Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THE FIRST YEAR

Today marks the first anniversary for Riverdaze. I began that initial blog entry with a confession: "I’ve never been much good at keeping a journal or diary." Today's post is number 219. Now I'm no math whiz, but I believe that's around 60 percent of a possible 365 posts, should I have somehow (ha!) managed one-per-day. Believe it or not, I assure you this is still better than I feared I'd do, given my track record. If nothing else, it certainly goes to show you I was trying to be truthful from the get-go…and might possibly have been prescient.
I had no idea what to expect from a blog. Would anyone read? Would they care? Would I write? Would I care? Would the endeavor be fun? It astonishes me the answer all around appears to be yes! Folks read and apparently enjoy their visit. I write and feel responsible to posting regularly and well. And I enjoy blogging immensely. Who wudda thunk?
My first-ever comment came from Nina, at Nature Remains, a week after putting up that initial post. I was thrilled. She also commented about a post I'd done that day which had a photo of sunlight shining through box-elder keys along the river. I answered her comment—a practice I've tried to maintain with each and every one who takes the time to write.
Another week and more posts passed. Nina commented again—possibly feeling sorry for me, a fellow Ohioan and not-too-distant neighbor. Solitary Walker and Forest Wisdom each left comments. Then KGMom…and she and I had a lively discussion about whether Truman Capote or Tennessee Williams made a certain quote, and whether one of the common names for German Baptists I'd used was spelled correctly. (I believe we were both right. Moreover, we've since enjoyed other discussions, just as lively, on the blog and via email.)
Frankly, I don't know whether I'd have kept this blog up if it hadn't been for these four bloggers who took the time to write. Their early comments really made more of a difference than they might ever imagine—and here and now, please believe I truly thank you each and every one.
As I continued blogging, more folks wrote. Their nice comments helped immensely. I learned about "followers" and "following." I decided I'd set a wish-goal…that a year from the time I'd begun, my list of followers might number a full dozen. Today, the Riverdaze followers count stands at an unbelievable 57! I'm both proud and humbled. Such public support is genuinely appreciated. And I also thank anyone who ever put Riverdaze on their sidebar list of "favorites" on their own blog—or linked something they'd written to a Riverdaze post.
Yet I want to make something perfectly clear…I don't blog to accumulate numbers of readers or followers, or obtain lots of comments. I blog because I've found nothing in life beats sharing. Sharing doubles pleasure and halves pain. Sitting at a banquet table alone is lonely, empty, and a waste; but when you dine at that same laden table with friends, laughing, talking, telling stories, discussing what's on your mind, that same meal becomes a feast, perhaps even a celebration. Life is made to be shared. I'm so very blessed to live in this modest stone cottage beside a lovely sycamore-lined river. I see wonders every day. There's always another adventure, big or small, waiting to be experienced, if we'll only open our eyes and minds and hearts.
Riverdaze exists because I want to share what I can of my blessings with you—through words and photos, using whatever alchemy I can muster on a given day to make the experience as real as possible. I want us to join at this riverbank table and share the feast.
At the end of that first post, I closed by saying: "If you enjoy this blog, let me know. I can always use the encouragement." That hasn't changed…I want to hear from you so I can welcome you to this shared celebration.
Thank you, everyone—followers, faithful readers, lurkers, occasional visitors. THANK YOU!

50 comments:

Deb said...

Congratulations! Has it only been a year? I feel like we have been friends longer than that. The blogosphere is blessed by your presence. Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts and I look forward to many more!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - I would like you to know just how much pleasure your blog gives to me. I feel I know your stretch of the river well by now - I am getting to know your hawks and your semi-tame ducks - I imagine you sitting on your decking, drink in hand - and I love every single post you write. So this comes with many happy returns for another blogging year and love from a fellow-blogger who has come to look upon you as a friend.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Your welcome. But truly, the pleasure has been mine. It is always a delight to come here - and I am never disappointed with the feast set out at your riverside table. We've had a couple of good laughs together in our exchanges too. Your comebacks are second to none.

Congratulations on one year - hope there are many more to come!

Anonymous said...

Happy Bloggaversary-your visuals and verse bring a breath of fresh air to my city filled days.A from Ont.

Carolyn H said...

Congratulations on your first year, Griz!

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Deb…

Thank you, truly. Yours was one of the blogs I read and admired before I began Riverdaze—and I still read and admire your posts and spirit.

I hope you always find something you enjoy here.

Rowan said...

The blog world is truly enriched by the presence of Riverdaze, your portrayal of the all the beauty and occasional excitements of the world along your riverbank have given pleasure to many of us - and I wouldn't mind betting that 'us' consists of a great many more people than you'd imagine. I hope you'll carry on for a long time into the future sharing your words and photographs with us.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

I hope you always find pleasure here, and hope I can make this riverbank real and inviting for you each time you visit.

I consider you a friend, too, and I love reading your blogs and seeing your lovely farm and countryside.

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

I hope Riverdaze is always a delightful place to visit. I want you to have fun. To dine well at this table.

Thank you for all your kind comments.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Anonymous from Ont.…

I appreciate that you've broken your vow of online silence to make this lovely comment. Really. And I'm glad that you enjoy you visits. You see this river through special eyes…

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Yours is a blog I admire very much, because it's always interesting and written with the viewpoint of a knowing and appreciative eye. You care about the world around you and you pay close attention, sharing the woods and seasons of Roundtop wonderfully with readers. I just hope I do half so well with my stretch of riverbank.

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I hope you always find time spent at Riverdaze a pleasure. I certainly enjoy your lovely blog—those posts of countryside and art and places I've read about. I like the folklore a lot—because I think the old tales and ideas enrich our lives and notions of things in ways that a more modern approach fails to grasp.

I will keep writing Riverdaze as long as I can or visitors drop by….

Penny said...

Mostly a lurker but I read whatever you have posted since I found you via Weaver.
Like ypu I often wonder about my followers but it is so nice to know that in a way we are part of a world wide community.
Oh and Congratulatioms!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Happy Blog-anniversary, Grizzled!

I enjoy your posts so much, and you have made me appreciate our own countryside in new ways too. (On Sunday I was photographing one of the nearby rivers the 'Grizzled way' - close up like your recent post, and noticing lots of the little colours and shapes!)

Your sense of wonder is so evident, and it is a delight to converse about this wonder - and The Wind in the Willows!

And I always enjoy your great sense of humour too.

Scott said...

Congrats, Griz. I check (and enjoy) every one of your posts. Keep it up!

Debbie said...

I enjoy your blog very much. I love the pictures and you've a very colorful way of describing things and a good sense of humor. Of course, you still haven't posted those good recipes you talked about awhile back; but since I'm eating light, I'll forgive you.
Keep up the good work and I will enjoy visiting and hearing about the beautiful outdoors from someone who obviously enjoys it as much as I do.

bobbie said...

I congratulate you on your first year. It is fun, isn't it? I haven't figured out why, but it is. And comments do make it more so.

Like you, I do not write to accumulate comments. But I marvel at the fact that people come and read and do comment. I have a counter on my blog - not for learning the numbers, but to learn where they come from. I still cannot believe people from all over the world actually stop by from time to time. Senegal! the last one was from Senegal! How does that happen?

I do enjoy reading what you write, and love your photos. Don't comment often, but I'm reading.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Penny…

Lurkers are always quite welcome—silent or semi-silent. I completely understand. I lurk here and there myself—a window peeper on the World Wide Web!

Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad you stop by regularly.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Raph…

I have a "water shots" post in the works just for you.

I'm always honored to count you among my readers. It isn't every day such an erudite and colorful a character—let alone a giraffe!—visits. Of course, I expect, given the chance, we'd both like to visit that other river in the company of Mole and Ratty.

The world is indeed filled with wonder, which any child knows instinctively…while the rest of us forget unless we reopen our hearts.

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scott…

I appreciate your comments and am glad you've become a part of the Riverdaze vocal.

I'll try to not disappoint.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Debbie…

I haven't forgotten the recipes…just haven't redone my photos. But the draft is in the can. (No, not that kind of draft, and I didn't say "keg"—a word draft.)

I do love the outdoors. It has always permeated my life and thinking in almost every way. I can live without cities; I could never live without woods and fields, free-running streams, geese in an evening sky and that vast comfortable silence that comes only from space beyond the beyond.

Thank you, always.

giggles said...

Well congratulations!!!!

I have enjoyed my visits to the river immensely and appreciated your wisdom just as much!!!

Keep it up...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bobbie…

Indeed, blogging is fun—and the biggest part of that fun comes from readers who visit and (at least occasionally) comment. I like the conversation. The community. The sharing and exchanging of thoughts and bits of personal history; the banter. It isn't about ego. It's about having a bunch of friends stop by the riverbank, sit a spell, talk and laugh and enjoy the time.

I'm astounded that someone on the other side of the planet finds this little blogspace worthwhile. But then I think about the books I read on places I'll never get to see and experience in person, and I begin to understand. And I also believe, and try to make this, a "good and comfortable" place to visit. I'm not interested in ranting and arguing. (A little personal whining perhaps, but nothing more.) I have deep beliefs and strong feelings about a lot of things. Maybe about everything worth having an opinion about. While I don't try and hide them, neither do I make any of that the focus of Riverdaze. I try and treat folks with kindness and hospitality and respect. To "do unto others…" Just as I would were they to visit here in person.

I'm glad you commented today, and I thank you. And I'm even more pleased you read and enjoy your visits.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Thank you. I've certainly enjoyed our exchanges. And I'll try my best to "keep it up."

Now, about that wisdom business…have you been into the cooking sherry again?

Wanda said...

Visiting here for me is like reading a good book, or visiting a relative's welcoming home, it is so easy to escape into your stories, see what you see and feel what you feel. I may not comment everytime, but I read every post, as does my husband. I believe I found you through Nina's blog...am very thankful for that and thank you for visiting when you do!
As long as you write...we'll be reading!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm glad you took the plunge into bloggerville. I found you through Deb at Sand Creek Alamanac. Thanks Deb! Thank YOU Griz!

Jain said...

Happy birthday, Riverdaze, and congratulations on your anniversary, Scribe!

I don’t always write but I ~always~ read, and your individual replies are always appreciated.

You’ve been a bit of a mentor to me, know it or not. It’s been fun, sad, touching, thrilling, to read the musings of a fellow river rat.

Take care & many happy returns,
Jain

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I remember the first time I visited your blog and thought—wow, now that's the sort of warm and welcoming place I enjoy. I still think that, and still love to visit your lovely blog (and do so all the time, BTW.)

That you enjoy stopping by the riverbank and feel at home pleases me immensely. Thank you always. You are what good blogging—and good neighbors—are all about.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

I read and enjoyed your blog, too, long before I ever created Riverdaze. I'm pleased more than you know that you are a faithful reader. Moreover, we buzzard fans have to stick together…the owl and hawk folks won't have us in their cliques.

Thank you, for everything.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Funny, but I often read your blog and not only admire what you've written, but hope I put out posts half as interesting. I don't know if I'm much of a mentor, but I do hope I can always encourage you to keep blogging.

You're not only a fellow river rat, you're the very essence of good blogging—and I appreciate your posts more than you know. Just as I appreciate your comments.

Thank you.

KGMom said...

Scribe--first, happy blogiversary--and congrats on completing a year. For a sometime journal keeper, you have done very well.
WOW--Nina was your first reader/ commenter. You were graced indeed--she writes sterling prose and takes poetic photos.
I didn't realize I came upon your blog quite early. I do love a good verbal tussle--and I will keep trying to find reasons to have some in the future.
Well done, blogging friend.

TheChicGeek said...

Congratulations, Scribe! I, like all your readers, love our visits by the river. You ARE a blessing to us all. I'm so grateful to your first followers for encouraging you on and so thankful that you did continue to post and share.

Your quote, "Sharing doubles pleasure and halves pain." So very true. I enjoy so much your writing and your honesty. You have some wonderful followers here too and the conversation is always a treat.
I always experience peace, laughter, wonder at God's beautiful creation that you photograph for us when visiting. I feel blessed. You are truly a treasure and I'm so glad to have found you in the Blogosphere :)

And now I best stop or you won't be able to fit your head out the cabin door it is so full of compliments. :)

Thank you, Scribe and Happy Anniversary!
Hugs :)
Kelly

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

I have I don't know how many journals with a dozen or so entries, seldom more, before they just…end. A full year even only a bit more frequently than an entry every other day is a new highwater mark. Make that HIGHwater!

Indeed, Nina is a fine writer and photographer, and her blog, along with the blogs of Lynne and Deb, are the reason I decided to give this a try. All three, BTW, along with you, were some of the earliest commentors (not a real word, but "commentators" in its usual meaning isn't right, either), and in so doing, likely made the real difference in my continuation.

I look forward to future tussles…I think.

Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly, aka ChicGeek…

I believe that line—"Sharing doubles pleasure and halves pain."—completely, for I know from personal experience its truth. Nothing is more valuable in life than friends. And maybe in the blogosphere, if you take on some persona other than yourself, then blog friends aren't real and don't mean much. But I try to be myself, and try to be as honest as I can with folks. And I really don't get the sense that folks are being dishonest with me in return. So sharing here, for me, means something—something important and valuable. It is, of course, even more true in "real life," whatever that may be. But honest sharing, among friends, is life's greatest treasure.

I've enjoyed your comments and spirit since your first visit. I'm glad you like stopping by Riverdaze, and hope you always find the time worthwhile.

Don't worry about my head fitting through the door. I shave its face almost every day. I know me and know how ludicrous it would be to take myself too seriously. I've had enough punctures to my ego—well deserved and often self administered—over the years that it's like a sieve…impossible to patch sufficiently and forever incapable of inflation.

madcobug said...

Congratulation on your one year blogging. Looking forward to reading more of your blogging. Helen

Jayne said...

Happy Blogiversary Grizz! There are a few blogs I save and savor each day, and yours is certainly one of them. I have well over 70 blogs on my RSS feeds, and most I can just zip through, but I save Riverdaze so I can slowly read, smile, and savor your words and beautiful depictions of life as you live it. The blogs which bring me the most joy are of those who ooze the joy of being alive and sharing... that certainly sums you, and RIverdaze up nicely. Keep on blogging friend, keep on sharing.

The Solitary Walker said...

Well said, Scribe, and Happy Blog-versary! May there be many more to come. I can't believe it's been a year already! And if, as you say, I encouraged you in any way to carry on at the beginning of your blogging adventure - well, I'm truly proud to have had some tiny part in the preparation of what has become a sumptuous riverbank feast! Yours is one of my very favourite blogs, and I look forward to many more riverside chats and meditations in the winter months ahead... Congratulations on an absolutely first-class blog!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Helen…

Thank you—for reading and commenting. I look forward to the coming year, too—and trying to make Riverdaze better.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

I do like living where and how I do, exploring each day and finding its joy and adventure and wonder—and then sharing what I can with folks who appreciate such things.

Thank you for your readership and words. I'm glad you like to visit.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

The real pleasure of blogging for me is the people I meet in the process. Your early support, your words and comments which were, indeed, more crucial than you think to my continuation of Riverdaze, has, over the year, developed into genuine friendship. There is no greater reward in all of life than finding a friend.

I am always pleased you visit regularly and enjoy reading of these small riverbank adventures and my subsequent musings. I read of your wonderful journeys to those hauntingly beautiful places, such as your recent trip to Knochan Crag, and I'm so grateful that you've been there and shown me just this much of it through your most capable words and photos…and also a bit jealous in the nicest sort of way—not jealous that you were there, but jealous and disconsolate that I haven't see that land and breathed that air and heard the roar and whisper of the place myself.

I hope you always find this gentle, sycamore-lined river a place worth visiting. And I do, honestly, thank you for all your kind words and support.

Grace said...

Your blog is hands-down one of my favorites, so I'm glad that you want to share your many blessings with us.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Grace…

I'm just glad you find it worthwhile and comfortable—that enjoy your visits. That's the whole point.

Thank you…

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ AND CONGRATULATIONS!! :-)

I love you blog and I love you and all that you photograph, write, share, and enjoy. I am thrilled to be part of your humble, peaceful, respectful, simple, world of nature and offerings.
I was humbled that you found my blog worthy of your visits and comments.
I am honored to call you my friend.

Love to you
Gail
pece.....

Bernie said...

Grizz, I love your blog and have from the very first visit....your life is so much different than mine so coming here brings me calm and relaxation....you do live in a beautiful place and your words to describe it are even more beautiful. It will be a year for me in a couple of months and I have enjoyed blogging more that I ever thought I could, I have met many friends and actually pen pal with some of them.....Life is good and you are a blogging friend that has made my life better....:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

This old riverbank and blog wouldn't be the same without your visits and enthusiastic comments. I mean that. You are a pleasure and always welcome.

While our two blogs may be as different as night and day, I never stop by without admiring how you write with such honesty and courage and raw power.

We are friends…and the honor is assuredly mine. Thank you for everything…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Well, that's just the nicest compliment ever! It's my pleasure to have you visit and comment—and if you find something good for your here, that's simply wonderful.

I've also found blogging more enjoyable than I'd have ever imagined. And you're exactly right, it is the friends you make—the folks who read and comment, sometimes even write back and forth via email or snail mail—who make this entire endeavor so rewarding.

Thank you very much, always.

Kelly said...

...wonderful post, Scribe. Your posts are always so thoughtful, insightful, beautiful......and fun! This is my favorite sentence in today's post--"I blog because I've found nothing in life beats sharing. Sharing doubles pleasure and halves pain." I feel the same. Sharing bird adventures with friends and family makes those adventures more exciting (and I've converted a lot of my friends and family into active birders and nature watchers!). Congrats on your milestone. I wish I had stumbled across your blog sooner!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I believe in that philosophy implicitly. Nothing beats friendship and beats sharing. Your blog is one of my favorites, and I like it in part because of the way you share your joy and adventure.

Hey, whether you found your way here sooner or later doesn't matter. Besides, you can always go back and read the older post (PLEASE!) and see what you've missed.

Thank you for visiting and commenting, always.

giggles said...

Oh...you got me... the cooking sherry, the vodka and my favorite....tequila! But I'm still awaiting the BIG celebration.... December 4th is my last day.... I'm sad...and happy.... Still so far...no fools...! It's going better than I ever would have suspected.... See? There's your wisdom!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I AM the riverbank oracle!

(Hey, I wasn't going to mention the vodka and tequila.)