Who knew that ten years later and more than 1,400 publish posts, I would still be typing away on my keyboard, uploading photos and sharing with friends I've never met. (Well, most of you, anyway!)
As you know, when we change our templates, the whole blog changes. Way back when I truly can't remember what it looked like. I know it had a very plain banner (like, probably NO banner!) and no photos. Everything was single spaced and the template was narrow, the photos, when added, were small. As I look back on these older posts I realize how far I have come in the past ten years!
|This was the photo on my original blog banner, or original once I figured out how to make one! If you look at the current one you can see it in the background, behind Lizzie, on my computer screen. It's my own, still loved, Marmelade Gypsy.|
Some of those who commented in those early days still have blogs and I still follow them. Others have stopped blogging but we connect on Facebook. (Below, Becca and Anne; Joanne. I wish Anne and Joanne would start to blog again but check out Becca's link!)
Still others have become "in person" friends. And over the years, many new friends have come to this space and I to theirs. I have stayed at your homes and welcomed you to mine, eaten at your tables and dined at restaurants together in a cheerful cacophony of non-stop catch-up. And it has all been good. (Below: Mae and I periodically connect in Ann Arbor; Rosemary commented on my very first post!; and Diana, Kerry and I enjoyed a meet-up in Chicago. I miss them!)
When I was growing up my dad was immersed in ham radio. It was a hobby he began as a teen (his high school yearbook has a photo of him with the "radio club"). It served him well during World War II when he was a communications specialist for the army in India. I remember sitting on his lap down in the ham room (our basement), typing "hi" to strangers across the world before I could even spell my name and would revel in the postcards he received from those with whom he made "contact." I still have many of them; I can't bear to let them go.
In later years when this very sociable, outgoing fellow could no longer easily get out and be among people as often as he liked, the ham radio became a lifeline for him. His buddies would help him rig up antennas out apartment room windows. (The antenna was always a big thing in our life. In these pre-cable days I continually lived with wires going in and out of windows and up the sides of houses to hook up an antenna!)
My dad died before the era of the blog came into being. Personal computers were just beginning to enter the marketplace and I'm the internet as we know it wasn't even up and going in the late 80s. There isn't a moment that I write a blog post or look up some odd fact on google that I don't think of my dad and imagine how he would have loved to check in on so many things that would interest him. And yes, he would make friends, real and virtual, as well.
To you, I say thank you. To the old timers, thanks for sticking with me through bad layouts, poorer photos, and so many stories. To the new friends, thank you for finding me in this overcrowded superhighway of blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and all the other distractions.
Thank you for laughing at my foibles, giving me love and support during times of sadness, grief and concern; for inspiring me each and every day with your own blogs that run the gamut from humor to deeply thought out pieces worthy of a far larger audience, from recipes and home decorating ideas to art tips and art work that motivates me to work harder; for showing me parts of the world I'll probably never experience first hand and for reminding me again that our world is filled with wonderful and talented, kind people.
I didn't think I knew what my blog would be about when I first started, apart from a spot to share art with my ATC group. But in a feeble attempt to make a mission or intent statement, I came up with these words, which I haven't looked at since I did that first post:
I may think The Marmelade Gypsy has evolved over time. But that might be giving myself too much credit. As I see it, I'm right where I said I would be ten years ago. And I am so grateful you have come along for the ride.
So, what's this blog going to be about? In no particular order, a place to post my art and share with my online art buddies, a spot to talk cooking and entertaining -- which of course means sharing recipes and other yummy things -- and of course, a spot to share bits and piece of my life -- family, friends, work, and all that other cool stuff!
Now, to celebrate, I am doing a giveaway. And yes, it's December and we're all going a little daffy so the cut off date to enter (once) is December 25, Christmas Day and hopefully (if I can get dinner to come out at the same time, presents under control and have half a clue how many people are coming for dinner) I'll draw a name that day (or the next!) NOTE: Drawing extended to December 26 because I KNOW I won't be able to pull this off on Christmas, and besides, we're up to our eyeballs in Christmas and holiday stuff and probably not checking blogs much till after!)
I am aiming for three prizes but I haven't figured out what they are yet! Just leave a comment on THIS POST to enter. And yes, international friends too! Just make sure that if you are a no-reply blogger you include your email address on your comment so I can reach you directly if you win. If you are uncomfortable about putting it in the comment, email me to share it. And if you are an "anonymous" blogger, please leave your name and contact info.
Thank you and good luck! Onward to another year! (And on another note, my post about Surviving the Holidays during grief and loss is now at Modern Creative Life. Feel free to share it with others who might be having a challenging season this year.)