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.