That's what I actually believed about blogs.
But then, about four years ago, on the magazine rack at the grocery store, I saw a copy of Time with the headline, Year's Top Blogs. I took it home and read the lead article. I was surprised at the excerpts from the featured websites. The words I saw from these award winning blogs weren't personal diaries; I read about food, crafting, home life, not just introspection and personal drama. I googled each site mentioned, and loved what I found.
I had never read a blog before. There was all kinds of writing, and funny, funny blogs. And it was like people talking to you, not at you. To a woman who had always felt left out and a tad lonely (alright...a lot lonely) in a small town, it was like finally finding the keys to the right club. I would rush the kids to school in the morning, and hurry back home to get on line. I had people to check up on...my people! It was incredible to me that this portal to another world existed, and I knew nothing about it.
One top blogger named, in particular, was so charming and down to earth; self effacing in an endearing way. Her simple words framed around heart rendering photos that she had taught herself to take. She loved to cook, stay home with her children, and though she was voted as a TOP BLOG her writing retained an intimate, welcoming style. And the website itself, visually, like entering a storybook.
Here's something about me: I'm always late to the party. I also am from a sit-on-the-fringe-and-watch type of mentality. I'd smile at this top blogger's daily anecdotes, and noticed that at the end of each entry, readers of her stories (at the time I didn't know they were called *posts*) would leave a talk back. I would see *comments*, and then a number before that. In her case 12,512 "comments." I wished I could leave a comment too.
I say wish because I THOUGHT YOU HAD TO HAVE A BLOG TO COMMENT.
So, and I don't care that you know this about me....blogging has all The Truth Shall Set You Free to my ego; titter away, and then come back to the story.
I had to tell this blogger about the joy she gave me every morning; it didn't feel right to keep it to myself, when someone impacts your life this way. So, I emailed her. To thank her for picking up my mood during the long Wisconsin winter, how she made me laugh and helped me to feel like I belonged to a small town with really nice smiling people in it. I told her I wish I had a blog so I could comment. Then I signed my email, Love, me.
She emailed back about what an ingenious way to get a reply back and HAHAHAHAHA about needing a blog to comment. I didn't have the heart to tell her no HAHAHAHAHAHA was intended.
And thus, an encouraging, loving, nurturing online relationship was begun -- true, one sided, my view, on my part, in my reality. But, it comes down to this: I felt it. It didn't matter that we never actually talked, emailed, or did any back and forth: it felt like we did. Just from my visits to her blog. I had a friend I could check in with every winter morning.
This blogger was one of the handful so implicit in my making it through the winters and the seasonal depression they bring, before I began my own blog; before I had become a true part of this incredible online community.
So, this post's for you, Pdub, and all the mental good you do for me-- and thousands of others -- each morning when we log on to your site, The Pioneer Woman.
Thank you, Ree, for the years of smiles, happy tears, wistful sighs, good eats, and some hot cowboy action thrown in here and there.
*During this month, I'll be highlighting the bloggers I call "The Great Depression Slayers of 2010." To the crucial ones I clung to before I began blogging, the ones that pulled me through, I thank you.