Tag Archives: anniversary

10 Years of Blogging

Today is my 10-year blogging anniversary. That should be a pretty significant milestone, but it doesn’t feel like it. The last 5 years have seen a sharp decline in how much effort I’ve put into this space. I haven’t maintained it well for half of the 10 years The Eagle & Child has existed. In the last two years I posted as much as I did in one month in 2005 (no wonder my wife had issues with my blogging back then).

I don’t want to give up on blogging just yet. But I’m not sure what direction to take it in. I looked back at random months in my archive and I had some fun with it back in the day. These days I start writing something thoughtful and serious and it doesn’t take long for me to lose interest or feel like it’s not worth posting here. I have 128 draft posts of various lengths, 26 of which are from the last year.

I need to find the fun again.

I write a reflection for our church bulletin almost every week. Maybe I should post those here. But that’s not the kind of fun I was thinking of.

At any rate, over the years this blog has made me some new friends and in some respects helped get me where I am today in the church in The Field. It has been an interesting ride, old friend.

Anyway… here’s to 10 years of blogging! And here’s to increased fun and creativity here!

8 year anniversary

I’m in the midst of (mostly) finishing up this semesters work. Two more weeks of class, and in that time I have 3 major assignments, an exam, some paperwork, translation and quizzes to do. This ignores the 4 major assignments I have left to do for a directed study course due in early January, for which I will have to get an extension. Eep.

Anyway, in the midst of all this, I thought it might be nice to mention that today is my 8-year blogging anniversary. I’ve been at this for eight years now, since just before Madeline’s first birthday! I started blogging on this day under slightly false pretenses. I promoted my blog by emailing friends and family and saying that I was doing them a favour by posting pictures of Madeline on my blog rather than filling up their inboxes with them. Pictures of said child were few and far between in subsequent posts.

It has been an interesting journey, if I may be so pompous as to call blogging such. You might say it was a meteoric rise, relatively speaking. In less than a year, I owned my own domain name and was posting almost at an average of twice a day. My hit-count was decent. A community of sorts developed between my readers and other blogs I read. My wife, as I recall, complained about the time I spent writing on the blog and interacting with the comments.  Eventually, I settled on a once-a-day average, and my wife also started blogging, rising to “fame” and “fortune” in the lucrative “Reflective Mommy Blog” category (philosopher sub-category). And then, life started changing. I went to seminary, and it almost killed this blog.

Along the way I’ve written some stuff that I’ve truly been proud of, stuff written with passion and clarity. I’ve written some stuff I wish I hadn’t. I’ve written some stuff that I thought wasn’t that valuable, but which other people thought helpful. I’ve written some stuff that unintentionally started arguments. I think I’ve probably written some stuff that intentionally started arguments. I’ve written a lot of stuff that was speculative. And I’ve almost written a lot of stuff that never saw the proverbial light of day.

The really cool thing, though, is that I made new friends through this blog. I won’t list them all here for fear of missing someone. But we’ve made friends that we’ve visited with, eaten with, traveled to, debated with. We’ve made friends in other countries. We’ve made friends that eventually connected us with a community where we made more friends. Those friends and that community, in turn, had a big role in getting us to the place where we are now, nearly finished seminary and just about ready to enter the real world in vocational ministry.

Interesting how a seemingly simple and inconsequential choice can lead to such grand, life-changing experiences!

So here I sit at year eight, entering the ninth, without much energy at the moment to write in this space. It has become somewhat neglected. Some say blogging is a thing of the past. The world really does change quickly. But I’m not ready to give up on this medium. 140 characters just won’t do it for me and neither does the cluttered all-inclusive noise of Facebook (at Google+ seems, at the moment, to be a bit of a failure). There is still something about a blog…

So here’s to eight years of blogging and to some more.

The Adventure Begins

Well, we are on our 2nd honeymoon. We ought to be in a village north of London right now. Instead, I’m laying awake in a Denver hotel room after a poor night’s sleep.

Our flight left Saskatoon on time. We would have plenty of time in Denver–3 hours–to go through customs, claim our luggage, recheck our luggage, maybe have a bite to eat, go through security and board our flight to London.

It was not to be. As we approached Denver, our pilot advised us that the airport was closed due to thunder storms and no one was landing at that time. We circled Denver for quite some time–half an hour, maybe–and then diverted to Colorado Springs to refuel. We sat on the tarmac there for an hour or so, refueling and getting new papers to allow them to land in Denver.

We assumed that since no one was landing in Denver during the storm, all other flights would be delayed as well. However, by the time we disembarked in Denver, it was 7:45, and I was beginning to doubt that we’d make our 8:07 flight. When we got through customs and the baggage claim and rechecked our bags, we knew our flight was boarding and we had only minutes to spare. Unfortunately, our gate was a run across the length of a terminal and then a train ride to another terminal away. A couple of gentlemen who seemed to know what they were doing helped us with directions, but they seemed doubtful that we’d make it (as was the man at the slow security check). On the train to our gates he told us that they don’t hold flights and that by then they’d probably been calling our names over the P.A. for 10 minutes.

From what we could tell, the doors at our gate closed only moments before we rounded the corner. The airplane was sitting there, its door closed and the little passage/walkway to the door retracted. We banged on the doors for a while and waved frantically at the pilots, but evidently they are prohibited from reopening the doors.

So we wonder what could have made the difference: if we hadn’t missed our suitcase when it came out at the baggage claim, if we had spent more time running rather than speed walking, if security had been just a little faster, if we hadn’t let that other couple with an earlier flight go ahead of us to recheck luggage, if the rechecking attendant hadn’t been (as she appeared to be) dawdling and hemming and hawing about whether we could make it, if we had been a little more clear on our directions across the airport to our gate–if any of these things had happened, would we have made it onto our flight?

I spent some time in the customer service line, several hundred people strong, and growing, while Dixie made further attempts to get us entry to the flight.

She was not successful. She did, however, find out that as first class flyers we had access to a lounge area where there was a concierge who could rebook a flight for us. I have been feeling some mild guilt over the privilege of flying first class on this trip, but it’s never worse than when we get to jump the queue at security or to rebook a flight.

Of course, my feelings of guilt weren’t strong enough to insist to Dixie that we not use our privileges.

So here we are in a hotel in Denver, a 20 mile shuttle ride from the airport. I should be asleep, but I slept terribly on this Sleep Number bed. My cough is getting worse (I haven’t been sick beyond a headache or runny nose for more than a year! Why now?!). Dixie, on the other hand, was sawing logs (well, cutting a twig with a Swiss Army knife saw) for most of the night. Hopefully, I won’t get any worse and jet lag will be manageable, because we’ve already missed a day in England (we are scheduled to arrive a day later).

But…we’re trying to make the most of it. We are, after all, in a hotel in a foreign(ish) country without our children.

Further happenings and goings on…

I forgot to mention that yesterday–August 12–was our 9 year wedding anniversary, which, according to the card my mother-in-law gave us, is our latex anniversary (it was a joke card–other anniversaries included Styrofoam, Teflon, Soil and Soup).

We disposed of the children–Madeline went to a friend’s house for a sleepover and Dixie’s parents took Luke and Olivia for the night–and did the following:

1.  Shared a rushed Dinner for One and a small wonton soup at Vu’s Garden.  We were going to a 6:40 film and we got to the restaurant at 6 and it was packed.  We asked for our food to be rushed, if possible.  It was, and we ate well before several other tables who had been seated before us.  They probably disliked us intensely at that moment.

2.  Arrived on time for our 6:40 film, Julie & Julia.  It was preceded by several film previews in no way connected, as far as we could tell, to the type of audience attending this film.  Julie & Julia is a light-hearted film about fulfilling dreams and cooking; three of the previews were for horror or suspense films.

I give Julie & Julia 3.5/5 stars.  Meryl Streep was brilliant as usual, the story was interesting (particularly Julia Child’s), and Dixie and I were both inspired to cook more (and more interestingly).  But it’s never a good sign when you feel the need to check the time 3/4 of the way through the film.  Plus, I didn’t think the two stories which made up the film–Julia Child’s rise as a cook and Julie’s life–really worked well together.  The story of Julia Child was biopic-ish, whereas Julie’s story, even though based on actual events, seemed more like an old-school Meg Ryan romantic comedy.  Not a good mix.

3.  Went home, in bed by 9:30p.m., asleep just after 10.

4.  Breakfast at Smitty’s this morning before retrieving the children.

It was a good time.

9 years and still going strong.

Happy anniversary, Dixie!

Blogging Anniversary

5 years ago today I started blogging.  It was over at 20six.  My blog still exists there.   (I see the title to the last post on that blog has no less than 3 exclamation marks in it.  For shame!)

I used to think that 5 years was a big deal.  I thought 5 years of tree planting was a big deal, but some of the guys I was a rookie with are still in the tree planting business 8 years after I planted my last tree (for a logging company).  Suddenly my 5 years seem like nothing.

With blogging I can’t catch up and never will.  The bloggers that had been writing for 5 years when I started seemed so impressive then (because they started well before the blogging boom), but now they have now done so for 10 years.  So I’ll always feel behind in terms of milestones.

But those 5 years have been good and I have blogged consistently throughout.  The quality and quantity of my content has ebbed and flowed (I’m currently ebbing, I guess), but I’ve been here consistently.  And there is some degree of satisfaction in that.

What’s next for The Eagle & Child?  I don’t know.  Ironically, just at the time that I’m beginning formal theological studies I feel less inclined to post on theological matters.  Perhaps the realization as I begin my studies that there is so little that I know and so much I can learn has had a subconscious effect on my theological blogging output.  So I don’t know what’s next.

What am I doing to celebrate this milestone?  Nothing.  Well, I may be reinstalling WordPress to facilitate easier upgrading in the future (so my blog might be down for a bit tonight), but that has nothing to do with the anniversary.

Also, we used our fireplace tonight for the first time since we bought the house.  We’ve been paying insurance for a house with a fireplace for a year and a half, but we haven’t used it yet.  I have been trying for a good year to find someone to inspect it, but there’s no one around the city who can do it.  I don’t even need a certified person to check it for insurance or sale purposes–I just want it done for my own piece of mind. But we’re done waiting.  We lit the sucker up tonight.

Marriage advice

Today marks 8 years of marriage (to each other) for Dixie and I.  It’s kind of a bittersweet day: our anniversary, Dixie’s granny’s funeral.  We got married in the same church as where Granny’s funeral will be held.  20 years ago this year, when Dixie was 9 years old, Granny gave Dixie a journal of pictures and memories.  In that journal, Granny said that one day she would see Dixie walk down the aisle.  Dixie always remembered that line, worried that maybe Granny would never see that day.  But she did.  Dixie remembered those words as she walked down the aisle.  She looked at Granny as she passed her by; Granny winked.

* * *

I know 8 years is not all that long as these things go—Granny and Grandpa were married 67 years!—so this might be premature, but I feel it incumbent upon me to share some wisdom for a lasting marriage.  At least, a marriage that lasts 8 years and counting.  (And it’s not my intention to put a damper on the bittersweetness that pervades this day.)

In no particular order:

1. Assume there is no such thing as an irreconcilable difference.  How many times have you heard this: “Star A and Star B cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce”?  It’s a catch-all cop-out.  I realize that there are legitimate grounds for divorce, but we shouldn’t look for them.  Divorce shouldn’t be an option going into marriage.  Assume your marriage will be life-long and work at it being so.

2. Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  And so on.  (It is my understanding that healing is possible even in a marriage where the worst has happened.)

3. Be patient.  Especially if your spouse is slow or reluctant to forgive.

4. Say, “I love you” daily.  Multiple times, if you like.  It doesn’t get old.

5. Laugh.  Joke around.  Tease each other.  Allow yourself to be made fun of.  Give each other nicknames.  Try to find common interests—watch movies together.  Have a regular TV night to watch a particular show you both like together.

6. Be affectionate.  Hug, kiss, snuggle, spoon, hold hands, etc. (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more)

7. That old saying, “Don’t go to sleep angry”?  Rubbish.  Go to sleep angry.  In the morning you’re likely to feel much better and, in fact, a little silly for being so angry in the first place.

8. Open up to each other: share your feelings, dreams, loves, joys, passions, fears, struggles, mistakes, failures.  (And see numbers 2 and 3 above.)

I’m sure there are more—I should probably ask Grandpa—but there you have it as I see it after 8 years.