March 7, 2016Five years ago today, I started String of Pearls with the encouragement of my daughter-in-law Regina. (At the time, she was my only D-I-L, but three more wonderful girls have joined the family since then.)
My first post was--let me see, how do I put this?--nothing to write home about. (Here it is; read it and you'll see that I'm not being overly self-deprecating when I say that!) It was very short and had no pictures. But being as technology-challenged as I am, I was just so excited that I'd figured out how to navigate the blogger dashboard, and I could hardly wait to push the "publish" button! It would be a while before I got a handle on including all the different bells and whistles--like photos and embedded hyperlinks--to my posts, or to adding various side bar gadgetry and other elements to my home page to make it look more professional.
When I started out, I had one married son and had not yet become a Grammy (my twin granddaughters would be born three months later); today, I have four married sons and seven grandchildren (five girls, two boys) who are the joy of my life. (What a difference five years makes!) When I started out, my youngest son was just about to graduate from high school; today, he is a college graduate and a military officer living overseas. (The nest, therefore, is officially empty.) When I started out, my four oldest sons were in their 20's, which seemed unthinkable to me at the time; today, two are in their 30's, and in a matter of months, another will hit the big 3-Oh. (Where do the years go, I'd like to know?!?!)
There have been quite a few times in the last two years or so that I've considered shutting this blog down, thinking that I've said about all I have to say...but then I find some inspiration that makes me want to keep at it. (Sometimes, that inspiration comes from just knowing that my husband--a.k.a. my most devoted reader--will miss finding my voice here, especially when he's traveling for work.)
One of my main purposes for starting this blog was to chronicle my family's history...to tell stories that my boys might have forgotten or maybe even never heard. Another purpose was to have a place where I could express my love of marriage, motherhood, and my Catholic Faith--leaving a love letter behind that will live on long after I'm gone. And finally, I simply needed to write. Writing makes me happy. :)
This was taken at a niece's super-fun wedding reception in 2014;
but this is the expression I wear when I'm writing, too. No kidding.
I'd already been working on my first novel, Finding Grace, for about four years when I published my first post at String of Pearls. The finish line on that manuscript was in sight when I became a blogger, and my middle son asked me if I thought blogging would keep me from crossing it; but I assured him that in some ways, I thought blogging actually helped me with my other writing. It helped me to exercise my writing muscles and keep them in shape. (Besides, at the time, I didn't believe for a second that Finding Grace would ever be published; but I knew that I could publish a blog post any old time I wanted, which made it a really appealing medium for this fledgling author!)
When I started out here, you could count my readers on one hand, maybe two; today this blog gets many more "hits" per day than I ever could have imagined in 2011--a far cry from the numbers a superblogger gets, of course, but that was never my intention when I dipped my toes into the busy waters of the blogosphere anyway. I was writing for myself (and my family); if anyone else happened by and was entertained for a minute or two, then that was just gravy.
So thanks for all the gravy, readers!
This post makes #1,235 for me. I don't know if there are 1,235 more where this one came from...but at least for now, I'm taking it one day at a time here at String of Pearls. No plans to close up shop yet. And who knows? A year from now, I might be celebrating the old girl's 6th anniversary.