I let people know I had started this new blog What Next on July 31st and so far it has been read over a thousand times. Although some people record their responses to my writing in the comments section at the end of each post, many have also e-mailed, made remarks on facebook, or spoken to me about their feelings concerning my blog.
My most popular post so far was the one I did about our marriage on August 17th, our anniversary. One reader said it made her cry while another said he couldn’t help humming Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” when he saw the engagement photo of us taken way back in 1973. He thought Sonny/Dave should try growing his hair long again. Another reader looking at the same photo said “You and Dave were smoking hot back then-but of course nothing has changed.” My brother-in-law said I looked like an intense folk singer in that engagement photo, while another relative said he thought the reason Dave and I hadn’t become bored with each other in 38 years was because we are both pretty interesting people. I was a little surprised that both a niece and nephew of mine took me to task for the comment I made that marriage is basically ‘a roll of the die’. They told me they believe marriage is more a matter of fate—that certain people are meant for each other and when they meet it is magical. They told me they found my marriage post to be just a little too pessemistic/realistic. I think they were looking for their aunt and uncle to have had more of a fairy tale love story. I was of course thrilled that my nieces and nephews are reading my blog and was only too happy to debate the topic of marriage with them.
One friend, trying to be funny said “I could hardly bear to read this”, after my most recent post about encountering four bears on an early morning walk in the Moose Lake Provincial Park. One of my aunts wrote to admonish me for taking such a risk—she didn’t think I should have gone for a walk when I knew there were bears at large in the park.
Margaret, a regular reader of my blog added a connection I hadn’t thought of to the personal connections I had made for The Help in my blog post about the movie. Margaret remembered an article I had written about young Mennonite women who worked as “the help” in the homes of rich Winnipeg families.
Another reader applauded my post called So Polite. She said, “I hope lots of youth read it and know they have a fan and an advocate. Knowing someone believes in you and notices your efforts can be remarkably motivating to young people. Bravo to your commitment as a writer to letting your readers know about interesting youth you meet. I think you shouild send this story to each of their employers!”
Then there have als0 been general responses to the blog as a whole. One reader says she’s interested in What Next because she too has recently retired and is looking for direction in her new life. Another reader said she had become addicted to my former blog Hong Kong Journal and was glad I had started a new blog so she could continue reading about my life. Another reader said she learned something new everytime she read one of my blog posts.
It has been great to hear from so many people. I was worried that since I was no longer living abroad and traveling to exotic places my readers might not find my blog exciting enough to read. My cousin Kirsten told me not to worry about that. “I love reading your Canadian posts and I’m sure many of your readers feel the same way”.