“What would I want one of those for?” he grumbled when I pleaded for one as a teenager.
“Well we’d know who called, dad.”
“If someone wants to get a hold of me bad enough, they’ll call back.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
Not only did my dad not want an answering machine, but he said he’d never talk on one either.
So he must have been really missing me when I returned from class one day and found my dad’s voice, for the first time, on my answering machine. He sounded stilted and formal, and clearly uncomfortable.
“Hi Julie. This is. Your dad. Call me back.”
I called right away and praised him for passing Answering Machine 101.
Not long after, I Ieft my first message on his new machine.
Over the next several years his messages grew longer and flowed with more ease. Soon the rise of email replaced some of our calls. Eventually we traded voice mails on our cell phones, we Facebooked and texted. And somewhere along the way, dad passed me on the information superhighway when he started blogging.
Whoa. A blog, dad? What would you want one of those for?
Well, for the same reasons almost all bloggers do. It was a creative outlet, a place to practice writing (for the bigger stories he wanted to write), and it gave him a place to connect his corner of the world to the larger one.
He wrote about small stuff going on in his life, like what kind of car he should buy. He shared cartoons about politics and growing older. He posted pictures of the red petunias he planted outside his condo building.
I quietly laughed, while also admiring his courage, and I asked myself:
What would I want a blog for?
And that question led me here, to my first stilted, uncomfortable message on my own new blog. Like dad’s voice on my old answering machine, my hope is with time, my words will begin to flow, not in the direction of cars and cartoons and flowers of course, but down my own path of interests.
Lucky for me (and thousands of other new bloggers!) that path is being supported through a Blogging 101 course offered through WordPress. Through “bite-size” assignments, the course is designed to take us from “Blog?” to “Blog!” in four weeks. You could say I choked over some of the first two weeks worth of bites. Now I’m playing catch up. That’s OK, we’re not being graded.
This post is assignment #1, where we’re supposed to introduce ourselves, explain why we’re here and what we plan to write about.
Who am I and why am I here? The dreaded “I” statements.
I’m the daughter of the blogging dad above who was a strong-minded disabled Vietnam Vet who wore his heart on his sleeve.
I’m a mother to two amazing people, wife to my one and only for 20 years, and an often-frustrated suburban dweller who gets her city fix by driving across a traffic-clogged bridge into Seattle. We have an anxious, but devoted and adorable, eight-year-old Border Collie. She is my shadow and walking companion.
We also have a slightly demented senile cat whose early morning howls are leading to my overconsumption of coffee. I’d like to waterlog her instead of myself, but she’s too cute…and we all love her.
I love to read, travel to new places, write poetry, listen to NPR, watch the nightly news, ski, eat out, learn something new every day, and walk unplugged in the woods.
I’m the travel agent and chief cruise director for my adventure-loving family. Last year I planned, and we, traveled to British Columbia (twice); the Grand Canyon, Phoenix and Sedona; Disneyland, L.A. and San Diego; Costa Rica on a school trip; Amsterdam and Italy’s Cinque Terra on a 20th Anniversary trip; and Kauai over Christmas. Not every year can be as active as 2014, but we can dream.
I’m a chauffeur, meal planner and chef, paper pusher, pooper-scooper, gardener, house cleaner, money manager, tutor, doctor, motivational speaker and the person with all the answers, especially to the question “Mom, where’s my (fill in the blank)?” Funny, since I’m always looking for something myself – the overdue permission slip, my keys, shoes, phone, gym card, my car in the parking lot…
Way back when, I was a writer with a fairly awesome writing career, but I got lost somewhere along the way, in “all of the above.” I hope to find my way back, partly through this blog. “All of the above” is what I plan to write about, in fits and starts, as I enter this brave new world of blogging.