Monday, January 26, 2009

And The Purpose Is....

For the past day now, I've had an "earworm" going on here. You know what an "earworm is, don't you? When you get some bit of music stuck in your mind, playing over and over -ad nauseum -for you.

The song I've been hearing is "The purpose of a man is to love a woman and the purpose of a woman is to love her man." No other words, just those, tumbling about in my mind.

But what got this started came to me after church yesterday and after I had three different conversations about the same topic -which involved my blog -and I got to thinking about things like the purpose of my blog, which in turn apparently pulled a trigger up for me on this song.

So no, this post is not about finding Price or Princess Charming, or relationships with them -nope, not about anything like that at all.

But it is about why do we, each of us, blog? What was it that brought each of us to start recording our thoughts -and then responses to others in the form of comments or even a new blog post to respond to a topic too -in the first place?

When I began this blog, my intent was to kind of leave something of me behind for my grandchildren to read someday. A means by which they could learn of the paths my life has taken, the things I've done, learned, experienced -good and bad. I also wanted it to be a way they could maybe learn about their extended family as I intended to put things in here about family members who I knew and loved but who have been long gone before the day my grandchildren entered into my life.

And, as I began posting, telling more and more about the issues with respect to my two younger grandchildren, both being autistic, I wanted then to pass on to readers about the things my daughter and I have learned from these two little ones -the good as well as some of the down sides to living with autistic children. My point there -or purpose, if you will -being to allow people to learn that for the most part, these children are not much different than other children in the same ages ranges. It's just that these two here need a little helping hand in learning to process information properly.

I have from time to time also talked in my blog about the place I call home -this little village, the area in general, shared my love (I hope) of history and in particular the history of this town as it came into being and as it has evolved to what it is today.

About a month ago now, I received a comment on my blog from a gentleman telling me that he really appreciated my posts about this village because it is where he was born and where he spent the first 12 years of his life. My stories brought back memories to him of a time, long ago, and he commented to tell me that.

After reading his words, I replied to him in an e-mail and thus began a little stream of communication between us. I learned for sure (I had suspected this in his early comments) that he had grown up in a house about four doors down the road from me. I had also grown up hearing about members of his family too as apparently some of his siblings were of the same age range as my Mom and some of her siblings. Probably because his parents were like my grandparents -of Swedish ethnicity and members of the local Lutheran church, there was another link there between his family and mine.

But yesterday was the first time since I began communicating with "Arnie" that I managed to get to church and because yesterday was also the day our congregation held their Annual Congregational Meeting, there were some folks there that I don't always get to see too. Three, to be exact, who I figured would be in about the same age range as Arnie and those three also had grown up here in this village.

So I approached each of them, telling them about my blog and how Arnie had commented to me and of our line of communication no on going and in doing so, I asked each of these folks if they remembered Arnie and/or any of his siblings or his parents.

How great it was for me to see the way each of these individuals eyes lit up upon learning I'd heard from someone from their past! The one man I spoke to -Steve -told me he didn't recognize Arnie's name but that he had been good friends with a boy named Herbert who had lived in the house where Arnie spent his first 12 years of live and we ascertained that Herbert was no doubt an older brother of Arnie's. The two ladies -one who after her marriage lived in the house adjacent to Arnie's old home and who remembered the family -Arnie's family. The third lady told me she had gone to school with Arnie, that they had been in the same grade together until his family left the area and had moved to Williamsport, PA.

I have a friend who reads my blog -lives down in Carlisle, PA now -and because of circumstances in her family's life, she grew up in/around the Harrisburg area while her older brother lived here with their paternal grandparents. It just so happens her brother was my age and we had gone through grade school, then high school and graduated together. Although her brother died back in 1981, she still has family in this area and those members of her family are very much a part of my life as well as my kids! We can now share information of a family tree variety now too because the daughter of one of her first cousins married the brother of my ex-husband so my nephew and nieces there are this lady's cousins! Because she spent a lot of time here as a child in the summers at the home next door to mine with her aunt, uncle and many cousins there, she remembers many of the things about this area that I write about from time to time. She knows many of the people I mention in my blog now and again too.

So, in conjuction now with some of the "purposes" I mentioned above for my blog, here are two photos I recieved on Saturday and which I scanned in here.

The first one is mainly for anyone from my Mom's family who might possibly read my blog.
This picture, taken over the holidays, shows at the top, the children and spouses of my first cousin, Tom Eld and his wife Linda's family. There's Corey Eld, his wife, Mindy, their daughter, Berlyn, Rick Eld, Amie Eld and her husband Rob. And the bottom photo is the granddaughter of Tom and Linda Eld. According to the note that Linda -the grandmother -sent along with this photo, our family tree also has another addition to it with the recent birth of their grandson, named Oscar Bryce Eld! Linda promised to send photos of the new baby too in the near future. Something of interest to me -perhaps not to anyone else even in my family but the grandson's name "Oscar Bryce Eld." You see my grandfather had a brother named Oscar who was one of my favorite great-uncles growing up. He passed away in 1964 or 1965 -not sure right now of the year -but now about 40 plus years, there is, once again, an Oscar Eld in my Eld Family Tree!

The other photo here was taken in October of 1959 and the people in this photo are the members of the Confirmation Class that year at what was then First Lutheran Church of Grassflat, PA. The church in which I was confirmed was struck by lightning in May of 1967 and burned completely to the ground within what was said to be seemingly a matter of mere minutes.

Here then are the names of those in my Confirmation class: (from left to right)
Dennis Nelson, Edward Handzo, Bridget Raymond, Ruby Nelson, Pastor Robert H. Magnuson, Jackie Duck, me (Jennifer Hill), Nancy Duck, Arlene Anderson, Richard Terry and Gerald Smith.

Four of my fellow confirmands are deceased -Ed Handzo, Ruby Nelson, Nancy Duck and Gerry Smith. Two -Ruby and Gerry -died in the 60's in separate automobile accidents.

And that photo serves another purpose of my blog -to remind any readers I may have who were originally from this area -of events from the past in the little village of Grassflat, PA!

How about you and your blog? Do you have a specific purpose now or did you start it with a purpose in mind and then, kind of branch out to being much more eclectic with it, in purpose?

Talk to me, tell me what it is that spurred you into blogging as well as what it is about blogging that still keeps you going, that serves the "purpose" of your blog!

Inquiring minds want to know these things, ya know!


Vic Grace said...

I enjoyed your post and yes I have given it thought to why I am still blogging, what is my purpose.

Originally I wanted the blog to be a bridge to help people to find a bit about Christianity and I still have links as well as the occasional post to that effect but if fact I think my blog has drawn mostly Christians which was not my first intent.

The other reason is I like to share information I find on the internet. Unlike many bloggers I am not comfortable sharing feelings and emotions on my blog, and also because it is just my husband and myself I don't have much interaction with others to write about.

So I still wonder why I do blog now but it is a hobby. Probably if I felt I was imparting some knowledge to someone else via my blog I would feel it would be worth it.

Morgan Mandel said...

I confess the purpose for starting my blog was to get known and build a following on the Internet, since I'm an author.

Although at first I thought of it as merely a means of promotion, now it's become a fun thing to do, getting to share my life and hear tidbits of everyone else's.

I'm afraid now I've become addicted to blogging and following other blogs. I just wish I had more time to do it and still pursue my writing, but I can't afford to quit my 4 days a week job. Now that I'm 60, retirement seems a very tempting prospect, but we do need the money for taxes and insurance and utilities and food, etc., so I settle for squeezing out what time I can.

Morgan Mandel

Jeni said...

Vic -Having been a follower of your blog for over two years now -I think probably very close to when you started it, I've seen you post many things along the religious lines as well as all kinds of things particularly with a bent to computers and such -all very good, interesting posts. So I think your blog has very much served the purpose you intended for it. Some of the things you find in your surfings really amaze me.

Morgan -I may not comment every day on your blog, but I do read every post you have put up there since the inception of the Pump Up Your Blog group and I appreciate the way you integrate your writing, job and all that in with your lifestyle posts as well. I have your blog listed under those I follow, so I can see virtually as soon as you have put a new post up that it is there and I can go read it as soon as I have time available then too!

Understandable too about the need for tax, insurance, utilites monies and it is a darned shame things like that get in the way of the fun of blogging, isn't it?

Travis said...

I think a common theme for many bloggers, regardless of why they started blogging in the first place, is the sense of community that builds.

Maggie May said...

This was a lovely post, Jeni and I also started blogging to leave something for the grandchildren to read about me. It has turned into much more than the intended purpose.
You are providing a really useful service by the sound of it, for anyone who wants to research into their homeland. I hope you get some really good leads for Arnie.
You are also providing a good insight into autism.
Anyway, I suspect that you enjoy blogging just for itself, like I do. It is rewarding, and therapeutic and good to meet other like minded people.

Smalltown RN said...

My blog was something that seemed to take on a mind of it's own.

I learnt about blogging from one of my sisters...she had started a family blog and had all the brothers and sisters listed on it... the expectation was that we would all post on the blog every once in awhile and keep the family up to snuff on the goings on in each individual family. You see being one of 12 children there is a lot so stay caught up with...this then extended to my nieces and nephews...and so on.

Some family memembers started their own niece now deceased was one of the first to start her own blog...I read her blog religiously as she used the blog to journal her life...she had Cystic fibrosis..she talked about her good days her not so good days...she became a public speaker and spokes person for Cystic Fibrosis in her area. Anyhow, I loved what she was writing about and so I thought it might be something I would like to do.

I was going through a huge transition in my life...a divorce after 23 years of marriage...meeting my now husband and moving from the big city to a small town....working in a rural environment. So I thougth I would write about a variety of things...changes from the city to a rural community, the differences of working in a city hospital were resources are so readibly available compared to the rural where I would have to sit in the back of an ambulance for 3 hours with a patient to get them to a center where they could have an emergency angiogram. Then my blog took a turn somewhere....I stopped writing so much about work...and started writing about my area and my life in general.

Recently I have struggled with this aspect of why I blog and hence I have put my blog on a hiatus...I am sure it will rear it's self again...but not now.

Through blogging I have met some wonderful people....people although I haven't met in person I would consider them family. Or a community of people that I share something in common with...blogging. I have found people in the blogging world that are birders something I am becoming passionate about....there are some very very crafty folks out there....artists in the written word and the photographic sense....bloggers who are very political and really get you thinking...and then some inspirational blogs. Yes that is what drew me to blogging the variety of bloggers that was out there...and yet there was a common thread for all..and that is we all enjoyed blogging.

So that is my story...I still love to go around and check out blogs...see what everyone is up to...and I see you my friend are just as busy as ever. Cheers to you!

fermicat said...

Thanks for sharing those connections with us.

I started the blog on a whim, but I continue because of the circle of friends that has developed.

Sweetie said...

Jeni, I initially started blogging to see if I could do it. Then after I found that I could do it, it led to making friends outside of my small world. I feel blessed to live in the age of technology that brings us close to those that are a physical distance from us. I am amazed at the talents of my blogger friends and also at their compassion and love. I would love to have an experience similar to yours where you met a gentleman that took him back to memories of long, long ago. I also want you to know that I have been to several presentations about autism. I had worked for an intermediate unit and there was a lot of emphasis put on educating autistic children. I hope that people soon learn that children with autism are bright and bring their own joys. Thank you for a wonderful post.

Deb said...

Hi ~ I started my blog one year ago as my husband and I prepared to go to India for our daughter's wedding. It was a way for me to stay connected to friends and family while we were gone. I wasn't planning on continuing with the blog when I returned also took on a life of its own. I enjoy writing and I enjoy being connected to people all over the world. I learn so much from everyone each day. Just now I learned a new word from you ~ earworm! I love it! Can't wait to use it in a conversation. Better to have an earworm than an earwig! Enjoy your day!

Keith said...

I started blogging when I left a legalistic spiritually abusive church. I became very interested in the emerging church conversation after reading Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz.

After that, I had commentors on my blog whom I have become virtual friends with. I have then followed their blogs and enjoy the networking aspect of it.


Dianne said...

I started because I wanted to see if I could write anything readable lol

I stay because of the community - as Travis said

I love sharing my photos and I love how much I learn from all of you

Gene Bach said...

I'm just doing it to blab. LOL!

It's always good to find folks from the past. Great post Jeni.

terri said...

I'm not sure I've ever told anyone the real true beginnings of my blog. But I'll share with you. Besides, this post is a couple days old, so chances of too many others seeing this are slim....

A couple years ago, I was suffering from such feelings of depression. On one particularly bad day, I sat down at the computer, opened up a blank word document and started pouring my thoughts and feelings, sadness and anger, into one very long angry document. I never showed it to anyone, but I felt incredibly better after having put all those feelings down in writing.

I had been following along on a couple of blogs, but it never occurred to me I might start my own blog. Then one day, not long after writing the long, rambling document, I was working on the computer and stumbled across an ad for blogger. I thought, "Why not?" I set up my own space and started to hesitantly start putting some things down in writing... and the rest is history.

It's my therapy.