Decadius Disseminatus

That’s Latin for “Ten Years of Blogging” (no, it’s really not, please don’t think that’s true, I totally made up the words of the sentiment. It’s not Latin for anything.)

But the gist is this: today, December 9, 2017, is the 10th anniversary of my life as a blogger. Ten YEARS I’ve been writing. On this very day an entire decade ago, I started out as a blogger. My friend Meg said, “You should write a blog” and so I did. Okay, there might have been more to it than that, I’m not that susceptible. I was going to repost my original blog, but, as it turns out, that site has shut down. Which means the first (just over) 500 blogs are lost forever. All that genius, gone in a wash of technology. (insert sad face smiley here)

I’d say it’s sad (see sad face smiley note), but I don’t know that it is (dammit! confused smiley). I don’t know if I need this to be permanent. The memories I’ll have either way but the granular details, I’m not sure we’re meant to carry those always. Maybe they are there just to color in the picture before it slowly leaches over time.

The point is, the stuff that matters we keep forever. but the rest of it, the stuff that seems so important in the moment? I don’t know that we’re supposed to keep it. I think part of life is letting go and moving forward. Hm, that is not a lesson I ever expected to learn through blogging, an exercise that by its very nature should show the opposite, but there you go.

This post, at the moment of publication is my 812th post. 812 times I’ve set out to tell you a story (at least here). My writing rate has slowed considerably. Five years ago, at the half decade mark, I wrote this post. In it, I told how it was my 1,000th post, 483 on this site and 517 on my first, now defunct site. If we include those 517 lost posts, then this is my 1,329th post.

(Remember my thing about numbers? This is a great place to demonstrate.)

I’ve technically written one thousand three hundred and twenty-nine posts (see? numbers are always more impressive if you write out the words.)

Over ten years, that is nearly 133 posts a year or a post every three days. Can you imagine? Every three days for a decade I wrote down my thoughts and published them on the internet for the world to read.

What was I thinking?

Just kidding, I like it. And I’m okay with it. I’m honored and touched and surprised that people actually do read it. People, that is, that are not my family or my friends. Since 219 people actually follow this blog and I’d guess less than 15 of them are the aforementioned friends and family, color me grateful and pleased.

What’s the point?

Well, there isn’t one, really. I just happened to stumble across my five year anniversary post only a couple weeks ago and it struck me, forcibly that I was dangerously close to this major anniversary. I knew then I had to take a moment and honor this date with a post, but as I thought about it in the days leading, I never found my story. Instead, today, without cleverness or guile, you get my thoughts. Just random scatters of notions sprinkled here for your enjoyment. Because I’m awesome like this, I’m going to link ten of my favorite posts.

Nope. Not favorite. Popular. I went to the site statistics and I found a list of all my posts ranked by number of views. So here we go, the Top 10 most popular posts on Livlife.

10.  Blog Crack

9. Buddy Coke

8. 35/35 (Kel, can you believe one of your birthday posts is in the TOP TEN? Of the 178 times that has been viewed, how many were you?…tell the truth!)

7. All About Me (Huh, that’s my intro page, which makes sense I suppose, but feels a bit like a cheat. But I did write it….)

6. Cheese and Macaroni

5. Christmas Letter

4. Magic Necklace

3. The Danger of Brushing Your Hair (in that post I am talking about something that happened 16,000 times and I spell out the words sixteen thousand and comment on how much more it seems. In 2011. Clearly I’ve believed this theory for quite some time).

2. Christian Kane Concert (this could well be MY favorite post I’ve ever written. Certainly it is to reread. I’m probably half of the page views (though I don’t think I count) and I’m both oddly pleased and disappointed it is number two)

1.  Purple Stripes – Never in a million years did I think this would be the most popular post on my site. Not sure what I thought WAS, but I wouldn’t have thought this, that’s for sure.

I’m adding one more: The Universe Wants Me to Listen to David Gray because I have always liked that post. And I think of it whenever a David Gray song comes on the radio or my iPhone. It’s number 33 overall which is still pretty high, so I’m including it as an honorable mention.

Ooops, make that two more. Wouldn’t Time Be Out To Charm You? This is another all time favorite of mine, the detailing of one of my life stories, a defining life story at that. I had to search for this one, only to find it is #73 on the list overall. But to me, this one would absolutely be top ten of my favorites, so I’m leaving it here as a second bonus.

What else can I say after ten years of being a blogger? Let’s see how long it lasts and where it goes, I guess. I certainly never thought I’d be writing a blog still after a decade.

Hm, how do you end these things? You’d think after doing this more than thirteen hundred times I’d have a foolproof system for getting out once the work is done (twss) but, unfortunately, I do not. Sometimes I’m pithy, sometimes it’s natural, sometimes I think I just stop typing.

This will be one of those times.


When the World Stopped Turning

It was a Tuesday morning. My only early class of the week. I was serving to pay my way through school, so I had become a night owl. I avoided mornings like the plague.

But, on Tuesdays, I had Ethics. It was one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken.

I got up and began getting ready for class. I was groggy, tired, grumpy. I turned on the radio for company. They were talking about airplanes. Crashing. New York.

I wasn’t getting it. I thought it was a joke. I remember thinking that this sounded like some sort of stupid joke. I changed the channel. I turned to KDWB. I never listen to them. Dave Ryan was also talking about these airplanes. Something was wrong.

I raced upstairs, only half dressed. My mom was gone for work already. I went into the garage. My dad was there. I don’t know why. Maybe he was on vacation? Tuesday morning should have found him at work. He was reading the paper. I told him to turn on the t.v.

We watched the 2nd tower fall.

It didn’t seem real. It was like watching a movie or something. It was horrible. They kept replaying the footage over and over. We listened to the newscasters as they gave theories. We heard about the plane headed for Washington. The one that hit the Pentagon. We heard about United 93. We listened to the conspiracy theories that were flying like mad, in lieu of actual facts.

I had to go to class. I finished getting dressed and left. I remember pulling onto I-94 and I was listening to the radio, listening to them talk about the Towers coming down. I was crying.

It was ridiculous. Why was I going to class? To sit with strangers and talk about this? I’d rather be home with my dad and talk to him. I got off on Radio Dr. and turned around. I went home. I learned later that they had canceled class due to the tragedy.

Dad and I sat in the garage and watched the coverage, we watched the billowing smoke. We listened to them speculate about how many people had died. It was days until we learned that the number nearly reached 3,000.

Eventually, my mom came home. Emily came home. She was a senior in high school. She was gone before I woke up, before the coverage started. She said that was all they talked about all day long. Several classes brought in t.v.’s so they could watch the coverage. I told her that had happened to me only once in school. The O.J. Simpson trial. The day the verdict was read, we had t.v.’s in the classroom so that we could watch. This was worse.

I didn’t know anyone. I have never been to NYC, never seen the Twin Towers before or since. I was not connected in a personal way to this tragedy. My connection was visceral, the feelings of fear and sadness and anger that come from someone hurting my country, our people. I wanted it to change, to not have happened, because of what it meant for the world, for the United States.

When I think back on that day, I remember that I was supposed to be in class. I remember feeling sick, but comforted that I was able to be with my family. I remember the feeling that rippled through me when I watched the second tower fall.

I remember.

God Bless America.

Raising Hope

Photo by Tom Franklin