Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Unexpected Gift...

If I've learned anything worth remembering in the last year, it's that as long as you keep one foot moving forward, you're going in the right direction. But the real trick isn't just to keep moving, it's not to lose sight of the important things your peripheral vision is trying to provide when you're working so hard to to stay focused. I almost did that recently. Allow me to explain.

I started the Kitchen Clatter blog a little over two years ago when my life was a world away from where it is now. My original premise was that in almost every home life is lived in the kitchen and I wanted to share the stories, recipes, the laughter and warmth that my family and friends created in mine. I started it in April, 2011 and quickly became stunned by the amount of readers the blog was attracting. So the family stories and recipes continued weekly, and all was good. Until it wasn't.

The thousands of people who read Kitchen Clatter each week know that a sudden divorce changed my personal landscape. No need to rehash everything, but needless to say, writing funny, family stories became somewhat of a challenge. At the time, my kitchen went from being the place that everyone wanted to hang out in, to the place no one wanted to be. It was a death zone. And I had to decide whether or not to end the blog or adapt it to accommodate a journey. I'm so glad I decided on the latter.

The best thing, the very best thing, that this blog has done was to force me into the world of social media. You can't promote your product (a term I learned from social media) without getting people to share it, to talk about it, to connect with it. Enter Twitter and Facebook. I now have a host of friends, people I can confide in, at times, commiserate with, discuss world events with, always laugh with, and on occasion, cry with. People I have never even met in person have become my soul mates. In spite of efforts to always present myself as a woman of strength to those around me, even now, I'm not immuned to waking in the middle of the night wondering what happened to my world. Then, somewhere, someone who is willing to listen, is always just a keystroke away. And it never ceases to amaze me.

And then there are the readers...they came to me, supported me, stayed with me. Most not comfortable with leaving comments on the blog site for the public to see, emailed me to explain how a particular story resonated with them in one way or another. Oddly enough, readership doubled when I finally admitted online that my 40 year marriage collapsed. Surviving an all too common situation had somehow bonded us. And I am grateful for each and every one of them.

Now, with all this going on; writing, blogging, holiday decorating, shopping, hanging with family and friends, I almost lost it all! Short lesson needed here. Blog domains (web sites)  must be renewed each year, usually automatically, with the fee coming from your registered bank account with your host. Before the divorce, I changed my accounts. Never thinking of the renewal until Goggle emailed me that the site had been suspended. I froze. I panicked. I couldn't find a way to fix it.

Because of the collapse earlier this year of my email accounts after moving into the new home, there was no way to recover the information needed to renew the domain. No way, that is, without a Goggle expert named Oliver who called me and spent hours getting Kitchen Clatter back online. I couldn't have done it without him. We actually became quite friendly after two days of working together. And I couldn't help but laugh when he ended the conversation with a reference to a recipe in the blog by stating, "By the way, my wife is making the ricotta cookies." Boom! I loved it.

So it's back! Kitchen Clatter is renewed and secured for another year. I did lose a few emails in the interim however, one especially that tugs at my heart because I no longer have the address to respond to. So to the solider in Afghanistan, who emailed me to say that the blog about my Aunt Lee had encouraged her to get passed an argument and call an aunt that she hadn't spoken to in years, I am beyond thrilled that you made that call. You, and the many others who have taken the time to tell me how Kitchen Clatter has effected your lives, is a gift I never saw coming. I honestly don't think I could have gotten through the last year without all of you dropping by my virtual kitchen to lend support.

"Ding, ding, ding"
The journey has led me miles away from where I was this time last year! My kitchen, where cooking and hosting have also been renewed, is wide open! I even danced to "What does the fox say?" with my nephew and niece this past Thanksgiving as I was preparing dinner for my family!

I am home. And there are so many more stories and recipes to share! Please take a few moments each week to pull a chair up to the table. We need to talk!

Photos by ImageGoggle and Betty Shepard


  1. Have enjoyed your blog for a good long while and I'm looking forward to continuing just that! Cheers to another year of sharing life!

  2. Thank you Patti. You are one of the "soul mates" I referred to. I love my Twitter gang!

  3. I had to pause and take a break as your words and your story brought me to tears. As you know, I too gained so much strength from twitter friends over the past 18 months, and while I too am worlds away and better, there is still some soul searching to do. Thank you for making me think about this, even though it's not comfortable. And most importantly, thank you & Betty for being my friends! xo, Tami

  4. Tami, I count you among the many people I look to for strength. I admire your courage and the love you give to your son. I am sure he is proud of the you. We are grateful for each other and that says a lot! Thanks for being a friend xo

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