Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Down Memory Lane On This 14 Year Blogaversary

14 years ago today this photo and a few sentences gave birth to 
Do you remember that feeling of hitting the publish button the first time and waiting to see if anybody would find you out there in blogland?
That first post brought in one comment and I still remember the thrill of making that connection.  Heidi in the Netherlands had welcomed me to the blogging world and I found it fascinating to think that someone that far away had found my little blog.
It was fun to get to know Heidi a bit through her blog.  It seems she hasn't been blogging for several years, but I will always remember her encouragement in those early days.

Were you blogging in the award days?
If not, the idea was that a fellow blogger would award you (example above).  You, in turn, were supposed to award other blogs.
I still remember the first time I was "awarded" I had no idea how to share a link.  All these years later I remember it was Karen who taught me that little trick.
While it was kind of fun at the time, I was kind of glad when the whole award thing fell by the wayside.

Norma, Kim & Mom
~ an old photo (hello permanent waves) ~

My blog began at a time when my Mom was well into her journey with Alzheimer's.  I was preparing to move her into an assisted living facility near us.  It was a sad time.  Blogging stepped in as a wonderful deviation.  I met several fellow bloggers who were also on this journey with spouses or parents.  In many ways it was a support group to me at the time as this was all uncharted territory.
A year after moving her here my Mom went to her heavenly home.
Four months prior my sister, Norma, had a massive stroke.  
When I shared that on my blog at the time, the comments were so touching and the prayers were so appreciated.  I remember printing them all and taking them with me to the hospital when I visited Norma the first time.  I read them to her and hung them on the wall with hopes that she would find a measure of comfort in just seeing them.
It will soon be 13 years since the stroke.  
Norma never ceases to amaze me with her determination and strength in the face of all that she has gone through.  Although aphasia has drastically changed the way in which she can communicate, she never misses sending cards and gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  The best news of all is that she will become a first time grandmother in August and she is very excited for that.  I am so happy for her!

Butchart Gardens - 2013

One thing that has always appealed to me about blogging is the opportunity to learn more about everyday life in various parts of the country/world.
Not too long after venturing into blogland, I began to formulate a bit of a travel bucket list.
After reading Lorrie's blog I longed to see the Butchart Gardens in person.  When a wedding in Seattle brought us so close, it was decided to extend the trip and make the dream a reality.

That trip also included a few days in Vancouver, BC.
I have the Mennonite Girls to thank for inspiring me to add this part of the world to my travel bucket list.  In fact, they have inspired me in many, many ways through the years.  I remember following Lovella's blog when she came up with the idea for forming the Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  It was a pleasure to follow their story and blog.  I regularly consult one of the two cookbooks I own or visit the blog when I need a new recipe to try.  Just last week I made Charlotte's Cole Slaw which has a vinegar based dressing.  We liked it so much that it will now be our go to recipe for cole slaw.

On the topic of cookbooks and recipes I will leave you with one last blogging observation and, perhaps, a question.  Let's start with the question:

In your time as a blogger do you have one post that stands out from the rest in your mind?

For me that would be the following:

About half way through my blogging years I published this post.
At the time I was just sharing a cookbook author who had a great influence on me.  As I recall, most of you were not familiar with him or his books.
Three years later, when I was in the throes of getting ready to move, I received an email from a dear friend of John's.  He told me that he had found my post in a Google search.  He informed me of John's death the previous year.  In preparing the memorial service he came across my humble little post.  He shared many things about John with me which made me admire him even more than I already did.  He told me that he wished he had come across my post before John's death as "he would have been very humbled and happy to read it."
What??  Really?  I was flattered.
As I read along he closed with the following:

"A young pastor that interned at our church was John's choice for the person to speak at his memorial service, and he will be reading your letter to John.  What you wrote has moved us very much, and we want to share it with our wider community.  Thank you for expressing yourself and your thoughts about our beloved friend.  See?  You never know who you will influence that you don't even know."

To think that my words would play a part in John's memorial service were and are amazing to me.  When I wrote it I never could have imagined such a thing.  I am honored.
Since that time I have received comments and emails from some of his fans and family members.  Earlier this year I heard from a great nephew which touched me that he would take the time to comment and reminded me again how well-loved dear John was.


If you have stayed with me this long, bless you :).
As long as I am reminiscing I think I'll touch on another relic from the past.  The Giveaway.  Remember when they were so popular.  Like the awards, they seem to have fallen by the wayside.
Unlike the awards, I thought they were rather fun.
So, in the spirit of celebration, I will be giving away one copy of John's cookbook Down Home.  If you want to know more about it, feel free to read my aforementioned post.  While there you may want to read the comments too.

I don't know if anybody is interested in giveaways any more, but if you are, let me know in comments.  At the end of the month we'll drop the names in the hat and choose the winner.

My blog posting and commenting have dwindled through the years yet I'd hate to lose touch with all of you who have become friends.
You have all influenced me in one way or another and I am thankful for that.




  1. Dear Kim, such a lovely post - congratulations on your 14th anniversary. I recall Heidi well and often wonder how she is doing since her blog disappeared quite some time back. Lorrie in Victoria I know well and we visited with her a few years back - she is a sweetheart!
    Have to run - have a plane to catch at RDU! Off home across the pond this evening - can't wait to see my family and friends in England.
    Stay well - keep blogging - we must try to meet up one of these crazy days!
    Hugs - Mary

  2. What a remarkable story of your blog history and of that special post about your love for John. I was quite moved by it and I know that you were pleased to have a part in comforting his family at his Memorial Celebration.

    I am so glad that Norma is a survivor. What beautiful women in your family!

    Thank you for persevering with blogging; it isn't always easy, but your blog has been a cozy refuge and I am grateful for you and Happy at Home.

    Yes, I do remember giveaways fondly. I have several such gifts from you—books and a sweet blue sewing machine. I'm sure that my little grand niece would enjoy meeting its acquaintance.

    Woot! Mary's off to England! I am so happy for her and I hope that you do make plans to meet. That way, I'll tell her to hug you from me and you to hug her. Perfect!

    Congratulations on fourteen marvelous years!

  3. I started blogging just a few months before you did. Congratulations on 14 years.

    I think of Norma often and still say a prayer for her every so often.

    Yes, I remember the award days and were not so crazy about them either, but the giveaways were always fun. Would love John's Cookbook.
    You wrote a wonderful post about John and I see I commented on it too.
    Mentioned that I hoped you and I would meet one day in person and we did! : )

  4. Dear Kim,
    What a truly lovely post. I love reading about your blogging history and to think that a post of mine inspired a visit to Butchart Gardens is amazing. John sounds like a wonderful person with a gift for writing that was such an encouragement to you during the busy mothering years. You wrote such a beautiful letter to him.
    Congratulations on fourteen years of blogging - I hope there are many more. I remember the Award time and was glad to see it disappear. Giveaways were always fun, and I'd love to be included in this one, although sending a book across the border might cost a fortune, so it might be best to choose someone in the USA.

  5. Forgot to say that I hope Brent soon feels better, and I'm glad that Norma is forging ahead with her life.

  6. You never know who you will influence that you don't even know. That is so true and is an inspiration for me to do more for others in whatever way I can. It doesn't have to be a big thing at all.
    Congratulations on 14 years of blogging.. I began in the Fall of 2013 so I'm just approaching the 9 year mark.
    I don't go out much so for me blogging is so important. Take care, GM

  7. Landed here and am leaving a comment, not many of us around after all these years. I stayed with it because I enjoy blogging, so creative and fun. I opened mine in 2008, and yes I do remember hitting that publish button, what would happen? I was amazed when somebody read a post and left a comment. I'm glad there are folks still blogging, and I hope it makes a resurgance. I do also remember the giveaways, and what about those linky parties. Such fun.


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