A Barely Discernible Ripple

(Morning light through morning glory leaf—on my porch)

Well, it’s just 10:46AM, and I see on the WordPress site that WordPress bloggers have already written 69,148,215 words today. That’s a lot of words. And here I am about to add my 700 or so.

It’s humbling to realize that my little blog makes barely a ripple in that vast ocean of words, those overwhelming waves of words that wash over us daily. But it’s gratifying, too, to think that sometimes, somehow, my almost indiscernible ripple just might make a discernible difference in someone’s life.

It still amazes me, after over two and half years of posting on this blog, that people come back time after time to read my thoughts. And sometimes it scares me, too, because I’ve so often clicked “Publish” filled with fear and doubt that my words would measure up to your expectations. And, very likely, sometimes they haven’t. But one thing I know for sure is that my words have been honest. And true to who I am (for better or for worse). That was important to me.

I never found my niche in the blogging world, never found a place in the blogosphere where I fit in. No surprise, really. I’ve never found my niche in the “real” world either—even after 52 years. And maybe I never will, but I’m so grateful when I do find kindred spirits amongst my fellow pilgrims. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it seems miraculous.

You can probably guess what this is leading up to. Initially, I’d planned to end it cleanly—by deleting my entire blog. You’ve seen those blogs that people just abandon, floating out there in cyberspace. Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man says that they are like ghost ships— those abandoned vessels found adrift in the sea with no one aboard. So I thought the least I could do was to give this vessel of my life a decent burial.

But now that the time is here, I can’t do it. Delete my blog, that is. It would be almost like I’d killed a part of me. And even a part of you, my valued readers, since you have blessed me with so many beautiful, insightful, and moving comments over the years. And so, I’ll leave Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl up for now, in case I decide to return someday. Because I’ve really come to love the connections I make through my blog, and I know I’ll miss them. Amazing what happens when you extend a virtual hand out into cyberspace—sometimes hands reach back and gently grasp yours.

By most standards, my blog wouldn’t be called a success. It never brought me fame or fortune. Some people make money advertising on their blogs; others find paid work (in writing) through their blogs. That never happened with me, though I have found rewards of a different kind. And that’s why I’m quitting, at least for now. I need to put all my energies into finding the kind of work that pays the bills. Sure, it would be great if that work involved writing, but, realistically, it’s far more likely to involve a broom and toilet brush than a word processor.

But enough about me. I want to talk about y’all. Because y’all are amazing. You probably have no idea how much your comments and the love, compassion, kindness, wisdom, and humor in them has meant to me. Occasionally, in difficult times, I’ve gone back and read them and been buoyed by your benevolence. And your kind words about my writing have kept me writing and even believing that someday I might be published in a bigger (and more profitable) venue.

So thank you. I won’t say goodbye because I’ll still be hanging around in cyberspace, visiting your blogs to see what you’re up to. Not as often as I do now, but often enough to make sure you’re behaving yourselves and staying out of trouble. Or not. :-)

So. No final goodbyes. Just…so long for now from the Doublewide Ranch. Thanks for stopping by and sitting a while on my front porch. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. You’ve been the best of company, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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69 Responses to “A Barely Discernible Ripple”

  1. Elora Says:

    Noooooo! Just when I found you! Please stay. Your voice is unique and beautiful…without makeup, just your pure self…Please don’t go…

    Elora

  2. Elora Says:

    In my despair I failed to mention the gorgeous photo of the Morning Glory leaf! Thank you for sharing! Truly.

    Elora

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Elora. I’m so glad you found my blog because it led me to yours! And I’ll still be visiting your blog to see what’s happening at your lovely farm Just Off the One-Lane Road.

      By the way, as I mentioned, there’s always the chance that I’ll miss blogging so much that I’ll come back. It’s just for now, I have to concentrate on finding more paying work.

  3. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Why are you giving up blogging, Beth???? I ALWAYS enjoy your blogs and you ARE a great writer. But—if you don’t enjoy it or feel as if you have something to say, then I truly don’t blame you… If and when I get to the point that I have nothing else to say, I’ll probably give it up also. But—I would never just disappear. There was one lady recently who took her whole blog down and deleted her email address. Nobody knew what happened to her… I think that is just so rude –when people do care about you. SO–you are doing it the right way, and if you decided to leave your blog UP, you might even find something special to say to us sometime. I’d LOVE that.

    Are you going to keep checking out our blogs???? I hope so–and I do have your email address to contact you… Please remember how much I have enjoyed getting to know you. You are a special lady.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Betsy! No, no, I’m not disappearing without a trace. As I mentioned in my post, I’m still going to be hanging out in the blogosphere checking out your (and other’s) delightful blogs. And still commenting, though not as often, because I really do have to concentrate on finding paid work. As I mentioned, that’s why I’m stopping. For now anyway.

      Thanks again for all your great comments! Hope you and George are having a great time at the beach. Don’t get too sunburned!

  4. Dr. Pun Says:

    My dear Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl…I am crushed. Does this mean no more complusive punnery? No more unrestrained wordplay?

    I shall never forget your potty pun post. The best potty pun post I ever read! Potty pun post perfection! I was positively flushed with excitement as I read it.

    I am dismayed to think this will be the end…

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Potty pun post perfection?? Patently preposterous! Though producing that potty pun post was particularly pleasurable.

      It was such a relief when everything came out alright.

      I can assure you, Dr. Pun, that, despite my post’s pausing, I shall persist in pervasive punnery.

      As well as unbridled and unabashed wordplay.

      • Ariel Says:

        Hahaha, Dr. Pun, I will miss you almost as much as blueridgebluecollargirl. Both of your quick quips and quirky quotations delight me daily. :D

      • Benjamin Says:

        A post of pent-up pun power!

  5. Pat Says:

    Every time I check my Google Reader and see a post from you, I start grinning. I refuse to believe that this will be the last time. I’m just sayin’.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Pat—so good to hear from you! Thank you for saying that—it means a lot. I know for sure that I will miss blogging…and the kind company of my readers.

  6. clairz Says:

    Okay, okay. (I’m just saying that to calm myself down). Of course you need to do what’s best for you, I realize that. But I think you’re pretty wise to think that you might want to pop back in some time for a post or two.

    I was thinking about leaving my blog recently because of some wicked meanies who were making my life miserable through the comments. However, three things happened (and I tell you these because any one of them might resonate with you): 1) I realized how much my blog has come to define who I am and how much I love writing it. 2) I watched the movie Julie & Julia which is about blogging and cooking and writing and believing in yourself. 3) Someone that I had become friends with here in New Mexico suddenly realized that I was the person who wrote the blog that she had read a couple of years ago when she lived back in Wisconsin and was planning to move to the Southwest; and she told me how much it had meant to her way back then.

    So, Beth–love of writing, believing in yourself, and thinking about how much you mean to your reading public–just some things to think about.

    And I have to tell you, you are beloved. Loved. Oh, heck, we LOVE you!!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Aww…thank you, Clair! I love you, too. And I love your blog—your writing, your photos, and your wonderful sense of humor. I am so sorry about your recent blog troubles—you are much too nice a person to have that happen.

      Everything you say does resonate with me. I still love writing (and will continue to write). And it has meant the world to me to know that something I’ve written has touched someone or made them think. I am still working on believing in myself—that one is hard.

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Clair. It touched me.

  7. june Says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I almost stopped Spatter…what with Flickr and Facebook activity, but found myself telling it “I can’t quite you”. :-)

  8. southernlady64 Says:

    Hi Beth, You are going to be missed so much in the blogging world but I totally understand if you need to focus on finding work. You are the second on my blog list to leave this week. I lost Kate of Shambles Manor, too. I think we all get tired of blogging. I know I do at times but I have met so many wonderful people out there. You are such a great writer and I consider you a great friend, too. Please e-mail or give us a post once in a while just so that we can keep up with you and your beautiful family. Good luck to you. Thanks for being there in some trying times with your prayers and kind words. I hope your cake turned out good today. Hugs to you and love always.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Judy! Thank you for your kind words. I value your friendship very much, so you can be sure I’ll be checking in with you from time to time. You and your family are still in my prayers, and I think of you often. And, of course, I love both your blogs. Your recipes are my kind of cooking—-I love them.

      I’m not quitting because I’m tired of blogging. It’s just more of a time thing. I consider commenting on other’s blogs to be just as important a part of blogging as writing my own, and that takes a lot of time. Of course, I enjoy it very much, but I do need to focus more on practical matters for now. But I’ll still be visiting my favorite blogs—I’ve got to make sure y’all stay out of trouble!

      I appreciate your comment (and all your other comments), Judy. And I appreciate your friendship, too. Thank you.

  9. Sharon Says:

    I’m absolutely shocked and heartbroken and wish you could hear me yelling NO! YOU CANNOT STOP! Of course I understand about needing to find a paying job. Absolutely. But does that mean you can’t blog anymore??? Of course you can! In fact, we’ll all be waiting to hear about your daily encounters and thoughts just as we do now. Please don’t say goodbye or even so long.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Aww, Sharon…don’t be heartbroken! I’ll still be keeping in touch. And you know I can’t stay away from the fantastic writing on your blog. I do understand how you feel because I’d be really upset if you quit. But I’ll still be writing. One thing I didn’t mention in my post is that I want to concentrate on writing fiction. I started a novel years ago, but stopped it when I went through an extended crisis. I haven’t been able to make myself go back to it because…well…I guess because I am afraid. But I hope that stopping my blog will force me back into writing fiction…and hopefully back into finishing that novel. I just didn’t mention that in my post because I was afraid it sounded pretentious to talk about writing a novel. :-)

      The truth is, I’m already feeling pretty sad about quitting my blog…and strangely bereft. I didn’t expect that, so, who knows? Maybe I’ll decide I just can’t stay away after all. That’s why I’m leaving the door open just a crack.

  10. Chris Says:

    No, don’t leave! Say “later” cause I know you’ll be inspired by some adventure or another. Brooms have been known to inspire flights of fancy. I like to think of this good writing as floating around cyberspace. I’m often urged, by my family, to try and make money off of the various art forms I practice. I don’t even want to try and put the energy that way; but I do want to stay creative. Money really isn’t everything but I hope you find a worthwhile job and that you’ll visit with us now and again. Best wishes in all your endeavors. I have truly enjoyed your sharing. Thank you!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Chris. I agree completely that money isn’t everything. And I do think that art can suffer when money becomes the sole motivating factor. But money is a pretty handy thing to have when the bills come due. :-) I do hope to keep writing—just in a different form. I’m hoping to get back into writing fiction. Maybe take a class, if I can find one. And maybe even get back to writing that novel I started years ago.

      Thanks so much for reading—I appreciate it. I’ll be checking in with your blog to hear what’s going on in your life. Your art is amazing.

  11. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    I truly don’t understand the need to totally delete a blog. I’ve known others whose blogs disappeared — one woman died and her husband deleted her blog (was it costing him money each month?), even though her following have continued the things she started like Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-A-Thon (http://24hourreadathon.com/) — one local friend hadn’t written much when she quit, but deleting her blog meant my links (posted about her) now go nowhere.

    Please, please, please don’t delete your blog, even if you never post here again.

    Your blog is one of only ten on my sidebar under “Blogs I Read Regularly.” The other blogs are my own, for things like Banned Books (where several readers post reviews), Book Buddies (my online book club discussion), Joyful Noiseletter (where I talk about words that catch my attention), and Book Club of St. Elmo (where I post what my face-to-face group is reading). You fill a unique niche for me, and I will miss your unique voice.

    I will also miss your photographs (the leaves and flowers and skies over the hills and vines taking over, come to mind) and your humor (your Hank and Homer sock friends, who need their own children’s book, in my not-so-humble opinion).

    Even if you take a full-time job, you’ll “need” to come back occasionally (like during vacations, maybe) and let us know how you are. We need you, if that’s any incentive.

    We do. Yes, we do. I do.

    Love ya!
    ~~~ Bonnie

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thanks, Bonnie! I love you, too. And I love your blogs. I am amazed that you can keep up with all those blogs, when I can barely manage one! No, I’ve pretty much decided that I can’t delete my blog. So I guess my ghost vessel will keep floating out there in cyberspace. :-) And I may just decide I can’t stay away. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I feel a lot sadder about it than I expected. Downright depressed, in fact. I’ve never quit a blog before, so I don’t know if that’s just a natural response…or a sign.

      Anyway, of course I’ll be checking in with you to hear what’s going on in your life. And to read your latest wonderful book reviews. Though I was a bit crushed that you didn’t like Olive Kitteridge! :-)

      Thank you for reading and thank you for saying that you need me. I was very touched by that.

      Hank and Homer say Hey!

  12. Elaine Says:

    Lordy me!!! I’ll miss your blog and the beautiful pictures!!!!! Good luck in your search for a job, but please don’t forget the ones of us who really do check your site every day!!!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Elaine! I appreciate you commenting…and I promise that I’ll never forget my readers. You are all very important to me.

  13. Ariel Says:

    Mommy,

    I have seen a transformation in you through this blog, and in the lives of so many of your readers. I have witnessed your absolute, stunning bravery in baring your soul, and I have seen in the comments and friendships that have stemmed from it that people are refreshed by your words as if by water. Your writing is always that–a wave of truth in that blog ocean where so few people are actually able to do what you do, write with purity, simplicity, and open-heartedness. There are so many times when, late at night when I can’t talk to you otherwise (like tonight, in despond over an exam essay that will keep me up), I open your blog just to read a few words to encourage me and lift my spirits. This little nook on the Internet is a haven of hope and joy, and though you won’t be writing here for some time, and though that makes me quite sad, I know that that same hope and joy will find a home in the hearts around you (and hopefully in more writing), and that pleases me too.

    I love you!

    Love, Ariel

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Aww…that was beautiful, babygirl. You made your Mama cry now. *goes to get another hanky* *blows nose* *blinks rapidly*

      Thank you, sugarbaby. I do feel really good about the fact that I did write true in my blog—just as I’ve always told you and your brother to be true to yourself. And to others. And to God.

      Always.

      Love, Mommy

  14. Martha Says:

    Oh, Beth, my heart sank more and more as I kept reading. I follow your blog on my google reader and whenever I see a new post, I’m thrilled. And I never read it right away like I might with some others; I wait until I’m free to enjoy it, savour it. But this one was a sad one; the world wide web now has a sad, empty spot in it without you. I know that I will miss reading your blog tremendously. You have the talent and imagination needed to be a great writer, but unfortunately, it’s also such a difficult area to get into.

    I do understand that you need to focus on finding work that will pay your bills. We have to do whatever we need to do to stay afloat. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope one day to see you published. In the meantime, you know that you are always welcome to come hang out over at my place with me, my garden and even all my furry critters! :)

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Martha! You can be sure I’ll be coming to hang out at your place. I can’t wait to see how your garden grows, and of course, I’ve got to keep up with the latest antics of your furry family members! (Not to mention all those backyard critters).

      Thank you for your good wishes—they mean a lot. I do hope to be published someday, but I am well aware of the difficulty in doing that. I’m going to concentrate on writing fiction…and keep sending out my stuff, even if only to start a nice collection of rejection slips! :-) And, as I said in earlier comments, I just may decide that I miss sharing my life here at the Doublewide Ranch with y’all too much and end up back at Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl.

      I’ll see ya in the garden!

  15. sweetflutterbys3 Says:

    Oh, Ouch! That hurts! I can’t believe you won’t be here anymore. Though I understand you have to move on, I’m heartbroken. I will miss you dearly. The way you write is like magic. I can see everything you describe so clearly, like I am there. I sincerely hope one day you do decide to write a book and share your thoughts, insights and your beautiful pictures as well. They are breathtaking.

    Please consider posting a short update here or there so we all know how you are doing. I will be keeping a link to your blog on my favorites list.

    Although you may have felt your words would not be received well at times, I always found you to be a sweet, kind and compassionate person no matter the topic you chose.

    Thank you so much for the support you gave me over the time we got to know each other. It meant a lot to me.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers and I hope for you the best of everything. Hugs to you and your family, for sharing you with us.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mary Ann. It is particularly pleasing to me to hear that someone likes my writing—I appreciate it so much. I struggle a good bit with self-confidence, so there’s never a chance of me getting a big head! :-)

      I did want to tell you that you haven’t seen the last of me. Of course, I will be stopping by Sweetflutterbys to see how things are at your house or to get your latest tasty recipe! And also to watch the progress of your new project house…

      I am so grateful for your thoughts and prayers—they mean a lot. And I will keep you and your family in my prayers, as well. Sounds like you have a busy year ahead—I hope it is a year of joy, peace, and contentment for all of you.

  16. wesleyjeanne Says:

    I just want to point out that I’ve never gotten this many comments on a single post of mine, not even when I abandoned my other blog…

    You are loved, you will be missed. I wish I could express what the others have said even more fervently.

    Please do keep writing, my friend. The world needs your words.

    I need your words.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Aww…thank you, Wes. You can be sure that I’ll keep writing. And, of course, I’ll still be reading Mountain Mama. Because I need your words, too. And your lovely photographs.

      Regarding your first sentence: I should point out that half of these comments are my own responses. So, I’m afraid there’s some serious comment inflation going on here. :-)

  17. eemilla Says:

    I’ve finally stopped crying over your decision (after being reassured that you wouldn’t delete your blog all together). Although I don’t know you and I’m not likely to ever see your morning glory wrapped porch with your gorgeous view, I am absolutely heart wrenched to know that you won’t be appearing as unread in my google reader any longer. While I appreciate that Charter isn’t free and writing a work of fiction might require full attention, I’m not certain what I’m going to do without you. Thanks for promising to stop by and maybe even post something once in a while.

    On the bright side, I will now begin reading from the beginning of your blog (so seriously, PLEASE don’t delete it), and I’ll hope that you’ll keep posting new content often enough that I don’t suffer withdrawal.

    Speaking of new content, maybe you could throw up some photos once a month or so with some pun filled comments.

    On the paid work, Hank and Homer most definitely need to be protagonists in a children’s book (which I would gift again and again to my fertile friends and family).

    I wish you the best of luck in your job search, and I hope fortune smiles on you so that you can have enough time to blog and write fiction full time.

    Thank you so much for the many smiles, laughs, and tears you have brought me.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      You know, Eemilla, I think that is about the best compliment anyone could pay me—to want to start at the beginning of my blog and read all the way through. Seriously, that really thrills me…and I’m so grateful for it. I hope you enjoy it. I recently went back and read some of my earlier posts and found it interesting to see how my writing has evolved. I hadn’t written that much non-fiction before I started my blog, so it has surprised me that I could produce possibly passable prose (sorry! I cannot seem to resist alliteration!)

      I told Hank and Homer what you said about being protagonists, and they are very excited! They don’t know what that is, but they think it sounds very important. They just wanted to make sure that they could still be protagonists without opposable thumbs. They know that opposable thumbs are essential for certain jobs. But even without them, Hank and Homer will always do their very best.

      Thank you so much for the good wishes. I wish you and your husband all the best. I’ll still be popping by your blog to check out your latest adventure—culinary or otherwise. I still think you should write restaurant reviews professionally. You’re really good!

  18. Shannon Says:

    Not so fast lady, you aren’t getting out of the blogosphere so easy. I subscribe to the “blog when you wanna” club which means I just do it when I have time, and when I can browe around. I think that when I got started I got sucked into reading so much – and if somebody commented I felt like I had to go and read things right away. Now I’ve got it more in balance to where I write, or do when I can and then read and commend when I can.

    You ain’t allowed to just skate and hang up the keyboard!!!!

    I don’t think it has to be all or nothing – especially nothing! I know you’ve got a dream and desire to write more – and you are so incredibly good at it. Direct your writing time into stories or books – or journal your life in the form of stories. Maybe give up on blogging as much, but do not give up on the writing. In that you would truly shortchange yourself.

    But I know the crunch for work and time…….it gets harder to allocate minutes to things that are for yourself when other things have greater priorities.

    But think to Maya Angelou? What if she gave up as a young single mother – and didn’t write her poems on scaps and in snatches? Write your heart on snatches and scratches and keep your journey going for you.

    And I want to hear about the results!!!!!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Shannon! It’s great to hear from you. Don’t worry…I’m still going to be writing. As I mentioned in my responses to earlier comments, I’m going to be working on learning to write better fiction with the hopes that I can make myself get back to writing a novel that I started years ago before an extended crisis intervened. I’m also going to be looking for paying work, though for someone my age without a college degree, it’s tough going out there. I’m definitely not going to be hanging up the keyboard—it should still get quite a workout!

      And, of course, I’ll be stopping by Going Crunchy to check out the latest chapter in your adventures as a librarian (Sorry! I cannot seem to resist a pun! Or two!). I’ll be keeping in touch for sure, and y’all will be the first to know if I have any sort of literary success.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for your wonderful comments over the years. I appreciate it.

  19. Jayne Says:

    ((((Beth)))) my friend,

    I am so glad that Betsy “introduced” us and that I’ve had the privilege and honor to get to know you. I, like everyone else, so enjoy your wonderful and honest writing, and am relieved to know you won’t delete your blog and simply disappear. That would be sad beyond words. Take the time you need to do what you need to do, and I’ll bet you’ll find a few minutes here and there to sit down and “talk” to us. :c) Just know that your presence here matters to so many people, and so much love and good wishes are being sent your way. We’ll keep in touch just the same, OK?

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Jayne! Hugs to you, too, my friend. I’m glad Betsy introduced us, too (thank you, Betsy!) I love your wonderful and honest writing, too, and your amazing photography, so you can be sure I’ll still be stopping by Journey Through Grace. And I’m so glad you want to keep in touch because I feel the same way. Our friendship has meant a lot to me. Thank you for that and for your lovely comments on my blog. It’s meant a lot to me.

  20. Benjamin Says:

    Mommy-

    We love you. Thanks for the fine word play, the pictures, and the insights.

    Love, Benjamin

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      I love you, too, sweetie pie. Thank you for your wise, wonderful, and often funny comments over the years. They have meant a lot to your Mama and have been a way of connecting with you when you’re too busy with school for lengthy conversations. I can’t wait to see you today—drive carefully! I’ll leave the light on for you!

      Love, Mommy

  21. CountryDew Says:

    Good luck with the job search. Change is sometimes quite necessary and it can be a good thing, even if we fear it and wonder what the heck is going on when it is happening. It can also take a long time, I am finding, and gives a new meaning to living in the moment. My wish for you is that you will find your moment, that life’s meanings will continue to be refined for you, and that joy and glory will follow you all of your days. You are a gifted writer and I hope that someday you will acknowledge your talent and find a valuable outlet for it. Best wishes to you and like the others I hope that you will return to your blog on occasion, if only to say hellow and give an update as to your life. Take care.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Anita! You’re right—change is pretty scary. I’m surprised at how sad I feel now that I’ve officially ended my blog. I didn’t expect that at all, so I’m not sure what it means. Maybe it simply means that, as you say, change is scary. I know you can relate, as you’ve gone through a few changes yourself in the past year. I’m just glad you’re not stopping your blog, because I really enjoy your wonderful writing, and you can be sure I’ll continue to stop by. You are a great writer, Anita, and I’m really looking forward to that novel you’re going to write someday.

      Thank you for your kind words about my writing. As I mentioned in my earlier comment responses, I’m hoping to find my creative outlet in fiction, maybe even get back to my novel. As odd as it sounds, I find it difficult to write both fiction and non-fiction at the same time, so that’s one reason I’m stopping—to focus on my fiction. And, of course, to intensify my efforts to find paying work. Not surprisingly, I’m finding that it’s not easy for a 52-year-old woman without a college degree to find work. I guess these days it’s not easy for ANYBODY to find work.

      Thanks so much for reading and for your encouraging comments over the years, Anita. I appreciate it so much.

  22. Vakatje Says:

    I’m sad to read this entry because I just discovered your blog. I can understand though. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging(I blog on livejournal). Good luck in your job search.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi, Vakatje! Thank you for your good wishes. I do have some regrets already about ending my blog, but I still think it’s the best thing for now. I appreciate so much you reading and commenting. I truly value every comment I get.

  23. Jim Connor Says:

    Ms. Beth,
    For what it’s worth, I’ve been following your blog ever since it was recommended to me by Fred First, over at “Fragments from Floyd”.
    Please, allow me to offer some encouragement.

    Fred became the first(no pun intended!) friend I acquired after my wife and I moved to Floyd back in January of ’09. I’m an avid target shooter and Fred was very gracious in allowing me to do some recreational shooting in his pasture.

    As time went along, I began to follow his blog daily. I enjoy his writing and photos immensely.

    I dropped by to visit him one day and while we were “on the porch”, the subject of his blog came up. I expressed an interest in it and he told me a lot.

    I began to realize that I MIGHT be able to do that. I talked with him further on the subject and Fred told me something that I’ve not forgotten.

    One of the things he told me was that, a lot of the time, you write for yourself. I understood that. I took that to heart and began investigating a site that I could start a blog on. I found WordPress.

    So, all that being said, please accept the encouragement that Fred gave me. You will experience slumps. You’ll see times that you have writer’s block. You’ll run out of things to write about. Fred recently told me that he felt as if he had created a monster.

    On the other hand, remember, there are people out there that might not agree with you that it’s time to catch the dogs, pee on the fire and go home. You DO have a following! 40 some odd comments is Prima Facie evidence of that.

    Don’t let this slump you’re in get you down. Keep at it and stay with it. You’re NOT a quitter nor are you a looser. You CAN do this! You have a fan club, dear lady!

    Let me share some tips with you that Fred shared with me.
    Read other blogs. Other entries will often spur your mind and help you generate your own thoughts to share.
    Surf the net. Read Yahoo News, Fox News or any news site you like. You’ll see articles that will make you think and will awaken your feelings. Tell us what those feelings are! That’s what blogging is!
    Share with your readers who you are. Who is this “Blue Collar Girl”? I’m retired from over thirty years in heavy construction. I WAS blue collar all my life. I can relate!
    Go to WordPress tags and scan them. You’ll see topic tags that will draw your attention. Think for a minute. “OK, I can relate to that.” Now, tell us how you do relate to a topic.

    Being new to this hobby and because I’m full of pee and vinegar, I’m goin’ full bore with my blog. Some might say I post too much. My blog is called “On The Porch”. I named it that because I love to sit on the porch and shoot the bull with friends. Being fifth generation Irish, I can do that all day. So, I do that on my blog.

    You can do this, Beth! I’m tellin’ you that you CAN! Hang in there, stay with it and when things drop off for you, come on over and we’ll sit “On The Porch” and I’ll help you as best I can.

    Wha’ ya’ say? You game?

    Jim Connor

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hey there, Jim! Thanks so much for your great advice and kind encouragement. It’s wonderful to see someone who’s so enthusiastic about blogging and so full of pee and vinegar! You had some very fine suggestions here—I really appreciate them. I should mention that I’m not going to stop writing—I’m just taking my creative energies in a different direction. For one thing, I really do need to figure out some way to make money (which is a real challenge in today’s limited job market for an older person like me). And with the rest of my time, I want to focus on writing fiction, which is what I used to write before my creative well ran dry a few years back. That’s the main reason I started blogging—to force myself to write, whether I felt like it or not. But blogging has been rewarding in ways I didn’t expect—not only have I made some true connections with new friends, but I have gotten such kind encouragement for my writing, which has really helped my self-confidence.

      One thing your lovely comment brings to mind is how much I have appreciated how Virginia bloggers have embraced me, including the fine writer and photographer Fred First. Of course, I deeply appreciate all my readers, but one thing that I’ve noticed is how many of my regular readers are from Virginia. Although I’ve lived in North Carolina almost all my life and I love my state, for some reason, I have very, very few North Carolina readers, especially in the area I live in. I don’t know why that is, but I’ll have to say, it has hurt just a bit. Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man is originally from Roanoke, Virginia, so we’ve discussed the possibility of moving back in that direction after retirement. So maybe we will! The great thing about that is I feel like I’ll already have friends there waiting for me!

      Thank you so much for commenting—I truly appreciate it. I’ve got to go mow the grounds of the Doublewide Ranch right now, but I’ll come back later and check out your blog. I hope you’ll always be as full of blogging exuberance as you are now—it’s a wonderful thing to see.

      Take care.
      Blue Ridge Blue Collar Beth

  24. Ginger Says:

    Oh.

    I feel so sorry to know we won’t see your words for a time.

    Reading your posts has been such a blessing to me. I feel like I have gained a friend, and of course that doesn’t end with your temporary pause in the blogging realm.

    It is time for you to direct your efforts. I have a feeling that occasionally there will be so much inside you that you will have to write it out and we will all look forward to that time. So thanks for NOT deleting the blog!!!

    I pray that you will be directed to a job that will offer surprises, and most of all opportunities to be all that you were created to be. Even if they are subtle, I pray that your job will offer moments of delight and joy.

    Hang in there. Miss you already.

    Ginger

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Ginger! I value your prayers…and you and your family have mine, as well. I can say for sure that any job I have will have moments of delight and joy because even in the most trying of employment circumstances (and believe me, I’ve had some trying ones), I’ve found delight and joy. I always try to think of my everyday work as a form of worship and service…and that really helps.

      You can be sure I’ll be checking in at Land of Milk and Honey. I love your gorgeous writing, Ginger. I find it so amazing that you are able to write with such beauty and clarity in the midst of your grief and suffering.

      God bless you, Ginger. And thank you for reading and commenting and for your prayers—it means a lot.

  25. Nancy Says:

    Oh, Beth! Oh, dear! I will truly miss you! I know I haven’t been much of a presence lately, but I do so love to read you! I hope this is just a hiatus, but in case it isn’t, I just want you to know you’ve made such a difference! You’ve reminded me to stop and be in the moment, to give thanks for each precious small piece of the Universe. I am thankful for you, Beth. You have brought me so much joy.

    Thank you,

    Nancy

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Nancy! It’s so nice to hear from you—I’m happy to know you’re still reading. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I value all the kind comments people make, but it has particularly boosted my self-confidence to get such positive feedback from an author who’s been published as much as you have. I appreciate it.

      I hope things are going well at your mountain homestead (and your flat-land homestead as well!) I’ll have to pop by Naked on Rollerskates soon to see what’s growing at your place and what new critters are showing up on your CritterCam!

      Thanks for reading and commenting—I am grateful.

  26. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    Oh, thank God you’re not deleting the whole blog! That would be like burning your book!

    I know, it’s very time-consuming. I grapple with the same thing myself all the time. What if you post less often? I will miss you if you cut us off completely.

  27. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    And 51 comments! I’d consider THAT a success!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thanks, Debi! Well, you know, half of the comments are mine, so I’m afraid that “51″ is not quite as impressive as it seems. :-)

      I definitely won’t be cutting you off completely—I’d miss y’all too much! I’ll be stopping by Greener Pastures, for certain. I’m on pins and needles to hear Part 2 of your miracle horse story.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. lora martin Says:

    I’m grateful that you decided to keep the blog up, as there are times I will want to revisit some of your photos and thoughts. I’ve always enjoyed the thought of you way over on the other side of the continent going about your daily life while I go about mine here, and yet have a connection which allows the sharing of the two. You are a special soul, and I feel richer for just knowing one like yours is around on this ol’ planet. I do hope you find something that will not be just a “paycheck”, but will also be fulfilling for you as well.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Lora! I am very thankful for the connections my blog has allowed me to make. I think most people pretty much take the Internet for granted now, but I still feel an almost-daily amazement at how I can tap out a few words here in my doublewide as I look out my window at the Appalachians and endless sky, click “Publish” and within seconds, anyone in the world can read the words that just minutes earlier, were still taking shape in my head! Or I can take a picture of the Carolina Wren that’s singing in the bush right outside that window and within minutes, show you (perhaps sitting at your computer all the way across the country) what I’ve just seen. That seems so incredible to me.

      I am so grateful that you’ve read and commented and even more grateful that you like what I write well enough to re-read it. That is such a nice compliment, and I thank you. And thanks also for your good wishes concerning my job hunt. I am very fortunate that I’ve found fulfillment in almost every job I’ve had, whether it involved a broom and mop or a desk and computer. I really do believe there’s something to be learned and fulfillment to be had in every task, no matter how humble.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

  29. DonS Says:

    I’ve been coming here about once a day, as a break from work and to read your insights from the natural world and about human nature. Thank you for all you’ve written, Beth. I do understand the need to focus energies elsewhere. These are hard times for many people. Your writing is a gift we all had for a while and we treasure it and wish you well. I will continue to think of you there on your doublewide estate. You have helped me to live in the moment.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Don! Thank you so much for those kind words, and thank you for coming forth to comment. I’ve known, of course, from looking at my stats that I had far more readers than the ones who comment, and I’ve often wondered about them—who they were, where they lived, what it was about my writing that struck a chord in their hearts. I’ve so often hoped that somehow my few words might have meaning and offer encouragement to someone out there in the blogosphere, so I cannot tell you how much it means to me when someone tells me that my words made even the smallest difference in their lives. It makes it all worthwhile.

      I truly treasure your kind words and good wishes. They mean the world to me. Thank you.

  30. Clara Melvin Says:

    Dear Beth, I’m late finding this post. I kept looking at the date and thought…maybe this is a post she wrote a long time ago….but I guess not. I will miss you Beth. You have become one of my dear friends in cyber space. Your posts always bring a smile to my face. I’m happy you are not deleting your blog and leaving us completely. You need to have your blog made into a book. There’s a site you can do that. It’s rather expensive but your blog at the doublewide ranch is worth it! Love you Beth!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you, Clara! I love you, too. I’m sorry to be a bit late in responding—it’s been a hectic week here. Yes, I’m leaving my blog (for a while anyway), but I’ll still be hanging around in cyberspace and visiting all my good blog friends from time to time. I’ll definitely be stopping by Clara’s Corner to keep up with one of my favorite Tennessee neighbors! I enjoy your pictures of life around your home, your latest beautiful crocheted works of art, your poetry, and your hilarious jokes.

      Thank you for mentioning the idea of a blog book, Clara. I am considering that, but it’s hard to narrow down which ones to include because they ARE really expensive. So I’ll need to make the book rather short. :-)

      I appreciate so much your good wishes, my sweet blog friend. I wish you and your family all the best!

  31. Mariana N. Blaser Says:

    Hello! I found your blog searching for a image on google. I loved so much the picture of sunrise of your porch that I’d like to use it to illustrate a very short story of mine. (flash fiction)

    The picture I found on this post of yours:

    http://blueridgebluecollargirl.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/theres-no-place-like-home/218/

    Would you mind me using it? If you don’t feel comfortable with it, I’ll be happy to change for another. (Well, sort of happy, heh.)

    My post with the story and your picture will be on line this weekend, if you’re curious.

    Thank you in advance, and good luck on your new blogging paths. :)

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi Mariana! Sure, I’d be glad for you to use it (I would appreciate a credit)—thanks for asking. And I am indeed curious—I’ll try to remember to check out your story this weekend.

      Thanks for your good wishes!

  32. carolyn Says:

    I have enjoyed myself so much reading thru your blog since having found it a few weeks ago. I’ve shared one of your posts about your sons autism with a friend in the same postion but her son is still a young child. She loved reading thru your blog as much as I. Now to read this news was so sad. Understandable but very sad at the same time. I do hope you will find time to carry us further into your journey. I’ve so enjoyed the ride. And I can relate to so many of your stories as they parrelel my own life. I hope that knowing how much you’ll be missed will inspire you to continue. And I wish you the very best luck finding an awesome job that you really love doing! So you’ll be wanting to share it all with us! LOL! Until later! Carolyn

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Carolyn. I am especially happy to know that my posts about my son’s autism might be of some small help or encouragement to your friend. Best wishes and prayers to her on her journey with autism. God bless her and her son.

      I just checked out your blog and wanted to tell you how amazed I am at the exquisite miniature works of art you’ve created! Those little wicker planters are truly enchanting—I love them. They look just like the real thing.

      I appreciate, too, your good wishes about my job search. I’d love to find work that involved writing in some way, but I know that’s unlikely. Really, at this point, I think I’d be happy doing anything that brings in a regular paycheck! :-)

      Thanks again for your lovely comment.

  33. colleen Says:

    Well, you must be serious because it’s May25 and this post is dated May 5. I totally understand and think that your blog was a great training ground for something bigger. At least that’s how it has worked for me. Even though I am busier than ever with paid writing (that I couldn’t live off, mind you), I go back to my blog for solace and to unwind, to balance my formal writing with the informal. I hope you keep us posted, Beth!

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Colleen! Yes, I’m definitely serious but, to my surprise, I’m missing my blog quite a lot. I keep seeing things and photographing things that I want to share with everyone—like watching the mama mockingbird feed her baby a huge red berry that was much too big for his tiny beak. He keep dropping it and squawking and picking it up and dropping it and squawking and picking it up…and his consternation was comical.

      I hope you’re right about my blog being a training ground for something bigger. One of the main reasons I started the blog was to try to re-ignite my creative spark by forcing myself to write whether I felt like it or not, and I think (to some extent) it has done that. I know for sure the encouragement I’ve received about my writing has helped a great deal, though I still struggle with my confidence. I’m so glad to hear that you’re busier than ever with paid writing—that’s wonderful! And I’m also glad to know that you’ll continue to write Loose Leaf Notes—-I would miss it very much if you stopped.

      Thanks so much for commenting, Colleen—I appreciate it.

  34. clairz Says:

    Hi, Beth. Still missing you and wondering how the job search is going. You are in my thoughts.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Clair. Great minds work together—I just commented on your blog and then noticed you’d commented on mine! Thank you so much for checking in on me. As I mentioned in my comment, things have been…interesting…around here. Oh, heck…I’ll just say it: Things have actually been pretty crappy. Benjamin fell on a climbing wall and fractured his vertebra and Ariel has been terribly sick with mono and I have been sick with worry. And it’s hot and dry, our flowers and vegetables look as droopy and tired as we feel, and even the night air is heavy. And I keep thinking of the oil spill and all the people and animals and other aquatic life affected and I feel sad and angry. But I still believe in the power of hope and prayer and the mockingbird is still singing exuberantly outside my window and the fragrance of the butterfly bush is drifting through that window…so there’s that.

      Thanks again for stopping by and saying “Howdy.” I appreciate it.

  35. A Blog Post, Post-Blog « Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl Says:

    [...] read this. And maybe that’s just as well. I’m feeling a bit sober these days (as you can see in my response to my blogging friend ClairZ here.)  But I’ve always tried to write true and honest on my blog, so here’s the truth of my life [...]

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