Community

I enjoy the community that blogging forms. I’ve been entertained, amused and educated by lots of bloggers. I’ve especially enjoyed getting to know the folks who regularly comment here.  A great group of people.  Y’all are appreciated.

But of course there is a limit to this kind of community.  It’s great, but it’s not the same as getting to know someone face to face.

Sometimes folks’ blogs go quiet and they stop showing up here. It makes me wonder what has happened to them. If they were neighbors I’d go check on them.  Amy, Will, Dee, Fox and the rest of you–let us hear from you sometime.

I blog nearly every day.  What if the posts stopped?  Maybe it would be because my computer quit working.  Or maybe because I was on vacation.  Or maybe I just got tired of blogging.  But how would anyone know if they don’t have real-world connections to me?

So it made me smile to see THIS POST.  Some of my favorite bloggers actually met in real life.  My friend at Sailors Small Farm, Farmer Khaiti and her sister Melanie shared some real time together on the farm.  I’m envious.  That’s definitely something I’d like to see happen more often.

At least we’ll get to meet Melanie this summer, when she’s here for a two-week internship.  We’re looking forward to it and she’ll probably end up teaching us more than we teach her.

If any of you good folks are ever in the area, we’d love to meet you in person.

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52 comments on “Community

  1. It’s a new world, Bill. We are pioneers out on the frontier, so to speak. I, for one, am fascinated to see where it takes us. I feel I have developed friendships though my blogs, and they are valuable to me. But they are also tentative. Sometimes people slip away and simply disappear, only to reappear several months later… or not. You can’t help but wonder. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      You’re right Curt. I’m not one of those to complain that the internet is destroying community. It may do that for some people, such as those who retreat into video games or worse, but for many of us, me included, it has broadened and enriched community. And as some other commenters note, it helps us connect with people who share our interests. For folks like us, who live in a community that by and large does not share our interests, virtual community is invaluable.

      I’ve seen some blogs that I’d nearly given up on come back to life. But sometimes they don’t and it makes me wonder why. That, I suppose, is just a fact of life in this new type of community.

      Like

      • I’ve certainly made friends that I never would of otherwise, like you for example, all over the world. It has certainly enriched my life. Sometimes, I think we are a little like nomads, dropping in and out of each others lives.

        I am down in Florida visiting with my brother this week. He is homeless by choice, migrating annually from Florida to North Carolina and back depending on the seasons. He travels in a comfortable van with solar panels, free camping and basically living off the grid. Along the way, he befriends people who stay in the same campgrounds. I shared a cocktail hour with several of them last night, and all of them were bright, articulate folks who take care of themselves and demand nothing from society other than their freedom. But they go out of their way to help each other, contributing whatever skills they happen to have.

        Anyway, I discussed your blog with Marshall and he could immediately identify with it. Friends come and go, and some are special. But they also disappear. They are here and then they are simply gone. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanna says:

    I know that feeling too. I seem to live so far from folks here in Latvia, but we have had people come because of my blog. The lady I stop with whenever I go to the university where I study, is a friend I made through the blog. I guess though that even though the world does feel smaller at times, it is still a big place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      I’ve made real life connections with people I met on line and on message boards and in some cases those connections have matured into more traditional types of friendships. I’ve been surprised sometimes to have real life friends and acquaintances tell me they read my blog every day. The vast majority of readers never comment, yet a connection is still being made.

      I think it’s great that I can easily, regularly and instantly share thoughts and ideas with people from around the world. That would have been nearly unimaginable just a few decades ago.

      Like

  3. Indeed, blogging takes the blogger into a new world. What I have discovered is that over time, minds with similar outlook seem to coalesce and come together. Have you noticed this too?

    Coming to your post, I do see a stress between an attachment ( In your words, ” What if the posts stopped?”) and new possibilities ( when you said that some bloggers met in real life). What could you do to reconcile between these two aspects?

    Shakti

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Yes, great point. In virtual communities like this we’re drawn together by mutual interests whereas in physical communities we’re going to be more diverse–although as we’ve become more mobile that is changing, causing physical communities to be less and less diverse.

      My thought was triggered by me worrying about some of my blogging friends who have seemingly disappeared. That caused me to wonder if anyone would worry about me if my posts stopped without warning. If we are connected outside of the blogosphere it is possible to check in on each other. If we aren’t, then the loss of contact will likely go unexplained.

      Like

  4. Laurie Graves says:

    As much as I enjoy blogging, I agree. There is no substitution for face-to-face contact, for gathering around the table. (Bill, if you lived closer, then I would come for a visit.) I make a big effort to have family, friends, and acquaintances over on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s just for tea and muffins. Sometimes it’s for a meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      We spend time with friends and family, but not as much as we should and not as often as I expected when I moved back here. I need to get better about staying in touch face-to-face with folks nearby. You’re right about there being no substitute for the real thing.

      Like

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Bill, it does take effort. This might sound a little over-organized, but I put getting together with friends and family on my monthly to-do list. I have a calendar book, and I get in touch with people to see when they are free. Then, into the calendar book they go. Mostly they come over here and gather around my table, and I don’t mind one bit. Usually I make muffins and serve coffee and tea. Sometimes brunch. Sometimes we host potlucks. Always frugal 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Bill, email and then blogs have certainly changed our realm of influence. I have met people of like mind through technology that I would have never met other wise. Just as my Mom had over 100 penpals starting with her first one at 16, so have I communicated with many people around the globe. Most of my media friends I will never meet in person but my life is much richer because of our conversations with one another. Many of the bloggers that I follow drop off the grid at times. Life has a way of twisting in the wrong direction at times and media sabbaticals are needed. My media time drops way down during the summer months as gardening takes more time.

    This blog is one of the best I’ve found. In most cases the commenters here are like minded but when they are not they will present their case with informed comments and never seem to get out of hand. Having a post with diversity every morning to wake up with my morning coffee that stimulates my brain is such a comforting thing to me.

    I hope this blogging community will continue for a long time. Have a great community day.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. I continue to be amazed and impressed at the folks who take the time to comment here. I look forward to reading the comments every evening and I enjoy the friendships I’ve made–virtual or not.

      I do worry about keeping it up once the growing seasons kick in. Last year I almost had to drop out for a while. Sometimes I just post a saying, or a poem, or a link. I never want it to become just a chore and I never want to start posting things no one will find interesting. I hope someone calls me out on it if that starts to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ain't for city gals says:

    I might just take you up on that offer one day….hopefully next year. If nothing else I would love to come to your farmers market!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      You’ll be welcome if you do, although that would be quite a long trip for you!
      We’re gearing up for this years market now, but if it doesn’t stop raining I’m not sure we’re going to have much to offer for a while!

      Like

  7. if I am ever in your neck of the woods, I would be so excited to sit down for a coffee and visit, I have meet a number of my readers in real life, Its great fun

    Like

  8. Eumaeus says:

    I think Will has his head down, writing truth. And one day we’ll see something like Walden or Tinker with his name on it and we’ll be glad he was quiet when he was because we’ll see the world in a new way after that. First it was just Amish dolls and stone walls but now we see the whole world in a new way, all because someone was quiet, cultivating stillness and truth….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      If so, that is time much better spent that typing out silly posts every morning (like I do). His blog disappeared, without warning, about the same time he quit commenting, so I assumed he decided to spend his time more productively. I wonder more about folks who blogged and commented regularly, then fell suddenly silent.

      In any event, I’ll be thrilled if Will reappears with his wisdom, whether he’s bearing a manifesto or not.

      Like

  9. associatedluke says:

    I admire your once a day practice! I was up to twice a week… now I do about twice a month. I don’t know what’s changed, prolly my low-readership and the work I put into it, or just focusing on my sermon and liturgy writing… I dunno. But I’m happy to have come across your blog and to be in a virtual community with you!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      When I started blogging I’d type early every morning while in the office having my coffee. I just got used to doing that. Back then I’d rather blog than start work. These days I don’t want to waste daylight on the computer so I usually write the post the night before and publish it the next morning. I do a little blog reading while having my morning coffee.

      It sounds like you have your priorities right.

      Like

  10. :). i just had my head down, getting on with life, most of which seemed too “same old, same old” to be worth blogging about. Call it a winter funk, maybe. If that’s what it was, Khaiti and Melanie certainly shook me out of it – the energy of those women! It was wonderul to meet them face to face. In my head, I sometimes plan a road trip from here, taking in several bloggers around the US, starting in WA and heading through the midwest before heading down to VA, and then up to NY and back into Canada and PEI. Maybe we’ll actually do it one day. It would be awesome.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bill says:

      It made me happy to see your post. It had been a long time since you posted and I wondered if you’d just grown tired of it. I was happy to see you’d returned and even happier to see that Khaiti and Melanie had visited you. Very cool.

      I saw your comment about the homesteader/blogger road trip on the Le Petit Canard blog. That would be a blast. If you ever do it, I hope you’ll include us on your itinerary. I mentioned there that we’ve talked about taking a year off someday and hitting the road in a travel trailer. If that ever happens, maybe we’ll make it out your way. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. bobraxton says:

    curious about your raising goats – do you make goat cheese?
    ‘goat-ograph’
    081
    goat making soap
    in overalls
    it makes goat soap

    Like

  12. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Still stealing a few minutes here and there to grab a read; but, for my part, radio silence is merely an idicator of life eating into the time available to write (with allowance for proper mulling and contemplation; )
    I would most certainly take you up on this most generous offer, if I were ever down your way. It would be wonderful to actually witness all the things of which you speak and be able to shake the hands of you and your lovely wife: )
    Meanwhile, I feel honoured to be connected, if even in such a tiny way to this amazing sense of Community we have here online…

    Like

  13. I often wish you, DM and Sailors Small Farm were my neighbors so I could have you over for coffee and pie. Sadly I’m not currently surrounded by like-minded people in my “live” community. Running back and forth between here and the farm all of the time makes it hard to find those people so I am ever so grateful for my online community. I do hope once we are out at the farm fulltime that I will be able to have the neighbors over for coffee, pie and stimulating repartee.
    If you are ever heading out to the PNW in your travel trailer 😃, do stop by – it would be great to sit a spell on the porch (hopefully we’ll have a porch by then!) with you and Cherie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      It many ways its easier to be a part of like-minded community on line than it is face to face. Most of the folks around here don’t understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We eventually started up a group that meets once a month mainly so we could talk about the things that interest us, with people who don’t think that makes us weirdos. 🙂

      It would be fun to visit y’all’s farm. Maybe someday. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. BeeHappee says:

    I liked seeing those ladies together.
    I had penpals from all over the world way back in early 1990s – the old fashioned snail-mail way, some stayed friends for a log time, others vanished, a few of them I visited and we had good times, learning about each other’s countries. A couple of them visited me. One of them, after staying friends with my family for almost 2 decades became a part of our family. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      That’s very cool. I never had pen pals. It’s great that you were able to form lasting friendships that way.

      During my time as a lawyer I made some good international friendships and I enjoyed getting to know life in other countries. Of course with the internet the world has gotten very small. I can still remember being limited to whatever was in the encyclopedia. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Seeking Joyful Simplicity says:

    Mmm, I would love to meet in person. I too feel a great deal of affection for the community around these parts. When the time is right, I feel it will happen.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Maybe we should have some sort of homesteading blogger convention.
      That would be great, as long as we get to host it. 🙂
      I really do enjoy sharing with and learning from the great folks I’ve been fortunate to connect with on line.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Marianna says:

    I find that it’s easier to connect to like minded people via blogging. Its one of the reasons I keep at it!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Same here Marianna. It’s a great way to be in community with folks who share our interests–which is particularly helpful given that we live in an area where few people do.

      Like

  17. avwalters says:

    It’s a tough call, I’d love to visit. I also know that the work needed to set up is going to keep me from travel (except to see my mum) for some time. And, it’s more difficult for those with livestock to travel. So yes, I’d love to meet my blog community. In some cases (far flung and world over) it won’t be possible. In others, there’s always that chance. In the meantime, I relish the regular contact with like-minded folks. And, if you suddenly stop, I will worry, as I would for all my face-to-face friends.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Until recently I figured I’d done all the traveling I cared to do. I spent way too much of my life on airplanes. Since moving home we haven’t even taken a vacation, other than a few long weekends. So the best chance of me meeting my far-flung blogging friends is if they come here. 🙂

      But recently Cherie and I have talked about taking a year off at some point several years from now and traveling around in a travel trailer. It may never happen and I’ll be perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life here on the farm. But if it does, I’ll probably try to visit some of my virtual friends along the way.

      If this blog should go silent without warning for more than a week, chances are good that something is preventing me from getting on line. If I ever decide to stop blogging (as I have a couple of times in the past), I would announce that. I wouldn’t want y’all to worry about me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • avwalters says:

        Should we ever decide to wander about the country–and head south–you’d be among the first to know. We’re homebodies for the near future. Good luck with the bees.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. It is hard when a blogging friend disappears. I have vowed to at least post a note good bye.
    I have made friends through my blog too. I’ve met two of them in person. We’re friends is “real life” too, and there are the people I’ve shared seeds with and email at times. We all find community in different ways.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      If I ever decide to retire from blogging, I too plan to post put a farewell post. I wouldn’t want folks wondering what happened. 🙂

      I love how we can form virtual communities now. It’s like being able to chat over the fence, with people from all over the world.

      Like

  19. Buffy says:

    I love the blog communities too! My kids laugh when I say something about “my blog friends.” I only have a few real life friends that are as thrilled as I am about growing my own food, lots of my blog friends have dirt under their nails, seedling in their window sills, and are counting the days till the garden goes in!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Same here Buffy. We’re been able to form a small community of homesteaders and people drawn to sustainable living, but it’s small and our get-togethers are infrequent. I’ve enjoyed coming into community with my blogger friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. EllaDee says:

    I had no idea when I started blogging that it would bring me into contact with wonderful people near and far. I lost a blogging friend – we’d been trying to set up a meet- when she died suddenly. Thank goodness her husband knew and valued the wonderful virtual community to which she belonged, and put up a heartfelt post so we knew. I know of other bloggers who have lost online friends as well. Some bloggers become are such an intrinsic part of our days that we do notice and feel their loss. Another blogger was offline for a couple of months due to the flu and returned to a happy crowd who had indeed been worried. And yes, I’d miss you and wonder.
    On a happy note I have met up with a fellow blogger who lives not far from me in the city, and have plans to catch up when possible with a couple of others who live further away but at least in the same country.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      What you experienced is one of the things I’ve been wondering about. In these kind of virtual communities, where contact must be initiated by the blogger, how would we know if something that serious had happened? Maybe that’s just a reality of this kind of community that we’ll have to accept. Folks can go missing.

      Like

  21. Sue says:

    I love blogging and the people I’ve “met” through it. I have even met a few in person—and they are just as wonderful as I had imagined.
    I notice a LOT of blogs I follow just going idle. If it’s idle too long, I usually email just to make sure they are ok.
    Most of the time–I comment. I’m a very comment-y type of person. If I disappear, I’m either REALLY busy, or on vacation. If I’m missing for too long, you’ll have to figure I’m dead. I just can’t keep my mouth shut too long-LOL!

    Like

    • Bill says:

      In some cases some of the bloggers I’d nearly given up on suddenly returned. Sometimes the absences are unplanned and just stretch out longer than they’d expected.

      Yeah I reckon if my blog goes dark without warning and stays that way a long time it would probably make sense to assume the worst. I can’t stay quiet that long either. 🙂

      Like

  22. hamertheframer says:

    I’ve had similar thoughts about bloggers who go quiet. Whatever happened to Thinking Cowgirl? I miss her regular comments. But it seems like you have a “noisy” bunch of bloggers here. It sounds like a vibrant community. You do well to find time to answer them all. Keep up the good work Bill.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I’ve wondered about her too. Her blog has been silent a long time now. It was through her blog that I discovered your great blog, if I recall correctly.

      For years I never replied to comments. I didn’t think that was correct blogging protocol. But I found that I enjoyed blogs with active comment sections so I started responding. Now I’ve come to enjoy it.

      Like

  23. farmerkhaiti says:

    I am very excited about Melanie being able to meet you and a bit jealous too! How amazing -all these connections that can be made online, like virtual pen-pals in a way. To have soeone disappear would be odd feeling, but it happens I guess. It was a rare thing that I was in Dawn’s region, I hadn’t been up there for 8 years, but when I learned she was so near to where my family lives, I couldn’t resist asking if I could come for a visit! I am so grateful she was open to it- that’s another element of who knows who all these people are behind our gravatars, right? She was full of trust, and what a lovely outcome we all experienced.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      It’s wonderful that y’all were able to do that. Meeting that way has to enrich the online friendships I think.

      We’re looking forward to meeting Melanie. I love how the internet shrinks the world.

      Like

  24. Farmgirl says:

    I would absolutely love to meet you sometime. What a treat to have dinner the four of us!

    Like

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