I sat down here today to mourn the loss of some really good blogs, two of which announced their closings just this week: Ronnie Bennett's Time Goes By and John Scalzi's By the Way. They were the latest in a number of blogs I've loved and lost, and I was pretty bummed.
However, when I went to Bennett's place to grab the link, I found that her farewell message in the top slot had been replaced by a heartfelt response to her readers' reaction to the closing, along with a promise to continue posting after all -- with a few new rules in place. (More on that later.) So, Yay for Ronnie!
Time Goes By is absolutely the best, brightest, and most thoughtful blog online about the joys, possibilities and challenges of growing old. Yes, old. And it may be the only place anywhere that doesn't shy away from the word. I love that about it, too.
Recently, the author's efforts have become more political, focused on the fight to preserve our freedom, privacy, social justice, and democracy. She maintains, and I concur, that in these dark times this is urgent and critical work for the nation's elders.
I regret to say that, up until now, I have been only a lurker over at Time Goes By. I am grateful to have been given a second chance to participate, and I will become an active participant there. I hope that you will, too.
John Scalzi of AOL, alas, will only say that he may post occasionally at By the Way "as a civilian," once his contract ends December 31. He is the reigning Blogfather of AOL J-Land, which he built into a vibrant, unique blogging community with his daily postings, memes, links to member blogs, and technical help. The J-Land group dispersed when AOL suddenly began running unwanted advertising on our blogs. Most, myself included, sadly set sail for other, less exploitative venues.
Scalzi soldiered on, serving up a delightful mix of games, challenges, funny links and commentary for the remaining handful of regulars. His career as a fiction writer has taken off and, much as he seems genuinely to enjoy his AOL readers, I'm sure he does have other fish to fry.
Scalzi is also bowing out of his central role at Ficlets. I always meant to get involved there, too, and somehow never did. Guess I'll wait now to see what happens when the group is on its own.
John Scalzi blogs for himself at Whatever, which is also a great place to hang out, though it's a very different place than AOL. I found that one quite a while ago by Googling his name, and have been lurking there ever since. By the Way was a daily stop for me, and I'm really going to miss it when it's gone.
Don to Earth was another favorite, though it didn't last long. It belonged to Don Crowdis, who gained fame as a blogger just for being over 90 years old, but who was also a very thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate voice. He had an amazing life, and may be living still. His last post was "I'm Not Dead" -- but that was back in March. I do hope he's still out there and will be back one day.
And then there's Walt. Walt passed away last spring, shortly after his last post at The Diatom Project. There was never a kinder person or a more faithful friend than Walter, and I still miss his funny comments and personal messages of encouragement and cheer. I think of him so often, and I still click over to his blog, where it will forever be Christmas Morning.
It's a funny thing about blogs. We get comfortable with a few, and after a while they're a part of our lives. But they are, all of them, ephemeral creations that live at the whim of their authors. All of them can vanish without warning. The best of them leave us a little better, a little wiser, a little happier just for having been there. To all of you out there, writing and visiting, I'd just like to say Thanks.