This first post of 2021 marks the fourth anniversary of my blogging adventure. My daughter originally suggested Hashtag Retired as a way to explore my transition to retirement. As I settled into a freer though still busy lifestyle, however, writing about retirement seemed less and less important to me. Retired or not, you are who you are… or who you’ve become, somewhere along the way. So I began writing about other preoccupations (writers have lots!): books, music, travel, language, food, friendship and family, memories of all sorts.
Because writers need to write, just as singers need to sing, I’m truly grateful for this forum, and for those of you who read my blog. But I’m equally grateful to be among a community of bloggers who invite me into their lives, share their insights and gorgeous photos, challenge my thinking, and—so often—make me smile.
When I was a kid, a letter with my name on it was a big deal. Another big deal was having a pen pal, which I did, in seventh grade. Her name was Carol, and she lived in Salford, Lancashire, in the northwest of England. We wrote back and forth for a year or so. Our interests were probably too divergent for any lasting friendship to develop*, but it was my first personal experience of that wider world across the pond, and it was downright thrilling.
In the last four years, the bloggers I follow have become like treasured pen pals to me, particularly so during gut-wrenching 2020, when everything seemed to go awry. Grounded at home, I’ve been transported to other countries and climes. Worried, I’ve been encouraged. Frustrated, I’ve been calmed. Gloomy, I’ve found reasons to laugh out loud. Bored, I’ve been motivated. Wondering what to read, I’ve discovered a new book. Sick of cooking, I’ve been inspired to get back to the kitchen to try something new.
So on this anniversary post, I send a sincere “thank you” to every reader. To my fellow bloggers, I send the special gift of these dooryard roses, with their unexpected, delightful splash of scarlet among the pale pink.
Tip to readers: When you see other bloggers commenting on a post, click to check out their blogs. Chances are, you’ll find many who provide that unexpected splash of color. I certainly have.