What My Father Taught Me About Blogging

I grew up on a ramshackle dairy farm about a half-mile down the road from the middle of nowhere.

My father came into the world on that same farm 83 years ago.

There wasn’t electricity or running water on the farm back then. Home-grown food simmered and sputtered in cast iron pans over a wood-fired stove, and nature’s call was answered in an outhouse a few steps beyond the chicken coop.

On the surface, it seems impossible that a man who came of age in such rustic circumstances could be my blogging mentor, but wisdom often arrives in unlikely packages.

The truth is, the technicalities of blogging can be picked up on any corner of the internet these days. But the heart and soul of blogging–the character-building knowledge that lifts you up and carries you through the woods at night when the wolves are howling–now that’s a heck of a lot harder to come by.

For me, it came from watching my Dad as he loped through life in his relaxed, yet powerful way.

Here’s what he taught me:

  • Do your chores. It didn’t matter if it was 20 below zero or 101 degrees in the shade, the cows needed milking before breakfast and after supper. Dad might have been up all night tending to a sick animal or battling a flu bug, but at chore time he donned his overalls and headed for the barn. Recalling Dad’s devotion to his work inspires me to do my blogging chores even when I’m feeling tired or out of sorts.
  • Whistle while you work. Although Dad’s temper flared when he got whacked in the face by a wet, stinky cow tail, he generally looked on the bright side of his work, whistling a cheerful tune while plowing lonely fields or repairing broken machinery. I’m not much of a whistler, but I’ve learned keeping a positive attitude like Dad’s is invaluable when doing the solitary work of writing blog posts or wrangling with technical glitches.
  • Follow your passion. When Dad retired from farming, he surprised everyone by indulging a hidden passion for flower gardening. Inch-by-inch, the sprawling farm lawn was transformed into colorful flower beds with thousands of vibrant blossoms. Soon, cars crawled up the long dusty driveway like a trail of ants, nursing homes delivered residents by the van load, and countless picnics were held amidst a backdrop of lush blooms and jewel-toned hummingbirds. Rather than sinking into an easy chair after years of physical labor, Dad fed his soul, kept his body flexible, and brought joy to many by following his inner compass. My inner compass finds me planting blog posts instead of petunias, but the concept of channeling personal passion to create a space for others to wander around and enjoy is the same as Dad’s.
  • Make the best of things. Seven years ago, Mom nearly lost her life due to a sudden health crisis. As it turned out, she pulled through, but she couldn’t live at home again. Just like that, Dad was left alone to manage unfamiliar tasks and ramble through silent, empty rooms. Once again, he surprised everyone by making life even bigger and more remarkable than before. He kept up with his gardening, took on the extra chores with apparent ease, visited Mom twice a day, and became a treasured volunteer at the nursing home. Now, when my blogging endeavors don’t turn out like I planned, I follow Dad’s lead by leaning into the challenges, rolling with the changes, and striving to get better instead of bitter.
  • Respect the seasons. Farming is structured around the changing rhythms and cycles of nature. In summer, Dad’s days started in the barn before dawn and ended stacking bales in a steamy hay mow as evening’s light faded to black. Winter was for bookkeeping, ordering seeds, and making fixes around the farm. Just as Dad worked in harmony with the seasons, so I respect the seasons of blogging. There’s a season for planning a blog, another for planting content, and still another to do the hard work of cultivating a subscriber base and creating quality products. After that, when all of the other seasons have been given due honor in their natural order, comes the time for a ripe and bountiful harvest.

This current summer season finds Dad feeling his years and planning a move to an apartment in town. When the leaves in the surrounding woods turn color this fall, he’ll say goodbye to the secluded acres that have always been home and drive down that dusty dead-end road one last time.

Part of me feels a little sad about all this and wonders how a man who’s accustomed to sharing his yard with black bear and whitetail deer will adapt to such a major life change. The rest of me can’t wait to see what he’s going to teach me this time around.

Happy Father’s Day to the best blogging mentor I could ever hope for.

I love you, Dad.

83 Responses to What My Father Taught Me About Blogging

  1. Jeffrey June 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    The muscles of writing are not so visible, but they are just as powerful: determination, attention, curiosity, a passionate heart.~ Natalie Goldberg

    Lead on Jean!

  2. Dev | Technshare June 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Hey Jean,

    Another awesome post. I really like the “Follow your passion” .. awesome point jean. Keep up the great work Jean.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post.

    ~Dev

  3. Angela June 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Wow Jean – what an awesome post, on multiple levels! Along with the blogging analogy, this example holds true for so many areas in life. As someone just starting her own business and beginning to feel the pressure as my first big project is nearing, this is JUST what I needed. And by the way, what a touching Father's Day tribute to your Dad. He must be very, very proud!!

  4. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks, Angela. Dad's wisdom does apply in nearly every situation. The lessons he gave me go way beyond what's in the post too . . . being a lifetime learner, treating everyone the same, etc. Perhaps it's time to start working on next year's Father's Day post :) Good luck with your project – I'm sure you'll do great!

  5. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Thanks, Dev. It's easy to stuff those passionate feelings in a box because they might take us somewhere that doesn't feel 'logical.' In the end though, passion + perseverance = power.

  6. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    I love Natalie Goldberg, Jeffrey, and the quote you shared convinced me it's time to pull her “Writing Down the Bones' book from the shelf and start reading/using it again! Thank you so much for that.

  7. Vince June 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Jean
    Another great post and a lovely tribute to your father. I got me thinking about how much I have learned from mine. I didn't always listen to his advice which was a big mistake. He said to me once when I was about 18 years that I would be suprised at how much HE had learned when I got older!! 😉 and he was right,
    Thnk you for the good advice
    Vince

  8. Kim June 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    I loved your vivid analogy of lush blooms and jewel-toned hummingbirds to giving us a space to wander around and enjoy — absolutely beautiful Jean! Thank you for this heartfelt post. It's triggered a much needed walk down memory lane. Blessings to you and your folks!

  9. pamela j June 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Jeannie~ beautiful! You are so gifted with your writing as is your Dad. What a wonderful way of paying tribute to your Dad and applying his strengths and his ethics to all phases of your life, even blogging. He is such a wonderful man, you are lucky to have him so close to you and he is really lucky to have you as a daughter. AND, I'm really lucky and blessed to have you as my friend. Love you girlfriend! You almost make me want to take up blogging. ;p

  10. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Hi Vince. I didn't appreciate much of my Dad's advice when I was younger either. I'm just glad I wised up while he was still around for me to appreciate!

  11. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi Kim. I wish you could have seen my Dad's flowers . . . creativity and passion are beautiful things when we let them flow in our lives. Enjoy your own trip down memory lane, and I hope you have a great weekend.

  12. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    It's great to 'see' you on here, Pam! We're both really lucky to still have our parents with us, and in my case, I'm lucky mine still put up with me after all I put them through :) You would have the most amazing blog if you were so inclined . . wickedly creative design + saucy writing = yum! Love to you and Happy Father's Day to your Dad!

  13. Angela Artemis June 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Jean, this was beautiful. I really enjoyed it. You've learned a lot from your Dad and I'm sure he's really proud of you. You're lucky to still have him around.

    I miss my father a lot….

  14. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Thanks, Ange. I definitely am lucky to still have Dad here and to have the flexibility to spend more time with him too. Most of my friends have lost one or both of their folks now :(

  15. k0zm0zs0ul June 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Beautiful post Jean, and such a great way to honor your dad! Well done! :) I enjoyed it immensely, hope to see a few more of these more personal posts on occasion… sounds like you've had an interesting life! Hugs,
    C

  16. Katie Tallo June 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Jean, you are a true artist. Lovely post and lovely dad. I especially like the image of him creating his own field of dreams for folks to come and enjoy. What can I say, I miss my dad and learned so much from his strength, love and sadness.

  17. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Hi Cori. Yes, life has definitely been interesting up to this point and here's hoping the adventures are just beginning :) I'll keep slipping the personal posts in here every now again. If all I do is information posts we'll all get way too smart far too soon, and we certainly can't have that happen!

  18. virginbloggernotes June 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Thanks, Katie. It was so astounding to me when Dad started planting all those flowers, most of which he started from seed. I never knew he had that creative yearning inside, but when he unleashed it . . . wow!.

  19. Manal June 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    A truly inspiring post Jean.
    Thank you for sharing your father's journey with us. We need more people like your father and you: passionate, genuine, caring and accepting of life.

    You are a blogging star :)

  20. Dia June 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    What an amazing post Jean. This is a great way to honor your dad on father's day :) I am sure this “Do your chores” taught you how to be disciplined. Whether you are tired or not, you have to do your chores, blogging etc…Also, keeping a positive outlook on things is very helpful in life. Thanks for sharing Jean

  21. Francoise June 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Jean,
    great post – I love the way you have to show your dad how much you like and respect him.
    Somehow interesting to me is the fact, that my dad has the same age and I also felt I needed to write about him a few weeks ago :)
    It's a great bridge you bild there between your dad and your activity nowadays – he must have liked it!

  22. Leah McClellan June 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Beautifully-written post, Jean. Definitely could use more dads like your dad around! I wish him and all of you in your family the best :)

  23. Hulbert June 20, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Awesome post Jean. I think your dad is a very admirable man. When your mom had to relocated, your dad still made the best of what was left around and maintained a positive attitude in the house and the garden. His work ethic that you described in this post is outstanding and I can definitely see now where you get your hard work genes from in blogging! :) Thanks for this post and Happy Father's Day Weekend!

  24. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Thanks, Manal. If I'm a star then you're my co-star! 'Accepting of life' sure personifies Dad. I doubt he's ever heard of writers like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie, but for the most part, he naturally lives in the moment and loves what is.

  25. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Hi Francoise. I love that your Dad is the same age too. We are so blessed to have our fathers. I am going to seek out that post of yours so I can learn about your father too. Dad still doesn't know about this post – it will be a surprise for him tomorrow on Father's Day :)

  26. prolificliving June 20, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Jean, how sweet that you can see so much of Dad's wisdom in your passion for blogging – and what a wonderful long life for your Dad (who I hope is still keeping you company). I think my parents' reaction to my blog has been an evolution onto itself but there is nothing more I treasure than when my mom casually raves about my writing. I don't think she sees that I have tears in my eyes because we are usually on the phone and I say, oh that's nice, thank you Mommy – but to impress my parents, that's no easy task ;)!
    I so enjoyed this post, Jean, thanks for sharing the lessons with us too!

  27. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Hi Dia. Having a positive outlook on things has made all the difference in the world to me. My Dad's Mom was also an incredibly positive person. She lost her husband, lost her sight, and lost a limb, yet she was one of the happiest people I ever knew. I learned early on that circumstances in life don't need to dictate the quality of our lives.

  28. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Thanks, Leah. I wish there were more Dad's like mine too. When I was younger I didn't appreciate how fortunate I was simply to have parents who loved and cared for me. Some things are seen much more clearly through older eyes!

  29. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Thanks, Hulbert. Dad's a great mentor for me in so many areas of life. No matter what the situation, he finds the most positive way of looking at it. Happy Father's Day weekend to you too!

  30. Scott Barron June 20, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    Awww, Jean, what a sweet post! :-)

    That's an amazing correlation between farming and blogging. My grandmother is 88 and she was also born and raised on a farm in a small town in Ohio. It's funny how different life was in 1922, but then again not so different.

    Maybe our values have changed because of technology, luxury and global warming :-)
    People weren't lazy in 1922. Most everything entailed manual & time consuming labor. People didn't have time to think. Kids woke up early to help on the farm, then went to school, then homework, and more work on the farm (inside and outside).

    No cellphones, TV, cable, DVR's, playstations, o Wii for entertainment. No meals in a box for the microwave or fast food.

    I hope your father enjoys the apartment 😉

  31. Louis June 20, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    Jean,

    Glad to see that your dad is an inspiration for you. Just think of him with your journey for online success.

    – Louis

  32. Dave Doolin June 20, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    Jean, you just keep doing those chores, and you're going to be find some really amazing success, sooner than you think.

  33. Comic Mummy June 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    I love how you wrote: “channeling personal passion to create a space for others to wander around and enjoy…” – I'd never thought of it that way! Lovely! x

  34. annahaller June 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I absolutely love your writing style and reading your post reminded me of my own father and I cried! I especially like the way you have related these lessons to blogging.

    Not only has he taught you about blogging but personal life lessons as well and it is clearly evident through what your mission is on your blog. Keep up the fantastic work, you are awesome Jean!

    Anna

  35. Sibyl-alternaview June 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Jean: What a beautiful post for father's day and those lessons that your dad instilled in you are timeless and so valuable. I especially appreciated the lesson to whistle while you work. I think this is something I have realized the importance of as I have gotten older. It really is so important to be able to enjoy and be in a great frame of mind while you are working. When you are able to really be passionate and engaged with what you are doing, that is when things just flow … there is no substitute. Thanks for sharing your words and your dad's words of wisdom.

  36. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Thank you, Farnoosh. I can only imagine what it is like for those of an older generation to see all this blogging going on and trying to figure it out. Sharing so many personal stories, writing for the sheer love of it, connecting with people we've never met . . . so much to take in, really. No matter how much they do or don't let on over it, I'm sure your parents are deeply proud of you and impressed with your beautiful writing.

  37. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Hi Scott. I think most of the things that speak to us on a deep level are the same as in '22 and will never change, really. Sometimes those important, essential things do get covered up with the noise of 24-hour news, electronic toys, and simply not stepping away long enough to hear our own voice.

    Although I appreciate modern conveniences immensely, I still voluntarily walk in step with a simpler era by tending a large garden, canning food, and living an uncluttered life. I sure do love my microwave though :)

  38. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi Louis. I do feel grateful to have a Dad who provides regular doses of inspiration. I'm looking forward to seeing him later today!

  39. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Dave. My brother and I were talking about Dad yesterday and how he came to find true success within the community. He was just a simple man who tended to his work, while having an open and generous spirit towards everyone. These days, no matter where I go with him in the surrounding communities people approach him from all directions to greet him to thank him for his flowers or to tell a joke, and he shares smiles and conversation with them all. When I envision success these days, I always think . . . now, what will still matter to me when I'm 83 . . . and that helps me chart my course.

  40. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    We all have so much power to create things others will enjoy. It's easy to lose sight of that when we get lost in the shuffle of daily routines, but those creative sparks and passionate flames are there in all of us.

  41. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi, Anna, and thank you for your kind words. I should have put a little tissue dispenser on the corner of this blog post to help dry your tears :) One of the things I love most about writing is that it opens me up to hidden truths and deeper connections in so many areas of life. Hope you have a great day!

  42. virginbloggernotes June 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I've learned there's no expiration date on true wisdom. The same principles that guided me in my youth (or would have, had I not been such a knothead) will light my path in old age. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate that.

  43. Karen Ruby June 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Fantastic way to honour your father and his teachings, Jean. No matter what our upbringing is we can always learn something and take heart for the lessons.

    Karen

  44. Chania Girl June 20, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Beautiful post, Jean. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. And your blog is also a testament to the fact that you are indeed putting his lessons into practice … and succeeding! :)

  45. J.D. Meier June 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    That is a beautiful set of lessons. You reminded me that my Dad also taught me to whistle while I work — in fact, he actually had a little song for it (a variation off the original.)

  46. sandralee June 21, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    Jean, This post brought tears to my eyes, nice tears! It was such a joy to read and I too feel deeply inspired by your father. May he continue to enjoy a happy, joyous, and full life. And you too!

  47. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    Thanks Karen. I have a few friends who came from challenging backgrounds and they've said that they learned how they never wanted to act by watching their parents.

  48. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    He is a wonderful man. He would be SO fascinated by your life and probably ask you a zillion and one questions about travels, cultures, etc.

  49. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    Nice tears are okay :) I'm glad you could find inspiration in my Dad, too. He definitely continues to inspire me!

  50. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    How cool that your Dad made up his own tune. Well, you and I had both better keep positive attitudes to honor those special Dads of ours!

  51. Arafat Hossain Piyada June 21, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    I believe your Dad will be more than happy after reading this. Nice linked up article between human behavior and blogging.

  52. Kaizenvision June 21, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    What a beautiful, beautiful story of love, life and inspiration. This a beautiful tribute to your father and I hope you read it to him. It is also a great celebration of Fathers Day!

    It's great that you are, “planting blog posts instead of petunias”

    I sincerely wish him a kind, fulfilling and gentle journey as he leaves his garden to his new apartment. Hope he find many new joys there.

  53. Toronto Dentist :) June 21, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    Thanks Jean. A beautiful Father's Day gift.
    You're lucky to have him and he's lucky to have you.
    Cherish these times.

  54. Zengirl @ heart and mind June 21, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    Jean,

    What a nice and fitting father's day tribute! I enjoyed reading it.

    You write well and have great following and I can see why for many great reasons. You have to change your blog's name from virgin blogger's note to Pro-blogger's notes :-)

  55. darrenlcarter June 21, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Hey Jean,

    Really amazing post. I probably say this ever time I come here but I really enjoy your writing style. Seeing you reflect on what you've learned from other people has really helped me do the same. Thanks for making the connection between your experiences (and your dad's with farming) to how that can help people with their own stuff.

    Peace,
    Darren L Carter

  56. Lisa@PracticallyIntuitive.com June 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    What a lovely, lovely tribute to your dad. I really felt I got a sense of his character by your words and I can appreciate his lessons as well. Beautifully written and so heartfelt. Made me miss my dad more than usual.

  57. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Thanks, Lisa. I have many friends who have lost one or both of their parents now so can appreciate what a bittersweet feeling a post like this brings. It sounds like you had a wonderful Dad too.

  58. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Hey Darren. I'm definitely getting more reflective lately.There's so much wisdom all around us in the people we interact with and in the experiences we have too. I'm finding that the more I simplify my life and slow down, the clearer those messages become.

  59. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post – Dad's just too good of a guy to keep to myself. With all the things I have yet to learn and do with blogging, I think the 'virgin' title will be safe for at least a few more years :)

  60. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. 'Cherish' is exactly how I've been feeling about my time with Dad (and Mom too) lately. Each day we have together at this stage of life feels like a bonus.

  61. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Thank you, Aileen. I think Dad is going to do great with apartment life because he has a such a natural curiosity about life and makes new friends easily. Plus, he's never had cable out on the farm, and with his love of history we may never get him away from the History Channel.

  62. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi Arafat. Thanks for stopping in. Blogging seems to mirror life in so many ways, but then again, I suppose most things do. It's just up to us to make that connection and see what we can learn.

  63. James June 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Nice post, every blogger has their chores. I couldn't agree more. I've been busy with clients, lately, but i make time for blogger.

  64. matthewneedham June 21, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Wow! What a load of comments!

    This is an inspired post and such a great link to Father's Day. It sounds like your dad is one hell of a good mentor and I agree with Dave Doolin. You need to keep chipping away at the chores. Everyday come hell or high water.

    Great stuff.

  65. matthewneedham June 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I agree Darren, Jean's style is so easy to read and paints very vivid pictures. Can't you just imagine the farm!?

  66. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Thanks, Matthew. Dad's a great mentor and just a great guy all around. I like your statement of 'chipping' away at chores. The daily work we do doesn't seem very spectacular, but over time it adds up to something pretty darn amazing.

  67. virginbloggernotes June 21, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi James. I'm glad you do make time for blogging because I enjoy reading your take on things in your posts. Keep up the good work!

  68. alexwhalley June 22, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    I'm all choked up now Jean. Really makes me smile to see that much respect for a parent shared with others. This respect shows through in your personality big time and I'm glad your Dad is the rockin' dude that he is. Farming is big in Australia, and the farming community come together to help and work hard more than any other demographic in the world. There is something about Farmers that is just so amazing. We could all learn a thing or two from your Father, thankyou for sharing.
    My mum always said to me (and I hated it) 'You always have a choice – and that's your attitude' and I think your dad lived this quote
    Thanks again for sharing Jean, and happy fathers day to him (in Australia, fathers day is Sept 5 so I was a bit confused at first, until Scott Barron wished me a happy fathers day on facebook and confused me too)

  69. virginbloggernotes June 22, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    Hi Alex. I love hearing about Australian dates, words, customs, etc. I tend to forget you're not just around the street corner from me :) Many years ago there was a farmer couple from my neighborhood who moved to Australia to farm for awhile as part of a cultural exchange program. After a couple of years they returned and showed their slides to the community. I don't recall where they were located, but the land was lush and beautiful and the people sounded just as supportive as you described.

  70. Mike Roosa June 22, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Very inspiring and thoughtful post, Jean. I really like reading personal stories from people. I lost my father 12 years ago, so it gave me something to think about.

  71. virginbloggernotes June 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Thanks, Mike. I'm glad this helped you reconnect with memories of your own Dad. I like reading personal stories too and seeing how people have been shaped by the events, circumstances, and people in their lives.

  72. Prerna June 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Thanks for yet another inspiring and uplifting post. I,especially love the part about leaning into challenges and getting better and not bitter. It is so easy to lose heart when the going gets tough, even in the blogging world but true bloggy strength lies in being able to ride the waves, no matter how rough or choppy:-)

  73. virginbloggernotes June 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you for visiting and commenting, Prerna. Those blogging waves certainly can get choppy, but if we hang on, smoother seas lie ahead!

  74. Sally_Neill June 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    Your post brought a tear to my eye, such a very beautiful post.

    I felt, that for just a few minutes, I was actually seeing everything you talked about, I could practically smell those flowers, but not the stinky cow tail thankfully!

    Your Dad sounds like a great man, I am sure you are very proud of him, as he is you.

    Please keep us updated on how he gets on after the move, I hope it all goes well for him and I am sure he will simply take it in his stride.

    Thank you for sharing this story it was very personal and very powerful.

    Sally x

  75. virginbloggernotes June 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi Sally. I'm glad you could spend a little time on the farm via this post. It's a special place, and I'll miss it too, but I'm grateful for so many good memories.

  76. Grandma_dj June 24, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    OMG! You are an amazing writer!!!! Your dad must be so proud of you. I can't wait to hear what he does with his new lifestyle!!!

  77. virginbloggernotes June 24, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Thank you, DJ. I also have Dad to thank for my way with words. He loves books about as much as he loves flowers.

  78. Paul Tech July 10, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    This story is so heartwarming. A lot of children, especially of the web 2.0 generation just don’t appreciate their parents enough and think of them as old fashioned, boring, etc.

    Credit to you for appreciating the blogging and life lessons from your dad’s simple and down-to-earth ways.
    Paul Tech recently posted..World Cup 2010- Paul the Octopus Picks Spain To Win In Final Showdown

    • Jean Sarauer July 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

      Hi Paul. I didn’t appreciate my dad nearly as much until I got out on my own. Funny how our parents can so often appear so much smarter as we get older.

  79. Maria Rattray July 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Oh dear Jean – I wonder if anyone read this without shedding a tear? I certainly did. Your dad sounds so much like mine, a lover of life, hard-working, passionately concerned about our planet and ever positive. My dad was an avid reader who could quote Shakespeare, Robert Burns, in any given situation. I didn’t appreciate him enough. I’m so glad that you have shared your very special dad with the world.

    • Jean Sarauer July 13, 2010 at 12:00 am #

      This is a bit of a Kleenex post, Maria :) That’s my new monetization strategy. I’m going to write posts that make people cry and then offer pop-up tissues available with a paypal donation – how’s that for an idea? :)

      Seriously, I can so relate to not appreciating parents. That was me to a “T” in my earlier days. I’m very fortunate that they’ve had long lives!

  80. Riley Harrison February 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I married a gal who grew up on a farm in a small southern Minnesota town (Walnut Grove). There are lessons (hard work, integrity, no whining and being a good neighbor)taught there that are rarely found elsewhere. Thanks for a wonderful trip down memory lane.
    Riley Harrison recently posted..WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENTLY

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