Last Sunday I spent a delightful morning at three parks getting my nature fix, then, within 24 hours, the weather went from enjoyable, to bitter cold, snowy and icy. The wacky roller coaster weather has prevailed this entire Winter season. On Tuesday, I grumpily proclaimed that my walking shoes would be mothballed, but, along came Wednesday with its temps in the 40s and the cement was once again whisked clean of snow and ice permitting a couple of walks after all. Now, a 3-6 inch snowstorm looms on the horizon.
So, do we have blind faith in the meteorologists with their fancy models and balloons to predict tomorrow’s storm, or can those savvy weather guys and gals really foretell the long-range forecast?
We either believe them, or hang onto the mid-Winter words of a furry little critter that makes a “prediction” every February 2nd for Groundhog Day.
Well, today dawned bright and sunny, so Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, and the crowd cheered, and I wondered aloud why they did so???
Here in Michigan, we have our own furry weather prognosticator, “Woody, the Woodchuck”, and she lives at the Howell Nature Center. Every February 2nd, at 8:15 a.m., the naturalists at the Center open Woody’s door to her “house” and, if she ventures outside within 30 seconds, it means Spring is on the way. This morning she stayed put. Can you blame her, I mean, who wants to go out with temps in the teens, even if you are wearing a fur coat? This little lady’s prediction rate is more accurate than Phil’s (15 out of 19 times); Phil is only correct 38% of the time. Woody’s handlers say her predictions are correct since she bases them on a woman’s intuition.
Two furry rodents made the same prognostication today, so it will continue to be a long cold Winter.
Enough of predictions and intuitions … now it is time to deal with recognitions.
Mother Nature was not the only one that was full of surprises this week. Noor, a fellow blogger here on WordPress, nominated me for a Liebster Award. I read Noor’s post and was not only astounded, but honored.
The Liebster Award is recognition by another blogger to show appreciation and respect for your blog and your dedication to it, and was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers in the WordPress world. I acknowledged Noor’s nomination and thanked her, and my task was to nominate 11 more bloggers and recognize their work.
But, I soon realized I faced a dilemma, because in giving a shout-out to some bloggers I follow, I am forsaking others, which hardly seemed fair or equitable.
To be honest, soon I will celebrate the 5th anniversary of this blog, and I’ve never really tried to gain more subscribers. I created the site, and, using my gift of gab, kept churning out posts on a myriad of topics, mostly walking, some 1,065 to date. Evidently, I should have taken WordPress Blogging 101, since I’ve never tagged my posts or searched out other bloggers. All along, I have had a handful of subscribers, and you know who you are, the faithful who have commented on my posts, identified with, lamented or laughed about that day’s narrative, or, even felt sadness over the occasional tribute I’ve made. These faithful folks were from the “outside world” and not WordPress bloggers, but, all that changed around Thanksgiving. Suddenly, the “likes” and “comments” increased and my WordPress followers began to grow in leaps and bounds. I surmise one WordPress blogger latched onto my blog in a search and followed me, I reciprocated, and commented on their posts, and some of their followers soon became my followers. Today, I received notice of my 50th follower! Some of you may have hundreds or thousands of followers, but this was quite the coup for me.
By Christmas, I’d discovered many new blogging pals, not necessarily from my blog genre. Like me, there are bloggers who similarly appreciate nature, but many of my new followers fill their blogs with stories of tears and fears, hopes and dreams, personal goals, self-improvement – the topics are diverse.
For me, who works from home and does not interact with a variety of personalities in the workplace like most of you probably do, it’s been a prolonged virtual meet-and-greet of bloggers and personalities from all around the world.
It’s interesting to read the perspective on school’s trials and tribulations, and current events by a 20-something California college student. Actually, I find many similarities in our views and experiences, despite our 40-year age difference, and, sometimes I relive some of those rigors of college when reading his posts.
I’ve often identified with a young Finn who fills her posts with quotes, poems and tidbits of interest. She finds beauty in this world in the form of felines with her feature “Caturday” or provides interesting images of her native Finland.
There are blogs by women, about women, and for women – they pour their respective hearts and souls into their writing, and, I often find myself with eyes glued to the computer screen, nodding my head in silent agreement. The years fall away sometimes, as it does not matter if I’m reading the words of a woman my age, or a younger woman, all whom have embarked on a career, or pursued an interest, recounted a story from her past … we’ve all been there, and it seems we all have a tale to tell.
On the lighter side, you’ve enlightened me with your passions, whether it is as an artist, or simply dabbling in arts and crafts. Creativity abounds, from the blogger in England who leaves me laughing with his daily limericks, to the blogger who describes their work as “abstract absurdist literature” and, as to creativity, I sometimes feel my daily trudge report pales in comparison to these imaginative offerings, leaving me pondering whether the words “wit and whimsy” should truly remain a part of my blog title.
But sadly, life is not all fun and games, as we all know. I’ve also read your heartbreaking posts about losing a child, the angst of mental illness, and how you cope with catastrophic diseases like cancer or lupus … even the ordeal of dealing with divorce.
There are several travel blogs I’m following, and those posts chronicle trips that I vicariously enjoy, sometimes pegging them as potential bucket list items, but, realistically, would there be enough years left for me to take all those trips that I read about? Probably not, so perhaps I’ll just enjoy those bloggers’ narratives and images which paint pictures so vivid that I’ve felt like I was along for the ride, despite sitting right here at my kitchen table. Sometimes those travel posts evoke memories from venues visited back when I travelled in my 20s and 30s.
I’ve also learned plenty about life in these United States, and, with just a few clicks of my mouse, I’ve immersed myself in tales and viewed photos about getting around snowy Alaska, enjoyed the beauty of the country roads in Tennessee, glimpsed rural life in Northern Michigan, and oohed and aahed over magnificent images of the sun and all things nature taken in a blogger’s backyard in the Great Plains of Nebraska.
I’m impressed and wowed by each of these posts.
So, back to my dilemma … how do I single out my eleven favorite blogs to similarly nominate their creators for the Liebster award?
Sorry … after much soul searching, I am going to graciously decline Noor’s offer, as I’ve never played favorites and can’t start doing so now. Ultimately someone’s feelings will be hurt, or they will wind up disappointed. I accept your praise Noor, and thank ALL of you for your virtual camaraderie which keeps me company on these cold SE Michigan Winter nights.
So, I’m feelin’ and sharin’ the love on this Groundhog Day, for I must do something to create some warmth as Winter still looms large.