Churning out a weekly blog is not very easy. First, you have to have an idea and then you have to already have the needed information at your fingertips or you have to be able to do the research. Stumbling on the first can almost be a disaster as something might never get written. Take last week for example. I had no clue what to write about and heeding the advice of a good friend I decided it was better to say nothing than to write something that I don’t feel passionate about.
Make no mistake. I have yet to write a blog that I didn’t feel was important if only to me. I write because I was made to write and eventually I have to sit in front of a computer and start putting words on the screen. Before that, when I was young, it was pen to paper. Pen to paper has a nostalgic feel to it today. My penmanship is truly horrible and it only can be deciphered by me, but something is inspiring to write the way Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Mark Twain had to write. I was inspired to write by watching The Waltons and seeing John-Boy sitting at his desk keeping notebook after notebook filled with his journaling. Watching him made me want to do the same and I did.
The second difficult part is research. Now research today is much easier than when I was growing up. We had no internet. Very few people had an encyclopedia which was a set of books that tried to comprehensively cover every possible subject in the world. Doing research for a school project meant doing hours in the library both at your school and the public library. We didn’t have an encyclopedia at home but my next-door neighbor did and I would go there when I need to look something up.
Let me tell you about my next-door neighbors. Their names were John and Mary Rainier. But to me and only me, they were Aunt Mary and Uncle John. Aunt Mary was a lovely lady that was a hairdresser at one time. She would give my mom permanents whenever she needed one. My Uncle John I really don’t know what he did for a living but he was kind to me and always had a smile and occasionally some good advice. Aunt Mary was special.
Aunt Mary didn’t mind my friends playing in her backyard which was joined to my side yard. She gave us taffies regularly always reminding us not to run with them in our mouths. Advice which most of us failed to heed but luckily we never got hurt. To me, she was a kindly aunt. Who took me out to lunch occasionally, bought me treats, and gave me the best Christmas and birthday gifts. I think she was giver at heart and showed her love in that way. On my mom’s birthday, every year, she made an incredible lemon chiffon pie. I have no idea how it was made but it was one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had and miss it even now.
I remember going to her house to use the encyclopedia. That set of books was something precious in that house. I don’t remember ever being told to be careful with anything while visiting her, which I did often, but those books were to be handled with care and respect. My parents even warned me before leaving my own home to be careful while using those books. And I was. I think my respect for all books comes from being respectful of that set of encyclopedias. If you looked at my shelves now you would find that many of the books I own are in the same condition I bought them in. That does not include the second-hand books I own, just the ones I bought new. If I order a book from Amazon and it arrives damaged in any way it goes back. I make it a point to complain because Amazon used to treat books with respect, now they just throw them loosely in a box or a puffy envelope with nothing to ensure no damage is done. I have Amazon on speed dial because of this.
I took a detour here but research is very important to me. I never want to present to you anything that is a fact that I haven’t checked. My mind holds a lot of wonderful things but the details are always sketchy. I have an Amazon Echo device that sits next to me at my desk. The device can usually help me with dates and spelling and sometimes information that I’m missing. Using the Echo device gives me the feeling of being on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and just asking the computer for information. Science Fiction has become science fact. The Echo can’t give me quotes or other longer facts those I have to do a general internet search for. I am truly grateful to Google for that. You can find almost anything on the web. Maybe I should try to find a recipe for lemon chiffon pie?
I feel like at least a part of all my blogs are research papers and out of respect to you dear reader, I want my facts to be accurate. Especially when talking about my health or any other branch of science. To give inaccurate information about anything is just wrong and if I ever do that and you catch it please contact me immediately.
This is the blog that almost wasn’t because again I don’t have a topic this week. I have topics for future weeks that I am working on now or at least thinking about now. We celebrate Superman’s birthday in June and the character turns 94 this year. I hope I am around for his 100th birthday. Judy Garland would have been 100 years old this year in June if she hadn’t died tragically in the 1960s. Those are two of my upcoming topics. I don’t know what else there will be. But, there is always something exciting on the horizon or at least I believe so.
I rambled a bit today but it was good for me to remember Aunt Mary and Uncle John. In the future, I will introduce to you various other people from my past. My cousin Joanne, my first best friend Charlie, and my next best friend Joe. And maybe you’ll meet my cousins and aunts and uncles all of who played and still play a big part in my life. One day too, I would introduce you to my family, my parents, Pat and Vince Roberto, my sisters Patty and Susan, and my brother Vince and tell you about my childhood all so long ago.