Look out, world! I’m writing a blog!

I always wanted to live in the mountains.  This is my mantra.  I say this to people who ask what brought me here.  I say it to myself when I wonder what the heck I’ve done. 

I always wanted to write.  When I tell people this they often assume I mean to write a novel.  They say this because novels are what comes to mind but, of course, there are many other kinds of writing.  Sometimes a person will say, “Oh really?  What do you want to write?”   This, it turns out, is an excellent question.

I took some journalism classes in college many moons ago and I wrote a weekly column for one of those free parenting newspapers when my kids were young.  Mostly, though, my creative outlets have been elaborate family birthday cards (an appreciable body of work since the kids are 27 and 30 and my better half and I make them for each other as well) and my annual Christmas letter.  People say they love it and look forward to it, and I choose to believe them. 

Just to get myself back in the habit of writing, I’m contributing to the local newspaper.  I’m a former teacher so the “education beat” has become mine.  I’ve written about a charter high school, a hybrid “micro school”, the local technical college and homeschoolers in my mountain community.  While I worked on all of those,  I scribbled essay ideas and thought, “As soon as I’m done with this, I’m going to write what I want!” 

Well, here we are, months later. I’ve the aforementioned stories and strong hiking legs to show for that time but no further writing.  This year is supposed to be an era of self-discovery for me and this is one thing I have learned so far:  I don’t have the self-discipline (yet) to write unless I have an assignment, a deadline and a ready audience.  This is where you come in.

Since I need deadlines, I’ll commit to posting here every other Friday – the first and third Friday of each month.  Some of you will read my scribbles because we’re family (Hi kids!) or we’re friends (Hi Lucy!) or because you’re curious to see what sort of fool I might make of myself.  I hope I can keep you interested enough to come back as I experiment with various topics and try to find my “voice.” 

Now a word about the blog name.  A year or so ago we were trying to have a video chat with both our children who, at that time, lived in different cities.  My husband and I could not figure out how to get everyone on one screen.  So we had each child on a different computer and simply faced them toward one another.  Our millennial children dubbed this a Boomer Solution and enjoyed much merriment at our expense. 

Another time I got a new phone that had pre-loaded contacts in it like AT&T App Store and AT&T Help.  I wanted my family to come up first in my contacts, not all this commercial stuff, so I simply put the number 1 in front of each contact:  1Corinne, 1Henry, 1Eric.  I was pretty pleased with myself.  My children were more than a little amused.  Apparently there are other ways to handle this problem.  Whatever. 

A Boomer Solution is a way of solving a problem that is different than the way a Millenial would deal with it.  Usually it’s used at my house to describe a technology issue for which my husband and I have managed a work-around and are subsequently mocked by our children who are literally half our age. 

Now, however, I am having a bit of an identity crisis and finding out that people my age do, in fact, have a different way of solving problems than our younger counterparts.  My son is taking a year off work and has moved to a new city.  I’m taking a year off work and live in the wilderness.

While I love the daily hiking and general solitude, I’m realizing that I am not ready to be a person without a job.  Unfortunately, employment opportunities tend to be where there are large numbers of people.  Also decent grocery stores.  And dentists and clothing stores and hair salons and, well, you get the idea.  I’m pretty sure this is a first grade social studies standard – people live in communities because goods and services are more readily available.  I think I must have been absent that day and now, here I am, learning this hard truth more than 50 years later. 

Please join me on my journey.  It’s quite beautiful but gets a little lonely here in the woods.  You can cheer me on from the sidelines or sit quietly and be glad it’s my struggle and not yours.  Anyway, thanks for making it to the end of my post.  See you in two weeks. 

A bear inspecting my car last fall. If you look closely you can see I started to open the door and then came to my senses.

3 Replies to “Look out, world! I’m writing a blog!”

  1. I love your voice in person, but I’ve always loved it even more on the written page. I am the proud owner of an entire box of cards, letters, jokes, cassette tapes, and other gags that collectively represent the most precious memories of my life. I hope that over time others will get to know that voice half as well as I have…their lives will be richer for the experience.

    Way back in the Pliostene age (is that a thing? Sounds good) we used to write things called letters. I was better at remembering to return letters than I am now at providing some thoughtful reflection to this post. No boomer solutions there (I don’t think)…just the age old solution of having the physical letter left on the table , staring me down and insisting that I respond before the news of the day gets stale. I think I like the Eric Smith of 40 years ago that answered those letters better than the Eric Smith of today that is too lazy or busy or thoughtless or no longer quick enough to know what to say, or all of the above. Something for me to work on.

    I’m spoiled by having arranged 24-hour access to a girl who will manage my correspondence from me. For years people have been telling me I need professional help, and now that you’re writing for Smoke Signals I’m getting it!. The Smoke Signals work is very good and I hope you get a chance to share some of it in this forum.

    Great start…keep up the good work!

  2. Love the blog!
    Love Cindy and Eric!
    Your adventures in wilderness, in boomers’ “feel” for technology, in life’s twists and turns are so relatable.
    Keep it coming girl!

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