Monday, March 13, 2017

Why I blog ~ my column from Sunday's paper

The seeds of this column came from my Life 101 blog entry on March 7, 2017. 

The sky was ash gray when I left for work this morning. On the way to my office, I flipped on my wipers. There was just a smattering of rain at first. The lack of moisture made my new blades squawk against the windshield. But that soon changed. By the time I pulled into the parking space about 7:30, the blades were sweeping gallons of water off the glass.

Standing at my office window, I twisted the clear acrylic rod hanging from the top of the window. Opening the blinds a little more gave me a better view of the courtyard from my

A student scurried from the admin building under an umbrella. A gust of wind whipped out of the south. I thought it might be a Mary Poppins moment, but she leaned into the wind ran for the cover of the portico. It rained all day.

There was no chance for a good photograph for the blog I write each night, so as I often do, I went to the archives.

I came across a picture of me in front of an Orvis store. Orvis is a high-end store that sells fly fishing gear and apparel, among other things. I had a big goofy smile on my face, and I was wearing a new hat.  For the life of me, I could not remember where we were when Jilda took the photo. When I looked at the metadata (an electronic timestamp), the date read October 22, 2011. Still no idea.

On a whim, I looked back through my blog posts from October 2011. I saw that we were in Apex, North Carolina on that date. I remembered that we’d driven there so that Jilda could attend a yoga training. Yoga Warrior training helps yoga instructors understand how to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This condition sometimes occurs after traumatic life events like war, disasters, or extreme emotional episodes. 

After classes one day, we drove around exploring. When I saw the Orvis store, we had to go in. Inside, I sipped hot apple cider as I browsed box after box of exotic flies with names like Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Muddler Minnows, and Zebra Midges. I had to fight the impulse to give them my American Express Card in exchange for everything in the fly fishing session. As I read back through my blog post and journal from that day, I could almost smell the rustic cedar beams.

People often ask me if I get paid to blog every day. I tell them I that I write each day because it helps me on my path to becoming a better writer. The questioner usually shakes their head as if I had an incurable disease.

But another benefit of writing each day is that it provides a historical record. Life is often mundane at times, and it goes by fast. We don't always do things that will make the world a better place. Sometimes we do things as simple as shop for fishing flies or buy a new hat. But these are the small threads that make up this wacky tapestry of our lives. 


  1. Beautiful. I'm pleased and privileged to share this part of the "wacky tapestry" with you. My (7 years) elder sister closes every letter to me with "Love...and KEEP blogging!" I happily pass that encouragement on to you.

  2. I am so glad to have found your corner of the whacky tapestry. And Geo's. And rather a lot of other people's...

  3. I agree blogging is a great way to record our history. Memory fails us at times but reviewing a blog post sure can refresh what we have forgotten. One look and it all comes back to memory.

  4. So true blogging is like keeping a diary or writing a journal. There has been more than one occasion that I've looked back in the archives to see what happened that day in past years.

  5. I don't blog for money, when I started it was more for therapy... today I write so that I can look back to see how I've grown xox

  6. I never thought blogging would be anything more than a way to keep in touch with family and share photos. As time went by most family members use Facebook. My blog turned into a journal for me. I've looked back many times to see what happened in the past year. Turning the posts into a book at the end of the year really brought home to me the importance of my blog. Then there's the wonderful folks I've met in the blogging world!

  7. Good article, I did smile. THANKS
    I started blogging so the family could keep up with us. Now it is just random thoughts. Mostly.......

  8. Love your posts. Yes, I blog to help me remember, also. It's such fun to go back and see my earlier blogs. Now that we are retired from the high seas, those blog posts about all of those years at sea are good to have. I also keep a monthly record of our needlework and wood working projects through my blog. I often amaze myself at the number of things that amuse us. Life is good!

  9. My blog was begun to have a written form of the stories I have told my children about our family. I think it is important to know who you come from. There are funny stories, sad stories, and a bit of history. I want my offspring to know them all.

  10. There are times when I question why I blog but you've provided good reasons for continuing. Thanks.

  11. I think those who do not blog do not understand blogging, I do it as an outlet for my thoughts and to connect via cyberspace with others

  12. Any times I file through my past blog post to find a story. I hear people ask or talk about something and I can recall writing about it at sometime or another and this leads me to backtracking.
    If I got paid to blog, Id still be broke.

  13. Blogging is and has been a wonderful focus for me, to improve my own writing, reading other bloggers. Life changer sounds overly dramatic but it is true.

  14. Anonymous7:18 PM

    I blog for one reason--I enjoy it!!

  15. Rick, thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice. You gave me this same advice back in, I think it was, 1976-78 or thereabouts. I had begun writing a journal in 1976 but wanted to write better poetry and song lyrics. Your advice to me then and in this column now, is to practice. You said getting better at writing poetry or whatever is like any exercise -- physical or mental. It gets better with practice. You're certainly an example of that, pal. You're a great writer and great singer/song writer. I'm glad I listened. I get frequent compliments on my writing which improved simply from following your sound advice.

  16. Before I blogged, I kept a diary. I still have some of them. When blogging first came on the scene, I loved it. As a introvert. I can express what is in my mind better. I have so many thoughts in me - I have to blog, or I would probably go crazy.


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