me great ideas for books. I like to give each of our kids a book at Christmas, and your posts give me good recommendations. As far as “old memories” go – I like to think I will capture mine over time, piecemeal – in blogging posts that I write during winter months when we are not traveling. I also think that someday I may create “books” which capture in a tangible way certain posts. Perhaps one for our travels and another for family memories. Thank you for all your posts, and I look forward to reading many more in the future.

    • Hi Betty, thank you for this most wonderful comment! I am pleased that my posts can provide you with inspiration. I have considered creating physical books as well and may do so one day.

      I know losing your mom has been hard so once you are ready and you are “back in the saddle”, I look forward to reading your future posts!

  2. I’m so glad and so grateful that you’ve kept all these stories and photos for us, from the past but also the present, as caring for young children has put a stop to my blogging for now! I always look forward to Sunday mornings to see what you have written. Thank you for doing this, for us and for you! Cheers to ten years!!

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