We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.
W. Somerset Maugham
(a lovely mum from a bouquet, Julie Cook / 2013)
This lovely flower is the very first image I posted, exactly one year ago today, to this little blog of mine. Stating that we all needed a little color— reminding us of brighter days ahead.
The other post that day was a bit more reflective as I explained the impetus behind the inception of the blog. The reasons remain the same, much as they did this time last year. A retired educator who felt as if she still had things to “teach” and share, as well as a daughter who was beginning the adventures of dealing with an elderly father in the early throws of Alzheimer’s disease.
I didn’t know what to expect.
I pretty much figured I’d be rattling on to the wind.
I wasn’t necessarily a technology savvy individual nor was I much for social media preferring to eschew things such as FaceBook and Twitter.
Blogging seemed to allow space for the hidden writer, it was a blank canvas waiting to be filled.
It also provided an avenue of creativity for the retired art teacher—allowing for a new vehicle of expression–that being a bit of photography. Nothing fancy smancy, just the capturing of life, specifically that being images from Nature–affording me time to be in the place I love, out of doors.
You have allowed me to share with you my better moments as a human being, as well as those not so grand moments of my life. You have allowed me to do something that I had always wanted to do, but due to work and life. . .I simply had not the time—that being the opportunity of a chance to write. It is not that my writing is of any significance nor even something that is a virtue of our English Language. I have never been one who could spell and I greatly suspect my son inherited that learning disability of his from his mother as I imagine there just may be a bit of dyslexia lurking under my surface.
You have supported me during those heavier days of life. You have offered kind words, prayers, suggestions, and merely an ear to listen and a shoulder of support as I’ve grieved watching my dad slowly shrink from my world. The grieving continues today but I feel as if the initial sorrow has given way to the resolve of, borrowing from that most emblematic phrase, “Keeping Calm and Carrying On” —he isn’t getting better nor are the issues of trying to keep his world above water, but there is humor hiding in the frustration and sadness and just knowing that I can write about it, sharing it with you, has been a wonderful anchor in a stormy sea.
We have laughed together and cried together as you have allowed me to share in your life’s adventures as well. I have made many new and wonderful friends. Far away friends living in Australia, Bulgaria, Italy, England, Wales, Canada, France, the Philippines and India, as well as friends a bit closer–those from Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida and California to name but a few. 280 of you have honored me by following along on this blog of mine with almost 14,000 views, as well as a little over 1300 comments. All this from a little blog which was started a mere year ago with no ties to social media, from a person who just wanted to share her heart with others.
You are business people, educators, monks, priests, nuns, college students, high school students, single folks, married folks, grandparents—you are artists, photographers, woodworkers, cooks, bee keepers, world travelers, scientists, professors, mathematicians, philosophers, theologians, students, unemployed, overly employed, retirees, singers, dancers, friends and strangers. Some of you know me know me, others of you know me only from this blog.
Magically hiding in the midst of all of us is but a single element which binds and ties us all wonderfully together. . .that being the single thread from this journey we call life. We are all traveling along the same journey—one of birth, life and death. To travel along this sometimes joyful and sometimes woeful journey with other fellow travelers can be so very inspiring, so uplifting and so very beneficial. The singleness of our humanity inextricably unites us together, linking us all, for good or bad, as members of this family of humankind. As one who has been afford the gift of your wisdom, knowledge, experience, faith and love. . . it is I who now humbly wishes to thank each of you for the generosity you have shown to me—for the warmth, kindness, openness and acceptance. I have learned so very much from each you— from your lives and your life’s work. You have made me a wiser person, a more thoughtful person, a more open person, a grateful person.
So it is to you, on this 25th day of February, that I raise my glass offering you my heart and prayers for this, our Happy Anniversary!
Thank you. . .
***Also a little shout out to the two other blogs I contribute to via photography
The Legion of Door Whores (I know, I know. . .) legionofdoorwhores.wordpress.com
What light through yonder window breaks? whatlightthroughyonderwindow.wordpress.com
Happy Anniversary Julie! I am delighted to have connected with you via the cyber-Noosphere. Peace and Blessings to you and your family!
Ahh Wiliiam–thank you–as part of my gratitude is certainly directed toward your corner of this blog world of ours!! I have learned much from you and I am truly grateful for the connection to be sure!! Are you back from your visit across the pond? I hope you enjoyed your time with your brother.
Blessings William to you and your family—I pray for a beautiful Spring for you–
Congratulations Julie! It has been a pleasure to get to know you through the blogging world! xo Joanne
You are an amazing woman. Thank you for your graciousness. Congratulations to you – truly, well done on such a wonderful endeavour, but more so, on the grace with which you do it all. May God continue to bless you and be with you.
There is so much I can learn from you. So thank you, thank you.
Oh but is I who thanks you Geralyn, as well as to
the mission that you lovingly provide service to by offering your creative support.
Here is to many more shared adventures of this life and here is to a Loving Father who sees that His children meet and support one another along their many journeys-
Hugs to you Geralyn —
Thank you for a wonderful year of blogging friendship sharing the ups and downs of life. Looking forward to many more years. Love Jenna 🙂
Thank you Jenna–it is to you who holds my gratitude as I thank you for the friendship you have extended my way.
Yes, here is to our friendship!!! Cheers Jenna Dee 🙂
I have only been blogging with you for 5 months maybe more and I am so glad that we found each others site! Happy Anniversary Julie! 🙂 Cheers to a lot more years and our friendship! You do a wonderful job with your site and I continue to learn from you every day!
thank you 🙂
Thank you Michael–as I have learned and continue learning from you—and enjoying the fruits of your labors and the products of your hands—be it wood, or now these tantalizing and seductive deserts you’re killing me with 🙂
Cheers Michael, I am so grateful for our friendship—
Well, well, well, happy anniversary, missy. What a beautiful flower and what a beautiful lady. I’m so glad I’m on board even if it wasn’t from the first. I look forward to being with you a long, long time. Congratulations on your first year. Blessings and hugs, Natalie 🙂
I just consider myself very blessed and fortunate for having found you, my friend 🙂
Blessings and love from me to you—
Same here, missy. I feel very blessed and fortunate as well. You are a bright spot in my day. Hugs and love, missy Jules! 🙂
Julie, I’m a bit late to the party but I was at school all day and just grabbed a moment to read your blog and here it is an anniversary! 🙂 Congratulations on this achievement. It isn’t easy to post every single day. Blessings and prayers as you continue.
Lynda–it is never to late to join the party–not that there was much of a party 🙂
Thank you for your continued input, I look forward to always hearing from you as your words are full of the grace of the Holy Spirit–I am blessed by them and by your presence here–it is by this blog that I have met you and reap the blessing–
Hugs to you—Julie
Congratulations on your anniversary!!! You look wonderful in the picture — and truly have not aged since 1978 — fond memories for me. So sorry about your father — I know how painful this is — having lost a father to the cruelness of cancer, and at the other end — mother going to sleep in her own bed in her own home –. The older I become — the more truth to — We plan, God laughs. I am so happy you have found so much comfort and solitude in your blog — I can’t think of anyone more deserving for everything good this life has to offer…… always the best —- Emile
Emile, truly kind and heart warming words from such a dear dear friend. I love that, “we plan, God laughs”
Dealing with Dad has brought lots of struggles, but much healing in my own heart—and it is through the bad stuff that I now find the humor– albeit sometimes a bit of black humor–but humor none the less and a good comfort–because to be able to smile and laugh in the midst of the trials certainly makes them bearable, tolerable while adding a richness to the journey.
Thanks for popping in–maybe our paths will cross one day soon—I probably owe you a drink 🙂
a big hug—Julie
well I did a google search for the legion of doors and your blog came up to this page – and seeing that I only recently started following you, I never saw this page – and well, enjoy fit much.
and I can see why that was the first photo you posted – it is exquisite!
I know your list of places was not exhaustive – but add Virginia to the places for blog friends! 🙂
and loved this: “We are all traveling along the same journey”
Thank you Yvette—I have a bit of a hodge podge to be sure 🙂
Happy evening to you—Julie