Monday, August 22, 2011

The original suspect

I'm not what the marketing types refer to as an early adopter. Slow to pick up, maybe I'll catch up. It was the same with blogs, late to the party. Once upon a time, meeting friends for lunch in KC and I was charged with finding somewhere to meet so I Googled my old neighborhood, searching for ideas.

First up was Mrs. Blandings blog. Having no idea what a blog was, I read, and was instantly captivated. I read her neighbors and friends, I read her archives. An hour later I forgot why I came. The next day I returned, and read not only Mrs. Blanding's post but her friends posts as well, and so it's been ever since.

Patricia Shackelford

Over the years Patricia and I have traded emails, I've picked her brain, teased, been counseled, and posted about her but had never had the honor of meeting her. Until this summer. Once again in KC, I emailed asking for a date. Well aware of my history of standing up attractive women she agreed, fully expecting I wouldn't show. I picked the neighborhood, she the place and time.

Mrs. T warned me not to go, reminding me of Faulkner, then suggesting we'd have nothing to talk about while warning that Mrs. B may be a serial killer. To Patricia's everlasting chagrin, I showed.

I chose the 'hood I lived in as a boy. I had walked to the school down the street, played in its creeks and byways, my memories preserved in amber. When Mrs. B arrived, I aped Ebenezer, cavorting with the ghost of Christmas past, regaling this wonderful woman with neighborhood stories from 20 years before her birth. I was a babbling schoolboy, she, ever so charming, captivated all over again. In real life Patricia is Mrs. Blandings, only more delightfully so. I enjoyed our time together immensely. Patricia now holds the dubious double distinction of being the first blogger I ever met as well as author of the first blog I ever read.

A month or so after my discovery of Mrs. Blandings blog, I took fingers to keyboard and began the pages you find buried in these archives. I wrote for my children, spread across the continent, filling them with stories of their family past, stories they may never hear otherwise. Somehow word spread, with encouragement from Patricia, and others, and now you're here.

Today, we begin year 4 together. Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Your visits, friendship, comments and raspberries enrich my life. I hope in some way I'm able to repay your kindness, and promise to continue to incite, inform, amuse, brighten or enlighten your day. Onward!

Toad
Photos and header: Mrs. Blandings

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your blog's anniversary. Though this is the first time I have commented on it, I am a regular visitor and enjoy your insights into life. Keep it up. Best wishes.

Linda McMullan said...

Thank heavens for Mrs. Blandings! I would never have heard of Ben Silver or Lady's Day, or any of the other delightful things I am discovering - Happy Blogger Birthday.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 4 years Mr Toad. And Mrs B...she's quite a looker...just sayin.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first time I ever heard of you, it was in the Comments section after one of Maxminimus' posts, Mrs. Blandings left a comment that had nothing to do with M's topic at hand but everything to do with why we're celebrating today: "I miss Toad." I had no idea who Toad was but if SHE missed you, then I'd best go find this Toad [who happened to be temporarily offline, later to return]. And what a find you were, and are!

I congratulate you both on finding each other, we are so much the richer for your willingness to give so freely of yourselves, and so often, thank YOU for the gifts of both your marvelous blogs.

-Flo

Pigtown-Design said...

Congrats on four years! It's quite a ride, isn't it?

Karena said...

Toad, when I was ready to start a blog, I had no idea where to begin, so I emailed dear Patricia. She responded immediately with brief "Easy Peasy" instructions, and thus our friendship began.

You must give me some notice the next time you are in KC!!

Thank goodness we have Mrs Blandings!

xoxo
Karena

Art by Karena

Toad said...

The world would be a darker place without Mrs. B in it. I am grateful for her presence.

James said...

I look forward to your posts and am disappointed when a day goes by without one. It is we who thank you.

Legallyblondemel said...

Congratulations - and here's to four + many more years of your brilliance.

EatPlayLove said...

Congrats on the 4th year. Maybe we should celebrate #5 on a beach? Hahaha...

Gail, in northern California said...

I find it a bit ironic that you should seek Mrs. Blandings company having read her post for today. Seems her future father-in-law thought women were only interested in discussing chintz curtains. Granted, she's absorbed and serious about design but there's a lot more going on in that noggin' of hers.... but I'm not telling you anything you hadn't already discovered for yourself. I feel certain her father-in-law learned to appreciate her intellect and quick wit as well.

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

The ride for me Toad would not be as interesting if you had not been brought on board by the lovely Mrs. B.
Hope to see you around for another 40 years my dear...

Mrs. Blandings said...

Oh, my, seems I'm late to the party. We were without electricity from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon and then today was the first day of school. All of that will surely not make you miss the old 'hood.' I am a serial killer of house plants and homemade meals, but completely tame in the company of interesting men. I really had no idea that I had helped you on the road to blogging - I have certainly been the winner here. I will stop here for as long as you post, which you well know. Happy anniversary.

Toad said...

So Many Thank You's.

As long as I still have a thought or two in my head I may as well continue. I hope it's as good for you as it will be for me.

foobella said...

Happy 4th Birthday, Toad! What a lovely rememberance of your beginnings.