Ah, how is that for a cryptic post title? As I was writing recently, I have a lot going on. Merge that with a lot of major anniversaries/markings of time in May and June and well, 2022 is full to the brim!
20 Years Post-College Graduation
May 11, 2002
I originally wrote up a post at 10 years here but wow, did the last 10 years fly by faster than the previous 10. Thankfully, I finally own my education fully as I paid off my student loan a couple of years ago!
20 Years of Blogging
I published my first blog post on a Blogger account on June 3, 2002. I debated sharing that post but I think I’ll go ahead so you can see how silly it all was in the beginning, like so many blogs at that time period, but also just because it was a completely different world back then. For context in this post, I had been part of an Anne of Green Gables fan forum for several years at this point. That forum morphed into a couple of other forums until eventually the last one was closed sometime in the last decade, maybe even around 2011. I’m still internet friends with a couple of people from that time period and a couple I have met in real life! This was back in the day when people thought it was insane if you met an internet stranger and only a subset of people were Very Online. I was Very Online! Also, I have no idea who Dave is anymore. There was always forum drama and I chuckle to think about all of that time period!
Alright, behold, my first first blog post! *cries laughing*
June 3, 2002
First day of blogging! I’ve tried my hand at it a few times and it wouldn’t ever work! Whew, now that i think i’ve figured things out! Well, everyone seems to be using blogs so i figured i’d jump on the bandwagon. Though I just got called a “groupie” or follower or something by Dave and it really pissed me off. That’s the really crappy thing about the internet, you cannot ever really know anyone and you can’t judge them. I’ve been reading things and my feelings have been hurt. My feelings have been hurt a lot in the past six months. People have changed or turned out different. I’m not sure which.
Anyways, I’m going to get off of the forum speak for awhile and just talk about things that are going on. The wedding is in 11 days. EEK! it’s coming up way too fast. I feel so bad cause i think I spent too much money. I should have taken the $5K and eloped like my parents had said we could! HA! I’d already be on a cruise! 🙂
Job hunting is gonna stink soon. I just hope i’m not waitressing or in retail or in any other job like that. I don’t even want to be answering phones but I might be. 🙁 I might try the local vet clinics or what not also. Well, today i didn’t do very much. I slept in ’til 10CST, then kinda vegged for awhile. I had to take my brother’s dog to the vet cause she has been sick for most of the weekend. She has this habit, which she picked up from her older sister, of eating nasty dog doo from the backyard. So, her tests said she had some nasty bacteria etc and just probably picked up a bug. YUCKO! She’s feeling a bit better now. Her name is Izzy, Isabelle really. I call her Snizzy, cause she’s snorty and her name is Izzy. She’s a Boston Terrier and snorts all the time! Her sister isn’t even really her sister, but it’s my parents dog Sandy. She’s about 11 years old and she’a cockapoo. She’s getting old though. We have two cats which we hardly ever see, Red, aka Redford, and Yoda, Yoda-Bear. 🙂 I love nicknames! LOL!
Hmmmmm, not sure what else to talk about. I think i’ll publish this and see what it looks like! Ooh, the cats are coming running for food!
And so it went for a while on Blogger, just like that. Random rants of a 22 year old. A lot of GWB rants, some other cringey stuff I can’t believe I wrote, and more stuff mostly targeted to my forum internet friends. I don’t know of any IRL friends who read that, though my brother and Chris read it at times, I think. I then morphed for a while to a Geocities website (and a few other sites I had a sub-domain on where my brother was hosting the main site) where I hand coded blog posts and my RSS feed—which I didn’t even know about an RSS feed until I wanted to submit my blog to GardenWeb which had a blog post aggregate that would share new gardening blog posts. Ah, the old days of GardenWeb—so many great plant trades I had with people in Florida! So, blogging led me to taking an online HTML course and I dabbled in coding things by hand for years, even after I got my own domain name, this very one here. I didn’t set up WordPress until late 2009 when I knew we were going to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail and I wanted to be able to schedule posts and write posts from the trail without coding anything. I wish I still had access to some of that Geocities content. I do have some of my really old HTML posts from around 2004-2006 that I took offline and I do have some of those other older archives hanging out here on the website but they aren’t linked anywhere, though I used to have a Really Old Archives link. I do rummage through them from time to time, sometimes to dredge up a photo or a memory I’m needed to use in a newer post. They all make me miss Florida a lot!
Oh, as for the job front, that I was so worried about, I ended up spending a month or so looking for a job after we got to Florida and back from our honeymoon and found a job through a lab temp company that placed me in a microbiology lab for Tropicana in Fort Pierce. I drove from Melbourne to Fort Pierce every day down I-95, which wasn’t actually that bad because traffic wasn’t horrible and the area was pretty rural. Lots of public lands and orange groves and exits every 10-15 miles to keep me engaged. I listened to a talk radio station called Real Radio out of West Palm Beach that kept me entertained to and from work. I tried a few times to get a marine biology job which proved a lot harder to do (marine bio was my degree) and I did end up working in retail for two or three months when my first contract with the lab ended and then I went back to the lab again for another five or six months before I found a more stable job in south Florida. Ironically, we were packing up our apartment in Melbourne to move to Miami and I got a call from a company who wanted to interview me for a job doing scrub jay surveys and I have always wondered if we would have stayed in Florida if we hadn’t moved to south Florida and dealt with the housing prices and crowds there. Central Florida was still affordable at that point and well, we will never know! I wouldn’t take my time in south Florida back, though, so many great things happened while living there. Anyway, one of those Sliding Doors moments to think about—what if??
Will I be blogging in another 20 years? Maybe. I don’t know what the blogging world is going to look like then and maybe I will finally have moved on from writing and sharing things out into the internet ethers.
(ooh, a trailing thought here—anyone else remember blog rings or circles? And Fanlistings? It looks like Fanlistings might still exist! Oooh and guestbooks! Ah, late 90s/early 2000s internet…*insert wistful gaze here*)
As I alluded to in that first blog post above, our 20th wedding anniversary is coming up on June 14th. Chris and I first met in November of 1997 while at a campus preview weekend for our university, Texas A&M Galveston, and within a month or so we went on our first date. So we’ve been together for longer than before we knew each other at this point. Which is bizarre to think about! My one regret for the wedding: not getting married in the dSLR era because while I like my wedding photos, there was a whole world that opened up with dSLR photography and the photography style that came out of that. Planning a wedding back then was still about going to a bookstore and buying wedding planning books and looking through bridal magazines and less than a decade later there were whole websites dedicated to wedding planning and blogs and just a slew of different things to think about. But also, kinda like I said in that blog post, eloping would have been great, too!
Look at us! So young! And Chris without his beard, too!
A lot has changed at the house in a decade. When we moved in we were coming off of a horrible drought in which millions of trees were killed in Texas, including several on our property. It was a good 6-8 months before all of the ones we’d had taken down were finally cut up and burned. We replaced them with other trees, diversifying the species in the yard. I could do so many before-and-after shots around the yard and house. We just lost another tree this weekend, which we found when we arrived home last night from a trip up to DFW. A sweetgum had broken near the base and fallen into the water at the pond. Storms moved through this weekend and I suppose that pushed the limit to the sweetgum and down it came. I’m certainly we glad we locked into this house when we did because with housing costs I don’t know that I could or want to afford this place if I bought it today. Housing affordability was one of the primary reasons for leaving Florida (though we could have probably just moved to north Florida at that point still) but the insane housing costs have found Texas and values are doubled or more around here. It was a bit of an icing on the cake though, to have made our last mortgage payment last week! Just a month shy of our move-in date of late June 2012! And 20 years early! So our little acre and almost a quarter is officially ours! I still weep at the thought of not being able to purchase the empty lots across the street from us a couple of years ago and now they have been sold to a developer. It will not be fun to look at another house (or two or three) crammed in there at some point. There was a narrow window in which the lots were affordable and that slipped through as the county started raising tax rates and values. I guess c’est la vie and all that, but it still makes me sad to see a few empty lots being developed right in front of us when we’ve had a peaceful area to enjoy for the last decade.
And so, that wraps up my homage to the many milestones going on right now!