1 Star For Inspiration

I have a huge problem with reading. I try to do too much of it. Words draw me in like a candy store does children. They beckon me to follow their trail that, with few exceptions, I can’t resist following to the end. Newspapers, magazines, old books, new books, lame books, comic books and blogs are only a few of my weaknesses. The great thing I’ve come to realize as I’ve set up camp in the blogosphere is that, I’m not camping in the isolated woods of words, but in an extremely filled-to-capacity-campground of fellow wordsmiths. Which is awesome, because there’s electricity at the campground and free wi-fi and I don’t have to use pit-toilets. Plus, I’m not sure pen and ink is the best way for me to share my insanity  words, as that limits my audience to those who can read my handwriting. And I can’t even decipher my own shopping lists after I’ve written them (wish I was kidding).  So needless to say, I’m counting my blessings on being in this blogging community. Because that’s what it is.


As time permits, I find myself having random encounters with some incredible writers and their entertaining, honest and sometimes even enlightening words. Enlightening in that, I thought I picked odd topics to write about, but some of these people have me beat. Some of you are crazy! And even more so, some of you fellow writers have some non-fans (enemies) that are crazier. I say this in light of a post I read today by  Brian Allain (humor writer, blog coach, mammal). It’s a great read taking a closer look at his 1-Star reviews. I guess the joy of writing and publishing an actual book is that people read it… and review it. *dun-dun-dun* And no matter how well you do anything in life, there will always be critics, even if you write an excellent book with a title that includes my dog’s name, like Mr. Allain did. It’s  31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo, and more people need to buy it. Especially if you are wanting to increase your blog-writing superpowers. What caught my eye today was One of the 1-star reviews he highlighted said that, “…the advice is so generic it could get your grandma blogging–who wants that?”


Um, I do! Seriously. Which made me think, why can’t I tell a story of her? If she was all up on technology and didn’t’ feel like making awesome aprons or killer fruitcake (not killer in the lethal way, but as in  ‘this stuff is so good I’d walk barefoot six miles in the snow for just one slice’ ), I’m sure she’d take time to blog. To share some laughs, to share her stories, maybe even her recipe for fruitcake. And she would have a following, because her stories were crazy.


Way back in 1994 I interviewed many family members for a family history project I was assigned. I was able to discover tales of my grandparents that I’d never heard and stories from my parents, too. Treasures, all of them! The story from my grandma that I chose to publish still makes me laugh to this day. She grew up on a 100 acre farm in Oklahoma, working with her siblings doing many different jobs even at a young age. She was 11 years old and her brother was 9 years old in 1934 when they were given the task of planting the black-eyed peas.  It was a tiresome job, following a mule that pulled a plow behind it. They would take turns, alternating who would lead the mule and who would steady the plow. After hours, they were not only weary from the work, but bored with it. There was still about a gallon of peas left that they didn’t want to plant when they decided on a much quicker idea; dig a large hole and bury them all together. Done!


And with all that work done, it was time to play. One of the favorite and most often played games on the farm was ‘funeral.’ The title pretty much sums it up.  Either her or her brother would seek out an unsuspecting field mouse, which were plentiful on their many acres. They would proceed to hold them by their tails and hit them on the head, rendering them unconcious (or dead). Soon after the unjust injury/death of the mouse, they would treat it as a beloved mouse, a mouse worthy of honoring and remembering. They would hold a somber funeral procession, that eventually ended underneath a peach tree. They would say some parting words, and place the mouse into its prepared resting place. Many broken plates, or something of the like marked a multitude of graves under that tree, by grandma’s account.


“We didn’t need toys back on the farm,” she told me.


No grandma, you didn’t need toys. You needed hand sanitizer, and lots of it.


I know the story I shared is a bit morbid, but it’s of a time passed that we will never recapture. They didn’t have 1254 piece lego sets like I do. They had bugs and dirt and they used their imaginations in amazing, albeit unconventional ways. So, to the person who threw out the insult in regards to getting grandma to blog, I hope she does. I hope lots of grandparents do. Because as much as we feel we have our stories and thoughts and opinions to share, they do too. And the added bonus is that, their stories might be a lot more bizarre than ours. Stories that need to be heard. Stories we should enjoy and treasure, just as we should treasure the people who are telling them.


What would your grandma blog about?

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