There are lots of websites that offer advice for people with blogs. Among the most common recommendations are these: Choose a niche and stick closely to it in your writing and also have a plan that you follow at least loosely. Today I’m going to break both of these rules a bit.
This is the last Monday of the year. Back in January I stated that my goal was to stay true to my Monday Dreaming meme and have a post for every Monday in 2010. With this post I have achieved that goal. To celebrate, I had planned to offer you a survey of my favorite Monday Dreaming posts from the past 51 weeks. In fact, my plan was to devote this entire week to the best of the Mother of All Trips from 2010, offering a look back at the places I went, the advice I offered, the food I ate, and the photos I took. An extravaganza of family travel as it were.
I may still do this, or I may not. You see, many plans have gone out the window for me in the past week. Last Monday I spent the day speeding through New England to my beloved Vermont. But the journey was different than the many similar ones I’ve described here. I was alone and I was headed for the hospital where my father lay gravely ill.
My drive was successful and I made it to my father’s side while he could still recognize that I was there. But on Thursday, after a valiant 14-month struggle with cancer, his body finally gave out on him. He left us in a small room overlooking Lake Champlain and a cold and snowy twilight, the kind he loved.
This post is not a proper tribute to my father. That will come later, when I’ve had time to reflect and gather my thoughts as well as some photos. But I will say that although I did not travel very often in my father’s company – unlike me, he wasn’t much of one for traveling with kids, truth be told – I must credit him with showing me the way to becoming who I am today. I know of few people more intrepid than he. To describe every place he traveled to would take many, many posts. He visited every state in the United States (and quite possibly all the Canadian provinces), climbed numerous mountains including Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked in Nepal, went on safari in South Africa…the list goes on and on. The only continent he didn’t make it to was Antarctica. And everywhere he went he asked questions, explored, and ate, oh did he eat. Most of the things that I know about food and dining out and cooking come from him.
So my Monday Dream this week has me looking forward to a new life in 2011, one without my father around to inspire me. I already miss him terribly. But I also know that he wouldn’t want me to stop striving or achieving – or traveling, certainly not that! – simply because he is no longer here. My father was tough and he worked hard and he expected nothing less than toughness and hard work from those he loved. I know that he would be happy to see me do what I set out to do so many months ago. I know he would be proud that I wrote all the posts I wanted to write. And I know he would want me to stick to my plans, especially if those plans involve showing Tommy and Teddy more of that same amazing planet he had to leave too soon. So here’s to dreaming of even more travel with my boys in 2011 and even more blogging about it here.
What is your end-of-year dream? Please feel free to share it below.