Monday, August 12, 2013

Milestone: A Decade of Blogging

There was a moment of silence around the table - a very brief moment - as the Barista placed the brightly decorated dessert in front of me, with understated but undeniable ceremony. It came as a surprise to no-one that it was the Younger who first broke the silence.

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." he intoned with mock seriousness, unable to contain himself any longer.
"Has it really been ten years already?" asked the Elder rhetorically. "You've been blogging for an entire decade?"

I was still somewhat in shock over the surprise gathering at The Genesis Cafe for this anniversary-of-another-kind. I could only gesture to the chocolate cake in front of me, pointing out the "Happy 10th!" message in bright red icing. "It doesn't seem like it," I conceded to the Elder, "but cakes don't lie!"

Looking up at the Barista, who was hovering nearby with a pleased expression on her face, I hastened to thank her. "This is completely unexpected, but you've done a fantastic job - probably on short notice, if I know my friends here!"

"Naw, I had at least 24 hours of warning," she replied innocently, "and it was my pleasure. I'm always up for an excuse to celebrate with friends." And with that, she disappeared behind the counter in the crowded cafe, ready as always to serve the people lined up at the espresso bar.

"Did I hear you correctly," asked the Elder, as the three of us closed ranks around our little table. "Are you intending to blog your way through a few books from yesteryear?"

"You could always do another Can of Worms series," suggested the Younger, as he teased a bit of icing off the cake with his fork, the hint not at all subtle.

"I'll leave worms out of the picture this time," I laughed, as I began to cut the cake and divvy out portions onto the waiting plates. "But yes, I am planning on blogging through some older books. Just revisiting roots and examining the journey. It's been quite a trip, from detoxing from church, through Post-Charismatic, and to now."

The Elder chuckled as he began cutting into the piece of cake before him. "Ah yes... Post-Charismatic. I seem to recall that you got into some hot water with a few 'revivalists' over a bit of imaginative artwork that you created."

The three of us paused, forks at varying levels of engagement, as we smiled knowingly at the Elder's recollection.

"To be honest," I replied, gesturing with my fork (but gently, so as not to fling cake crumbs all over), "I was expecting more push-back for writing Wormwood's Apprentices, but you can never tell which blog post will strike a nerve."

We were pleasantly interrupted by the return of the Barista, who appeared uncharacteristically unsure of herself. The Barista stepped aside to introduce the couple trailing her to the table, and both the Younger and the Elder almost dropped their forks in shock.

"Would you be savin' some o' that cake for the likes of us?" growled the Barkeep, grinning crookedly as he stepped closer to the table. His wife and business partner, the Proprietress, smiled in a noncommittal fashion - the unpredictable antics of the Younger and Elder in her pub probably foremost in her memory.

"Your young friend insisted that we stop by," she said brusquely, nodding towards the Barista, who again hovered nearby to see what might come of this unexpected meeting.

The three of us abruptly came to our senses, and we hastily made space at the table, the Barista adding two - no, three - additional chairs to our gathering.

"My shift's over," she said by way of explanation as she cheerfully joined us and helped herself to some of the cake she'd baked. "And I knew from hearing these two talk," - she gestured towards the Younger and the Elder - "I thought I should invite the pub owners as well."

The Proprietress rolled her eyes, although she graciously accepted an offering of chocolate cake from the suddenly-meek-and-speechless Younger. "You have no idea how many stories I've heard after work from my husband." The Barkeep chuckled to himself as he devoured a generous helping of what remained of my celebratory dessert.

"Well," he offered, swallowing mightily, "I know ye often visit other drinking holes fer those talks of your'n. But truth be told, I'm kinda partial to having two men o' the cloth talking shop in my pub."

"Thank you," the Elder said quietly, choosing not to make any attempt at explaining that neither he nor the Younger were clergy. "We do enjoy discussing our faith wherever we happen to find ourselves, even driving around, or having breakfast at a roadside diner."

"But our reason for gathering today," concluded the Elder, skillfully turning the conversation in a new direction, "was simply to reflect, reminisce, and celebrate a decade of blogging."

"Hear, hear," agreed the Younger enthusiastically, raising his coffee cup in tribute while the Barista smiled her infectious grin.

"Is there anything you wanted to say on this auspicious occasion?" the Elder prompted me, likewise raising his coffee mug and clinking it against the Younger's. The Barista enthusiastically copied the gesture. Even the Crusty Irish Barkeep and the Proprietress - after a brief moment's hesitation - joined in. "Quotes? Comments? Visionary insights?"

Raising my own mug, I wracked my brain but was unable to produce any thoughts that seemed worthy of the occasion.

"Well," I began finally, clinking my mug along with theirs, "I guess I'll just say thank-you for joining me on this journey. I'm incredibly grateful for everyone who has read this blog, maybe left some comments, or sent me emails because of something I'd written. It's an honor and a pleasure. And the best part is - the finish line is not yet!"

The Barista's head bobbed up and down as she flashed her widest grin. The Barkeep nodded at me in all seriousness, while the Proprietress relaxed long enough for a small smile to flit across her face. The Younger clapped me on the shoulder - harder than he realized, I think. And the Elder just sighed one of his contented sighs as he took in the camaraderie unfolding around him, a kind and fatherly expression on his face.

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Here's a virtual toast from me. :)

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  2. Raising a glass of the finest red tonight on your behalf!

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  3. CHEERS....to another ten years plus!!!!

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    1. Tis me Kathleen Nassichuk.... for the anonymous CHEERS

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  4. Congrats Rob! It's odd to realize that I've been reading your blog almost as long as you've been posting. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience. Many thanks to you!

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