Updating my address book

“This is not a letter but my arms around you for a brief moment”
~ Katherine Mansfield

I read a lot of blogs… well, a lot for me… slightly over 200, and they’re a prolific bunch of writers. But, even that number is misleading. That signifies how many blogs are listed in my Google Reader, not how many are active. I have all of these many blogs categorized in nine different folders. It makes it easier to manage and leave comments when I can (or feel that I have something to contribute.)

One of these folders is titled ‘Hiatus.’ There are 62 blogs listed in this folder. Some are written by people who haven’t posted a new entry in months, perhaps now, closer to years. But, I loathe to delete them… you know just in case.

I simply can’t bear to delete one of these blogs. Written by a woman who has been missing, presumed dead, for more than two years. The last posting was in October of 2008 and was a heartbreaking plea from her teenage daughter for her mother to come home.

I still hope that someone in her family will post something telling us what happened to Beanie, or that she came home, and is safe and well. I know that’s unlikely at this point, but just in case, I keep the link in my Reader.

A few of these sporadic writers are on Twitter and I’ve been able to maintain contact with them there. Whenever I open my Reader and one of those dormant files show activity, I get a little thrill, like a surprise gift was left on my doorstep. I stop by, leaving a little ‘welcome back’ note and hope the author remembers me.

Having started over on my own blogging adventure, changing names and location, I wonder sometimes if occasionally someone searches for a new post from me only to find that the old site is no longer accessible. Are they sad, or completely unfazed?

My regular mail address book is much the same way. I haven’t updated it in… well… forever. I have contact info for people I haven’t seen or talked with in years. Even my mother’s phone number has changed and I didn’t correct the listing. I hardly ever send letters or cards. I’m terrible for remembering birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. If I can’t fulfill my obligation with a phone call or email, you’re just out of luck.

It used to not be that way. When my husband and I were first dating in college, he co-oped – moving away every three months to work in his field of study. This was before cell phones, before Internet. If we wanted to keep in touch we called, late at night or weekends to get the lowest rates or wrote letters – hundreds of letters. All of which I saved.

I don’t think I’ve written a letter since then. At least, nothing longer than a scribbled note on a card. Emails, sure… but there is something unique about getting a handwritten letter. Something you can carry with you, to read any time you want. Something personal from someone special.

Considering how much I enjoy getting mail, I really should write more letters. I should be better about keeping in touch with people, and not simply let them fall through the cracks. I need to be a better friend.

I can’t complain if I am not doing anything to maintain relationships. You have to give to receive.

14 thoughts on “Updating my address book

  1. I am very bad at keeping in touch and with the internet and texting, I am worse. Also, my reader adds up and up and then it is overwhelming and I feel people think I don’t care if I don’t comment, when everyday I try to read one or two. Can you add the link of the blog of the woman you mentioned being missing? that link doesn’t work. That makes me so sad. I wonder who would miss me in the blog world if I went missing? god forbid. I am way too morose, LOL

    I recently started using Bloglovin as my blog reader and I love it!


  2. I hear you.

    And I used to feel the exact same way about my old closed blogs, with all of my moves. People will occasionally find me after all of this time and it’s a great reunion 🙂

    Also, I think you are a fantastic blog pal to have such a massive reading list that you keep on top of; I rarely do more than quick daily scan of mine, comment once or twice a week. Things have changes so much for me over the years but you’ve always been so consistent and sweet … that is a beautiful trait.

    I check in on Beanie’s blog once in awhile. So tragic. Such a kind and giving soul, I miss her.


  3. I have over 200+ blogs in my reader but I only faithfully comment on around 40 blogs. I won’t say that I’m “bad” about commenting because I’m not for those 40 blogs. I mean to me, what’s the point of “giving” if you’re not going to get back? I know we have had numerous conversations about this so I will leave it at that, but I have a folder in my reader that says “every day” and I mean it (barring any like serious busy life stuff) and I comment EVERY DAY or on EVERY POST. I am one of those people who will put my entire being into my friendships and I guess that’s probably why I end up so disappointed 4 times out of 10.

    (Also? DO NOT take that as an insult at all because it isn’t directed at you cause I love you and you are obviously not at all included in those 4 times. hahahaha)

    As for the 100+ that I don’t comment on every time, well they are people I usually lurk, or they post multiple entries/day and I only comment on one or two/week OR they aren’t a “give to get” kinda person and so I only comment when their post really moves me.

    And I’m done with my mini novel 🙂



  4. It takes a lot for me to remove someone off of my blog list…but I really know what you’re talking about Tara. I have quite a few blogging friends that don’t blog very often either. Some have just left their blogs in a kind of ‘limbo.’ But most just aren’t blogging as often as they use to. I miss their frequent visits…and their comments; but I do understand that life is about more than blogging….although I’m not sure some of us know that. ~Joy


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