I am Winter weary, and I’ve decided that, just like Trix cereal, snow is only fun for kids.
I see no big smile on my face these days, after an intensive week of dealing with this wintry weather. I sure was not sporting any big grin after shoveling a few more inches of wet, slushy snow in the freezing rain earlier today.
Now, it gives me cause to pause and ponder why I was having such a good time shoveling snow at the tender age of four? So, what happened to the joy in that simple task?
Evidently, as a baby I loved going out for a Sunday ride in my stroller with Mom on a snowy afternoon. Of course, I didn’t have to do anything but just sit there and take in all the sights.
Because I was an only child, the family albums are chock full of photos of me, in every season and for every occasion. There I was at three years old, all layered up after Mom showed me the door and whisked me outside to play in the snow.
For me, I figure that snow stopped being fun once I was no longer pulled around on the little wooden sled my father made for me, or, when I quit making snow angels and building snowmen with my best friend, also named Linda.
It seems I was “cool” with the snow when taking my dolly out to go gallivanting with Mom.
Or happily showing off that spiffy tartan plaid coat with matching tam and those ugly brown galoshes.
But, somewhere along the line, a metamorphosis took place that wasn’t so pretty. As an adult, I despise snow, so I welcome any encouraging words to make me come around and see this season in a new light!
Staying with the topic of words, it is five years ago today I launched this blog “Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy” with my first post entitled “LINDA’S BIG ADVENTURE: ENTERING “THE BLOGOSPHERE” (and yes I did that title in in all caps – go figure).
Was I emphasizing this monumental event, which followed a similarly wintry weekend, writing a post which would be the outside world’s initial glimpse into why I was undertaking this venture?
My friend and neighbor Marge Aubin encouraged me to start a blog because I was always telling her tidbits of happenings in my daily walking regimen and she followed a few blogs and kept forwarding them to my e-mail address. I guess she waited for me to finally take the bait, so I appeased her.
My “About” bio on WordPress tells it like it is, that I was a journalism major and graduated from Wayne State University with a journalism degree in 1978, but could not find a job in that field. I did a short stint in the Creative Department at an ad agency, but have been a legal secretary since 1980.
My initial meet-and-greet post was a rather long, drawn-out affair and when I read it today before starting this blog post, I have to admit I said to myself “Linda, obviously you never heard of the saying that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ did you?”
As a brand-new blogger, my posts in early 2013 were few and far between, because the Winter weather stayed ugly and walks were infrequent, thus posts were sporadic, or just a favorite quote or two which I shared with my one and only subscriber, Marge. In fact, I never told anyone about writing this blog, even other friends, for a very long time.
In a four-season state, after a cold and snowy Winter, once Spring arrives, there is nothing finer than venturing out on that first warmish day, casting the hat and gloves aside, and shucking the lightweight jacket and looping it around your waist, just ten minutes after you donned it. Soon I became a wanderer, discovering Council Point Park, and suddenly there were more topics to write about and I could finally gain some traction with this labor of love. There were warm and fuzzy moments watching geese and their goslings, or the mallards with their ducklings, or interacting with the squirrels. As you know, as to all animals, I’m such a bleeding heart, even with those critters with chutzpah!
My blog posts in that fledgling year were usually short and snappy paragraphs with no pictures. I thought I was pretty clever to give each blog post a one-word title. I’d struggle to find one word to describe the topic of that day’s post.
But all that was soon going to change … and the metamorphosis of this blog began.
My friend Marge worked in nearby Wyandotte and urged me to sign up to blog on a hyperlocal news website called “The Wyandotte Patch”. So, in July of 2013, I started blogging there under the title of “Reflections and Recollections”: https://patch.com/michigan/wyandotte/lifestyle
In conjunction with posting on Patch, I decided to step up my game a little and started carrying a camera with me or using stock photos to jazz up my posts. There were a group of Facebook Patch bloggers from across the U.S. and we exchanged our posts and commented on them. We even had a seasoned editor who would oversee our posts, and sometimes offer suggestions. Joanna mentioned I should break up the gray matter in my paragraphs and make them more inviting to the eye. She also wondered why I only used a one-word title? At first I was crushed by her comments, but what did I know anyway – I was a “newbie” in the blogosphere. I took Joanna’s advice then, and I’m always ready for any suggestions to enhance my daily trudge report.
Spurred on by the fun of writing at Patch, next I joined the Community Bloggers Forum at “Heritage Newspapers” in September of 2013. There are various Heritage publications that carry my blog on their blog rolls and I am excited to be a part of this “family” too: http://www.thenewsherald.com/blogs/#community_blogs
The rest is history. I love writing these posts – they give me joy to recount the tales of my meanderings, even though I wondered in the beginning how long I could sustain a blog which was seemingly only about birds and squirrels and woodsy nature nooks. I’m ready for Winter to move on out of here, so that there will be more words written and images taken, (though often amateurish), to memorialize that day’s trek.
Onward and upward for walking and writing … today’s post is #1,072 and may there be many more to come.
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness” ~ Albert Einstein
Way to go, Linda! 🙂 5 years on WP should give you something to smile about.
That’s a lot of trips outside, and a slew of well-written stories
in regards to all your adventures along the way.
Kudos and cheerz! And best wishes for many more years. Hugz, UT
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Thanks Uncle Tree – some of my posts are so long-winded, but sometimes there is so much to say! When I turned 60, I think I nearly wrote a book on that day. I’m surprised I haven’t run out of space already, especially since in the last year I’ve been using way more photos than I ever did before.
I do enjoy the whole blogging experience and guess what – yesterday I “tagged” … my first time. What took me so long to do that?
Thanks for the kudos and best wishes – they are always appreciated.
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Your’e welcome, young lady! 🙂
You and your mom look like family. Nice quaint pictures.
My Grandma Dot took a lot of pictures for us growing up, and made albums, which I still have — black and white to color. I treasure them greatly!
My dad was into photography, as well, early in his life, before the golf course became his place of worship. I finally gave up the game about 10 years ago. Nowadays, I just take pictures of them, and call it fun, ‘cuz it is.
Folks, in general, seem to have short attention spans — sort of cultural ADHD. That’s one of the things I’ve learned after 9 years of blogging. Moving on from poetry to one-liners is not all bad, I hope. If I had my rathers, I’d choose to be a comedian over a poet. Well, I, at least, consider myself a poet first, and a photographer secondly. I used to have a good 35 mm, and I, too, have a slew of printed pictures, developed mostly at Walgreens. 🙂
I can be long-winded, too. LoL I haven’t lost the ability, obviously.
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Did you live with Grandma Dot growing up Uncle Tree – I’m guessing maybe so, since you have a lot of fond memories of her.
I treasure my photo albums too, especially since I have no family now and that’s why I decided to digitize them as I was concerned about the integrity of them in the future. When I got a printer/scanner in 2010 I digitized my favorite pictures, then at Thanksgiving last year went and did the rest of all the albums and scrapbooks. There are images that have to be taken apart and made into individual pictures. Those pics I used yesterday … some had multiple photos on a page and I had to zoom, then do the snipping tool to separate and enlarge them. I think the picture in the stroller was taken with a 35mm camera as it is so clear and the rest with my mom’s Baby Brownie which she had for years, and gave to me. My mom’s birthday was on Valentine’s Day and I usually use a photo of her on that day but this year, I will use a photo when she was a baby with my grandparents. That picture is clear and you would not know it was 92 years old.
The integrity of some of the photos under plastic was not so good and I did not remove the overlay but had to scan with it on. Some family pics were in albums where those photo corners were used and that made it easy to scan in. My travel albums literally fell apart – pages fell out of the albums when I scanned in photos in 2010 so I knew I’d better get them scanned in before anything more happened to them. They were attached to cloth on the margin of the album page and it separated from the plastic overlay.
I’ve never written poetry and I have been in Reader tonight and reading posts and more people are writing poetry, not “stories” it seems, so maybe I’m an oddity out there. You put the two together beautifully. I don’t see your poetry as humorous though … deeper and something to stir the senses, but, perhaps when I delve into your earlier posts I’ll see that you are are a comedian.
I’ve read that as well about attention spans and that is why the print newspaper business is going downhill so quickly.
No one takes the time to read a newspaper (I don’t but my parents used to read it daily from cover to cover) and I’ve not read a newspaper for years. I don’t have cable TV (cancelled it as I never watched TV) so I get all my news online or from the radio. I’ve read that people only want small bits of news as they want condensed versions of everything. No time as they have to move on to something else. I don’t know if I can change my long-winded ways.
I’ve not used my 35 mm camera in years and it is a shame as my parents bought the special lenses, books and classes as presents for Christmas and birthday for several years. I used it for traveling and it was expensive for developing as you know.
This is nicer – just hit “delete” for the boo-boos that you take.
I can remember my parents sending their photos to Kodak in NY for developing … put the roll in the envelope and wait weeks and weeks to get the prints back in the mail. When I took a cruise through the Panama Canal in 1982, I got up at the crack of dawn to station myself at a good spot to watch the ship go through the Canal. Stood there all day, took multiple rolls of film of the passage, and when I got back, I took the film to the one-hour film developing place in the office building where I worked. I had many rolls of film that I took in, but they lost three rolls – how does that happen when it never goes off site? I was reimbursed for the three rolls of film only (that’s what it says in the fine print on the back of envelope) and I wrote the ship’s photographer who sat at my table and gave me some photography tips throughout the cruise, and asked if I could buy some of his pics. So he sent several of his – annoying though!
I wrote a post last Mother’s Day called “Photographs and Memories” (loved that Jim Croce song back in the day) … I am sure I could have done a better job taking pictures of the framed pictures, but I think it did the trick and conveyed what I was trying to say in the post: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/05/14/photographs-and-memories/
You were a redhead? LoL Some of my old pics from early color photographs paint me that way, too, when I was 12 to 14 years young.
Grandma watched me a bit during summers when my mom was working. She had a nice-sized gorgeous Iris garden, and she would pay me to weed it and mow their lawn, until we moved to Nebraska, when I was 16.. They also had 3 thorny Gooseberry bushes, which we would pick clean in the Fall. My favorite pie!
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Nope dirty brown hair since I was a babe in arms (now highlighted a bit, as I don’t like long hair with gray strands). I think it was just the coloring in the picture – for that color shot in the tartan coat and also the pictures in the frame in the post “Photographs and Memories” as well. It was a last-minute idea I had on Mother’s Day and the lighting in my house is horrible … all rooms have lamps or lights and so many shadows and not true light. In fact, I sent my friend Ann Marie my college graduation picture from 1978 after I found she had also graduated from WSU (I got the cap and gown, didn’t go to the service though, and took my grandmother’s picture in my cap and gown though for kicks) … anyway, I sent Ann Marie the formal picture and she said the exact same thing about my hair.
I figured you spent a lot of time with Grandma Dot as you’ve mentioned her before. My great grandparents owned a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and had many berry bushes. My mom would say they spent part of their Summer vacation picking berries for her to make pies. She had red currant bushes and my mom liked making red currant pie, and it was very difficult to find them – they are really tart and tangy. I wrote a post about berry picking last Summer as there are wild blackberries growing in the park where I walk and there are a couple of women who pick them right off the bushes and eat them.
I came back here because I forgot to tag my post today – I thought I’d start doing that and it’s not a habit yet, but it is not my normal type of writing so maybe not. And I said yesterday I never write poetry and I wrote my “Night Before Christmas” poem about the animals in the Park. I forgot about that, but it was just a fun piece, not my regular type of writing.
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Congratulations on 5 years! It was fun to see your childhood winter photos – you’ve yet to give up on venturing out it in it all these years, so your ventures to the park to see the critters seem to fit your lifestyle. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 5 years bring for you!
Thanks Shelley and I hope for another five years and even more after that. I look at my earliest blog posts … one paragraph long and one-sentence headlines (I did that for about six months until I joined the Patch.com blogging group and the community engagement editor said “why no photos, one paragraph with a lot of gray and one-word headlines – enhance your work!”) … I was miffed at first, but did change my style since I had not much blogging experience under my belt and maybe I could learn from others. Those pics were among the ones I digitized last Thanksgiving – whew … maybe 1,000 images and some images are whole pages of photos which need to be tweaked, image by image, by enlarging then taking a screenshot and saving it as a new image like these were … some of these were four pics on one albumn page. I’m glad you like them. This morning as I head out, it will be about 20 degrees. We are 20 degrees below normal right now.