Thursday, March 13, 2008

500th Post


WOW! I had no idea when I began blogging back in December 2004 I’d get to this point. I would like to look back over the past couple of years and see how much water has flown under the bridge. For the most part, blogging has been enjoyable. For me, it’s always nice to know that someone paying attention to my scribbling. I feel blessed to have so many of you reading my blog and cherish your comments as well as I enjoy learning about your life. When I first started blogging, it was an experiment to see what this was all about. I didn’t know anyone blogging, but in doing google searches had come upon some blogs that I found interesting. I entered into the blogging world slowly, only writing occasionally and being read just as infrequently.

It wasn’t until mid-2005 that I began to pick up regular readers, some of whom are still around. One of the first was Angie, (aka Jadeprimadonna, see sidebar for the blogs I refer to here), a graduate student at Clemson who was at the time writing about her Appalachian heritage. From her blog, I started reading Hillbilly Rave (now known as the Appalachianist, a blog that has included his stint in Iraq). I still read both of their blogs and they occasionally post comments here. It was through the Appalachianist's blog that Murf came across me and my life hasn’t been the same since. Somewhere about this same time I came across Michele and her weekend game that encourages you to meet new bloggers has always been enjoyable and helped me to pick up a few readers along the way (such as Kenju, Kontan, Keda, Karen. Carmi and Michael).

By the fall of 2005, I was blogging full-steam. It was then I started reading Suzy-Q (not her real name, but close) from Florida. She was interested in my outdoor posts and a trip I took to Honduras and she had an interesting blog even though she seemed to be a bit more conservative than me (or maybe I should say, she supported this president who, with his fiscal policies, is anything but conservative). Our honeymoon was short lived for she wrote a post, parroting the right-wing talk show host, about how Christmas is under attack from the secular world. Of course, I partly agreed with her, but instead saw the attack not coming from liberals but from business interest that had made the holiday into a sham. I'm not too worried about nativity scenes on public property… We’ll, my response didn’t sit too well with her and soon I found myself at war. About this time, her blog took an extreme right turn. We fought over Christmas and into the winter of 2006, until I and a host of others got banned from her blog. I should have known not to trust her when she took seriously my parody of the CIA sending a gay barber to give bin Ladin a close shave. The best part about this war was that I got to know Ed Abbey with whom I shared many outdoor interests. One of the interesting things about blogging is how one friend leads to another (through Pat I met Gautami, through V I was introduced to Diane, from Pia I got to know Bone, etc).

At first, I did more satire, making fun of Michael Jackson, the President, tidbits in the news like a Chicago streetlight casting the face of Jesus, picking on a blogger applying for grad school at Pat Robertson’s University, and even providing reference letters for Murf. I wrote about travels to Honduras and to post-Katrina New Orleans, about fishing at dusk and watching the stars… I wrote a poems such as an ode for an old hangout at Wrightsville Beach that was torn down when I was a youth, another that honored a farmer friend who passed away, and another for my secret love, Sylvia Plath. I shared with you the tragic suicide of a friend and innocent tidbits from my life. I reviewed movies and books. But my favorite genre has been memoirs—writing about my years working in the bakery (including Linda) to scoutmasters I’ve known, to places I’ve visited, and we can’t forget the Appalachian Trail. One of these days I need to collect all these in a book to give to my daughter so that she’ll know what my life was like before her birth.

I should introduce my side-kick, Nevada Jack, the author of many of the satires and parodies that I’ve written over the years. Some friends gave me this “frontier bear” when I first moved west. At first, I thought I’d name him Yukon Jack (for that Canadian knock-off of Southern Comfort, both sickly sweet liquors). But when I decided to elicit his help with my work with kids, I didn’t think it appropriate to have him named for a type of liquor, hence the change to Nevada Jack. He’s been a faithful companion for twenty years.

From the beginning, I noted I wasn’t going to talk about my family or work and have mostly maintained that standard… A handful of readers know me from outside the blog. Very few of these ever comment in the blog (there’s one exception). Most will email me when something strikes a nerve. A few others of my regular readers have gotten to know better via email, in which I’ve shared such secret information… As for family, I’ve have broken my pledge on a few occasions, especially when it came to my mother (we’ve been dealing with her diagnoses of Alzheimer’s since the summer of 2005) and my daughter who is the greatest kid anyone could ask for. My favorite adventures are with her.

We’ll have to see if I have enough material to write another 500 posts. I probably will, for writing memoirs is a lot like the widow in the Bible (1 Kings 17. A famine was on going and she had only enough flour to make one last loaf of bread. Elijah got her to make him a loaf and she did and found that the amount of flour kept expanding and she had enough for her and her son and the prophet until the famine had passed. I keep a list of story ideas to write, and it seems that every time I knock off a few of them, I’m adding just as many new story possibilities to the list. There are also variations of a tale that I might tell. And then, there are always things going on in politics and in my life which I can make fun of…

Thanks for reading my blog, I feel honored to have so many wonderful readers and blessed to have gotten to know people from all around the world via the blog.

27 comments:

  1. Our meeting via Suzy-Q seems like so long ago.

    Glad to see that you are still pecking away. Perhaps you and I will still be blogging when we are one foot in the grave. Murf will probably be there to "water" them after we are gone.

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  2. Congratulations! Considering the thought and effort you put into your posts, this is a particularly impressive accomplishment.

    p.s. I'd love some recommendations for books on California history!

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  3. Please allow congrats from a newbie to these pages.

    I find it distressing that disagreement so often immediately turns into anger and offense. Some of us tend to listen more closely to an opposing position if it's a) well-articulated and b) held by someone we admire. We might not change our minds, but it's the intellectual give and take which is important.

    Anyway, I look forward to the next 500 posts.

    Cheers.

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  4. It's MY pleasure, Sage. I started coming here due to your thoughtful and sometimes humorous comments at Michele's and others. I have never been disappointed! May you write 500+500+500 more!!

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  5. Congratulations for the 500th post! May you have many-many more. I am very glad to know you via the blog world. It does make the world so much smaller.

    I rememeber reading one of yours posts reviewing on of Deepa Mehta's movie (I do not recall which one) and I have not stopped coming here since then.

    I have 5 favourite bloggers and you are included in those 5!

    As they say, keep us posted( er..keep posting!)

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  6. Congratulations, Sage. It is an amazing form of communication -

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  7. Ya-Hoo, you did it Sage! Congratulations...and hopefully 500 more great posts coming from you. I feel blessed to have gotten to know you! Now I must go read about how you were attacked by a goat. I knew goats were sinister.

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  8. Well, first off, congratulations on reaching the big 5-0-0!

    I think your readers derive as much pleasure from reading your blog as you do in sharing your stories. (You do find pleasure in that, don't you?) :)

    I especially enjoy hearing about your adventures as a kid, teen, young adult and even now on the slopes and on the trails.

    Thanks for being here.

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  9. Wow - what an accomplishment! Now you have to go for 1000 posts, right?

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  10. Ed, it was a while ago... I hate to think how she might water our graves. Thanks for your blog too, I enjoy reading about your adventures and watching (through words) the growth of Little A and I kick myself everytime that i didn't do a monthly entry when my daughter was that age.

    Diane, I'll go through my collection for you and either post it or put it in a comment in your blog. I enjoy reading about your trips, your book reviews (I've read a number of books based on your recommendation) and your lovable mutts.

    Mr. Sherman, I almost gave up blogging then as I felt my blood pressure rise... it was senseless, no one's mind was changed. It's good to have another backpacker blogging!

    Kenju, it's good to have you here--you've now taken over my mother's role of encouraging me to move back to NC!

    Gautami, I feel honored! The movie was either Water or Earth (I reviewed them both) and they are both wonderful films. I do want to watch Fire, but haven't gotten around to it.

    Paul, I'm glad I've discovered your blog too, you do so much thinking on what faith means

    Deana, I've enjoyed getting to know you and to know Martin through you and look forward to his next book!

    Dawn, thanks! Good luck in your upcoming move, I know how hard it is to leave that part of the country.

    Scarlet, I do enjoy writing and I've enjoyed reading your blog too--I'm interested in your experiences coming here as a refugee from Cuba.

    Jadedprimadonna, thanks for being around all along--and just think, you're getting close to your goal!

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  11. You cherish my comments?!? Geez, when I tell you that you should get in touch with you feelings, I didn't think you'd go this soft. :-) I had forgotten about those reference letters. I think I'm going to print them off and include them in my portfolio when the job interviews start rolling in.

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  12. Congrats Sage--finding you through Michele was worth playing the Michele game

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  13. While re-reading your reference letters, I was reminded of another odd chick from your past - Daydreams of Oz. She turned into Suzie a bit there towards the end.

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  14. I have only watched Earth. I liked it. But I do not watch movies much.

    I forgot my 600th post like I did wth my 500th one!

    Alas, no party!

    Today I am here via Michele!

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  15. Murf, I've been navel gazing ever since you told me to get in touch with my feelings!

    Pia, I couldn't remember how it was that we meet--but I have enjoyed your blog and hope you find MB to your liking.

    Murf2, I'd forgotten about her--she took your side on the great Linda debate!

    Gautami, we need to have a party for you! In a way, I think Water ends much more hopeful than Earth, it also has beautful photography.

    THanks Karen!

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  16. here from Michele's.

    it appears i hae some catching up to do.

    Namaste'

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  17. E-mail me at ilyzu1216@yahoo.com and I'll bore you w/ more detail. :)

    Only if you promise to do the same.

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  18. Sage,

    Congrats on #500. I've enjoyed reading your blog, which I found through Diane's blog. I was particularly drawn to your stories that I could personally relate to: such as hiking the John Muir Trail, and visiting the mining town of Randsburgh. I sincerely appreciate that you awarded me the Blogger Reflection Award. Your comments made my efforts meaningful.

    All my best, Danny.

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  19. Well done on reaching 500, Sage. I'm not far off my 600th.

    Michele sent me here.

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  20. Congratulations also to UNC! I think our Tigers are disappointed, but at least we can say we beat Duke, lol! =o)

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  21. Congratulations on your 500th post. I have so much enjoyed your blog. Keep it going. :)

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  22. Congrats on the 500! Sage! Another blogger friend of mine, Yellojkt on my blogroll hit 500 this past week too. Me I'm in the 2000's :)

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