wonder farm is five! sangrias all around!

July 18, 2013

Post image for wonder farm is five! sangrias all around!

This is me, sitting beside a rooftop pool in Sevilla, Spain, drinking a sangria and reading a very good book. (When Chris paid the bill for our room, he discovered that we had been charged 16 euros for this particular glass of sangria, but I will insist that it was worth it, to be drinking a glass of sangria beside a rooftop pool in Sevilla, Spain. Besides, there were delightful, wine-soaked sugar crystals at the bottom of the glass that crunched when I chewed them.)

We are back from Spain, and it was a lovely trip and a lovely way to celebrate our almost-25 years together. (Our actual anniversary is at the end of the month.) After years of traveling with kids, traveling just the two of us was sort of like hopping on a plane without any luggage. We ate dinner after ten, because we could, and because they do that in Spain, and we often let dinner be a few tapas here, a few tapas there, because they do that too. We walked for miles, criss-crossing Madrid, in particular, as if we were trying to get in more steps than the flamenco dancer we watched stomp and clap in Sevilla. We walked past ice cream shops and did not stop unless we wanted to–and if you have traveled with kids and know the power of Ice Cream Bribery, you understand the sheer wonder of that. (There are some photos on my flickr page, if you want a little sip of Spain.)

But there is still more to celebrate. Because today this little blog is five years old. Five! (Picture my five fingers waggling before your eyes.)

I have a new-ish reader here named wandering sue, and she has taken on the astonishing task of reading everything I’ve posted here over the past five years, as if they were chapters in a book and–get this–she comments on almost every post she reads! I am not sure if she is crazy or kind or simply extra-curious–though since I’ve gotten to know her through her many comments and have grown rather fond of her, I’m guessing she is mostly curious and kind, with a mere dash of crazy. Anyway, what’s been interesting about this, beyond the pure doggedness of sue’s undertaking, is that in order to respond to her comments, I’ve had to reread many of my old posts, and the comments that follow them.

And how good you all have been to me over the past five years! There is something special about you, especially you people who leave comments. Sometimes you are sweet and brief, but often your comments go beyond niceties. You tell stories, you wring your hands, you share triumphs, you ask questions, you get meaty, you go deep. You buoy me up when I am feeling down. You are uncommon commenters. I feel very fortunate to have you reading along.

Two years ago, writing a post marking wonder farm’s third birthday, I had an inspiration.

I asked you to leave a comment, wishing my blog a happy birthday.

“Even if you never leave comments, even if you’ve never commented before, might you try?” I pleaded. And you did it, you good people, you did it! I heard from some of you who I’d never heard from before; I heard from some who have been reading along since the beginning. I heard from others who had disappeared from the comments section altogether, but who were still silently reading along. (Those readers are like Scarecrow to my Dorothy, and I adore you.)

And when I asked you to carry on the tradition last year, you did it again!

So here we are, on wonder farm’s fifth birthday, and here I am pleading once more.

Won’t you leave a comment, wishing my blog a happy birthday? Even if you never leave comments, even if you’ve never commented before, might you try?

As much as I know the effectiveness of Ice Cream Bribery, I can’t quite pull that off in this instance. If I could afford a round of 16-euro sangrias for all who comment, I’d add it to the hotel tab! But wonder farm is five and five-year-olds like presents, so it seems that presents should be involved somehow. So I’m going to love up every comment you leave me, and after a week I’m going to let a random number generator decide which one of you gets a little present from me. Since I can’t finagle a glass of sangria, I’m going to send along a copy of that book I’m enjoying in the photo above, The Interestings by Meg Worlitzer. I finished it on the long plane ride home, and it is one good read. I’m still thinking about it, re-reading parts. It’s smart and articulate and funny and enthralling and touching–just like you readers. Plus, that stripy cover on the hardback looks so appealing peeking out of a beach bag.

So please consider leaving a birthday greeting for my blog. You may not get a book out of it, but know that I continue to be more grateful to all of you than I can express, grateful from the very sugar crystals at the bottom of my heart.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

angela July 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm

sorry for the belated wishes, but I was sidetracked by organising my second child’s sixth birthday party!

many happy returns and birthday greetings to you, wonderful wonder farm…

love angela x

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patricia July 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

Well, I would say that life should trump blog comments any day. Happy birthday to your six-year-old, and thanks for stopping by, Angela!

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Dawn Suzette July 22, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Happy Birthday Wishes to Wonder Farm! And birthing wishes to you for give life to this amazing space!
And an early happy anniversary! 25 years! Wonderful!

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patricia July 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

Thank you, Dawn, and thank you for your sweet ongoing support. I’ve so enjoyed having your positive voice in my in my days, even if it’s an online voice. 🙂

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Kerry July 23, 2013 at 4:44 am

Happy happy Birthday Wonderfarm!

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patricia July 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

Thank you, Kerry! And thanks for your insightful comments about your kids and their writing!

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shannon July 23, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hoorah! Happy blogiversary, Wonder Farm! I am always inspired. Fact.

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patricia July 23, 2013 at 10:00 am

Nice to see you here, Shannon! Thank you!

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Tabitha O'Melay July 23, 2013 at 9:31 am

Happy anniversaries! Your new reader sounds like my kind of person, though I haven’t read everything you’ve written here. We have quite a few years before we’re apt to be sans kids, especially considering I’m gestating one right now… But it sounds delightful!

Best wishes,

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patricia July 23, 2013 at 10:07 am

Kind and curious and a wee bit crazy, Tabitha? Sounds about right. 😉 Take care of yourself and that baby, and I hope you feel better sooner than usual!

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Jenny Briffa July 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

Feliz cinco anos Finca de Encanto!
Not sure about that one!? Anyway, I am so busy with my hectic life I don’t often comment but I do visit here and there and I always love the ride. Happy blogging for many more years. Maybe 100 ? The freeway sign says that by 2020 many of us can expect to live to 120!! And I imagine we will still be able to write or at least dictate to our great grandchildren so they can record for us much as we recorded all those words of our lovely homeschooled children. Isn’t that a cute mental image! Happy day!

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patricia July 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

That is the first time I’ve heard my blog referred to as Finca de Encanto, Jenny. I love it!

Thank you for the good wishes! I’m pretty sure I won’t be blogging in 100 years, but fifty? Who knows! I will definitely find someone to take dictation from me, if it comes to that!

So excited that our boys will both be home soon!

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Emmie July 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Happiest of birthdays, dear wonderfarm. Thanks for being YOU and inspiring us to choose freedom in writing and life.

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patricia July 24, 2013 at 9:21 am

Now there’s a tagline for my blog, Emmie: “Helping families choose freedom in writing and life.”

I like it! Thanks for the kind wishes.

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jacinda July 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Happy Birthday Wonderfarm. You continue to inspire with your wisdom and your great prose. And congratulations on the 25th anniversary…that’s something special

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patricia July 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

Jacinda, I’m always happy to see you show up here. You’ve been reading and commenting here for a long time! Thank you for the kind wishes, and especially for praising my prose. That’s a compliment I particularly cherish.

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Carrie Mac July 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Happy birthday to you,
Squashed tomatoes and stew,
Bread and butter in the gutter,
Haaaaaaappy birthday to yooooooooou!

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patricia July 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

Hey, Carrie! Thank you for the serenade–it’s a new one to me. Would love to know its origins!

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wanderingsue August 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

Oh, you funny thing! 121 comments- gosh! And here I am commenting without having read them!

Happy belated 5th birthday, wonderfarm, though I’m still 2 years back, so happy very belated 3rd birthday, too. It doesn’t feel astonishing or like a task at all, Patricia, and I am aware of how few comments I leave, really. For how much you make me think, and smile.

This perhaps the most of all, “mostly curious and kind, with a mere dash of crazy.” That’s like, my whole intention in life. *Sighing with happiness.*

And, my own H will be 5 next month, and he has sugar crystals at the bottom of his heart, too.

I’m off to rustle up a sangria! Catch you soon, my dear.

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patricia August 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

Wanderingsue, I am so glad that you didn’t take the “mostly curious and kind, with a mere dash of crazy” thing the wrong way. Somehow I felt that I’ve come to know you well enough that you wouldn’t.

Hearing back from you made this birthday post complete. Thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and kindness. I am excited for you and H and your homeschooling journey!

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wren July 17, 2016 at 9:36 am

Like wanderingsue, I have been reading through your blog like a book as I often do when I find a new blog. I have just noticed that I have reached this post the day before Wonder Farm’s birthday so happy birthday Wonder Farm! I love reading about ‘teaching’ writing and I am ‘recovering’ from my days where I was told that I couldn’t write essays that sounded good, only those who fitted the formulaic mark scheme of an examiner (I am in the UK where there are a lot of exams) I also love your concept of structured unschooling. So thank you for this blog!

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patricia July 17, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Hello Wren!

There have only been a few readers over the years who have admitted to reading my blog through like a book–the handful of you have a very special place in my heart! Thank you. And thank you for pointing out that it’s almost Wonder Farm’s birthday again–I’d forgotten! That means we’re at eight years now, and anyone willing to read through eight years of blog posts is beyond wonderful. Can I send you a digital download of my Workshops Work! book to say thank you? (And to maybe convince you to facilitate a writer’s workshop, if you haven’t done so yet?) 🙂

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