Wednesday, August 29, 2012
29 Aug 2012 ~ Doing the blog thing one more time ~
This second blog is the natural outgrowth of my lifetime of genealogy and the web pages started all those years ago on Geocities - built lovingly by hand using HTML.
With today’s templates you don’t need to know HTML but it is a skill that comes in handy for tweaking more than you’d think. I’m still very proud of those first, if flawed, family pages on Geocities. When Geocities was closed down Aquila’s Orchard was pirated, preserved and is still out there on the web.
My tree on ancestry.com (grown large - 34,994 people and counting) [updated 20 Feb 2018 - 47,018 people and counting!], again called Aquila’s Orchard, on that amazing genealogy website is a huge work in progress – deep and wide – far from perfect but a joy to build. Ancestry.com is a great playground and workshop for those with a small interest or a great passion for family history. With genealogy as my primary work since my retirement, and hoping to make it a work of art and a lasting record of our family, a blog to share the stories is, of course, Aquila’s Orchard ~ The Blog.
I started my first blog – Sandy Hikes San Diego – with grand hopes of making friends, seeing more of beautiful San Diego County, and getting plenty of exercise. Two out of three's not bad, I guess. I worked hard and enthusiastically and poured lots of love into the project with the end result that no one read it, not even my family bothered or cared much – everyone was enamored with the new Facebook.
My heart not cooperating on more than one level I had to give up my initial goal of hiking the moderate trails in Jerry Schad’s book, Afoot and Afield: San Diego County. I traipsed out with my camera less and less; Jerry passed away; Steve White, a popular local musician I’d featured on the site, passed away . . . the project seemed pointless and other things took up my time.
I went on-line to take the blog down recently, ran the slide shows, read it ‘one last time’ and liked it well enough to spend the day updating the links and left the darned thing up. It's still relevant and recently I've had viewers from Russia and China so my small audience has gone global.
The point seems to be that I gained joy and pleasure – writing, photographic, and computer skills – while doing something I loved. You do it for yourself and hope that there are others out there who appreciate your work . . . and if it is only one other person that’s okay. I hope to be out with my camera again soon - time to get beyond the bunny.
Torrey Pine - © Sandra Shaffer Barber Collection
Aquila's Orchard/Tree - © Sandra Shaffer Barber Collection