There’s A Song That They Sing…

…when they Take to the Highway

A song that they sing when they take to the sea.
A song that they sing of their home in the sky,
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep,
But singing works just fine for me.

I haven’t felt much like singing lately. Consequently, I haven’t felt much like blogging either. It’s taken me some time to feel like writing again after the “hellidays.” When I have tried, I sound angry. My five weeks in Texas for the holidays was like a third funeral, this time grieving over having come to the realization that it’s never going to be the same. In fact, it is never going to “get better.” There is a bleak pall over the family farm that sucks me in almost to the point of debilitation.  Sadness for my loved ones, hopeless and helpless to help ease their pain.

So I have been on the fence about whether I wanted to start blogging again, as it has always felt like a happy place for me, but I just no longer felt like a match. In trying to find a way to make it my happy place again, I considered all sorts of angles. Maybe photos only. Or maybe I would disable the “Comments” section for a little while to quiet my inner critic and return to the “roots” of why I blog. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the comments…quite the contrary! I love them too much…to the point that I realized I somehow lost myself in the audience. I even consulted a fellow blogger for insight, who offered the analogy of a painter, a musician, or any kind of creative artist that pauses to await feedback after every saxophone solo, every brush stroke, which if allowed, can be downright paralyzing to the creative process.

But I am not exactly a “creative artist.” I have always maintained that the purpose of the blog was for me….to have some kind of creative outlet to combine my three passions; travel, writing, and photography, and the day I become jaded by “what people think” is the day I need to reevaluate my reasons for blogging.

But I miss the writing. I miss the self expression. I miss seeing scenes through the lens that I want to share with others. And I regret not having a way to remember where I have been, the quirky things I have seen, the experiences and wonderful people I meet. Sure, I can keep all that on my hard drive, but having followers keeps me motivated to keep it up to date.

I need to find a way to quiet the inner critic. “Am I boring my followers?” “How do I write about this and make it different than last time I was here?” Even worse, “How do I make it sound different than others who have been here?” My blog always seems to be on a “7 day delay,” so how to describe the same hike, the same mountain, the same boondock without sounding like I am plagiarizing friends?

So now that I stopped, how do I get started again? A lot of ground has been covered since my last December post. How to just “jump in” and get caught up? And what if I get started again and can’t keep it going? I guess it’s one way to tell if I have lost my inspiration altogether, or just a temporary case of bloggers block.

Life is all about making choices in effort to feel good. I try to make these choices like a patient in an optometrist chair, “Which is better…A, or B?” For now, it feels better to start blogging again. That may change tomorrow, but for now, I am a blogger once more…for what it’s worth.

Here’s what happened while I was away…

Texas passed the "Open Carry" law while I was home for the holidays.  I was ahead of my time by about 55 years.

Texas passed the “Open Carry” law while I was home for the holidays. I was ahead of my time by about 55 years.

I tried trapping a skunk while on the farm, but I caught the wrong thing.   He was not a happy kitty!

I tried trapping a skunk while on the farm, but I caught the wrong thing. He was not a happy kitty!

Mom and I must have shelled 50 pounds of pecans.

Mom and I must have shelled 50 pounds of pecans.

I spent the day with my niece at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

I spent the day with my niece at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Heating things up in front of the thermal camera

Heating things up in front of the thermal camera

My brother Don is refurbishing his log home.

My brother Don is refurbishing his log home.

He has refinished all the logs and decking.   There is nothing he cannot do!

He has refinished all the logs and decking. There is nothing he cannot do!

I helped stain the deck with the technique Don calls "Slop and Mop."

I helped stain the deck with the technique Don calls “Slop and Mop.”

My favorite place to paint was the "crows nest" up on the roof, with a view of the lake...

My favorite place to paint was the “crows nest” up on the roof, with a view of the lake…


In jail!

In jail!

Looking good!

Looking good!

I am always happy to help my brother Don, because he always insures I am well fed!

I am always happy to help my brother Don, because he always insures I am well fed!

Making Tuna Rolls from scratch

Making Tuna Rolls from scratch


He knows lamb chops seared with rosemary are my favorite!

He knows lamb chops seared with rosemary are my favorite!

Last offering to end a roller coaster of a year...New Years Eve

Last offering to end a roller coaster of a year…New Years Eve

Booth in the Travel Center near Tonopah.  As truck stops go, it was a good overnight.ood overnight.

Booth in the Travel Center near Tonopah. As truckstops go, it made for a good overnight on my way to…

35 thoughts on “There’s A Song That They Sing…


    Just do what comes natcherly!
    Do what pleases you.
    Show us your pictures as you please; I LOVE seeing them!!!
    Share what feels good to do so.
    Keep personal thoughts personal, if that is your preference.
    This is one place where it is ALL ABOUT YOU! ;->
    We are just your adoring audience –
    Awaiting the next installment of your exciting adventures.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie < — still holding out hope for a personal meet up . . . soon

  2. We have been wondering where you have been! I struggle with the same things when we go to the same locations multiple times. What was interesting the first time just doesn’t seem “blog-worthy” this time so I tend to wait until something worthy comes up. Likewise, we are hanging with others who are blogging about our same adventures, happy hours and the like….sometimes I just want to write “see so-in-so’s blog”!

    Welcome back!

  3. I have checked on you almost daily. Don’t mean that as pressure. Many of us travel through you. We don’t care if it’s the same thing over and over. It’s new to us.

  4. Welcome back, have missed your well written posts and photos. Be gentle with yourself, there has been too much sadness over the last year or so. Don’t pressure yourself to do what you did before, but remember how happy you felt when you did blog. Life will never be the same once you lose a loved one, spouse, sibling etc. Family gatherings are not the same, feels like we are going through the motions to try to find happiness. I truly believe we have to keep trying to find joy and contentment in life, that’s what our loved one would want. Some days it doesn’t seem possible, but we must persevere though those days. Bling if you feel like it, feel no pressure from anyone.

  5. Funny, Suzanne, I kept wondering how you were doing since the “gathering” when we met for such a short moment. Thinking about you last night, I cruised the Kindle and found your book…again…and started reading it…again. In all honesty I don’t usually read books more than once, but I wanted to read it again, simply because of your evocative writing and because I thought it might speak to me a bit differently since I have met you and followed your blog for a longer time since I first read your book. And here you are. I said all that to say this….writing is life blood to you, I am sure of it. So write somewhere, hard drive, whatever, and if you blog we are the lucky ones. Either way, write your soul. You will be glad you did when the dust clears and the pain eases a bit.

  6. I have felt some of the same thoughts regarding blogging. I sometimes don’t even want to know the thoughts rolling around in my head much less write them down. But hearing your thoughts is definitely warming my heart like a walk on the ocean shore. We well until we meet again on line or……

  7. Hello there! So happy to see your blog! You didn’t mention where you were now!!! Pat and I are headed to NM on Saturday. He will stay two weeks and I will stay for at least a month or more. Gotta be there to watch the snakes come out of hibernation!
    Love the pictures. Love Don’s house, too!
    Love ya! Let me hear from you!!!

  8. Suzanne, reading all the previous comments I think its fairly safe to say that we all missed your posts. For me here in the UK, who will never meet you or visit the US, I love reading your travelogue posts as they take me to all these new places. Now you may revisit them and even if you do a post of your revisit I bet that you will photograph something different, or from a different perspective. So to me it will be different. But its you that has to write and create the posts and you shouldn’t feel under pressure to do so, there are no deadlines only the ones you impose. On a lighter side even if you decided to stop blogging what would you do with all those pictures as I’m sure you would still take them. I hope you decide to continue.

  9. You are not alone, we all feel that way sometimes. And even though most of us write for ourselves, we all get a buzz when we get comments from other people, secure in the knowledge that we’re not talking to the ether or boring people to bits. Most of my readers are non bloggers who never respond, maybe they can’t relate to the life I lead, I’m not sure.

  10. I was wondering if you were just taking a break from blogging or decided to stop. Don’t we all? In fact just a couple weeks ago I also questioned AGAIN, why I blog. You speak of the same photos of places you revisit and wonder what your readers will think … photos and posts can’t be much more repetitive than what I do with the hounds, here in ‘the tropics’ of Southern Indiana.

    Do what feels right to you, not us. Years from now your blog will be a great thing to look back through, even the spots your revisited multiple times, with great photos and you’ll be happy you continued. I’ve tried doing this same thing just in a Microsoft Word journal on my hard drive. Not the same, blogger is much more organized, easy to work with and a great place to store photos that have a story attached.

    Being selfish, I hope you continue to blog, post your great photos … but do what you want to do. I think most if not all of your followers would agree.

  11. Oh, but you did ease their pain, Suzanne, if only for a moment…it was in the pecans, the stain, and your niece’s smile. You were missed. Thank you for sharing.

  12. You are a “creative word artist”. I find myself reading your posts as fast as I can to see what words you will use to describe a picture, a view, a feeling, etc. Your writing is a smooth enjoyable ride over a vivid explanation that places the reader in the picture, seeing the view, feeling the emotion, etc. I hope the flame isn’t extinguished anytime soon as I look forward to reading your posts and viewing your pictures. Welcome back.

  13. You really touched a lot of nerves for me with this post. The fact that it is “never going to get better” takes the wind out of my sails multiple times daily. I can’t say time will make it better or maybe it will but it’s been 4 years now that the realization hit my life big time. How to not sound angry when that’s the way I feel. How not to feel the lack of comments is a criticism. I too love them too much. All this clogs my mind and makes me wonder if blogging is really a good idea for me. Thank you for your honesty. It’s nice not to feel alone in my 7 day delay as well. Come on over and we’ll have coffee and donuts together or stronger medicine.

  14. Write and post photos when you want to. I’ll be happy to receive them.

    Even though things will never be the same, they will get better. Different, but good in their own way. Be happy you were able to share life with those you love who are no longer here. Remember them in conversation with others who love them, too. It does ease the pain of loss.

    Please don’t let the perceived pressure from your followers affect you. Those who enjoy your blog will continue to do so and any idiots who are bored can hit the road; can’t imagine how boredom could be an issue.

    Glad you’re back. Find a good, brain-candy type of book, grab an apple, a cup of tea and lots of chocolate and sink into comfortable sloth…

  15. Hi and welcome back if only for a bit,
    We have missed you. I can understand what you are struggling with. The main reason that I follow you and bring Deede along is that you are doing that which I would love to be able to do, but I neither write nor take photographs as well. That is no reason for you to continue, but I must tell you how much we appreciate, value and like your blog. I have clicked on almost every day since you went on sabbatical and was overjoyed to see you back at it.
    That said, I have watched you since you lost your brother and father become almost frenetic in your push to drive, hike, photograph and describe as many new places and experiences as you could fit in. I have been concerned for you. Now that you describe where you are in your search for sense to all that has happened I can only encourage to make your next steps in the direction that you want to go. We shall miss you if you cease to blog steadily or even forever. Just do what ever feels best for you.
    You have all of our emails and the blog, if you want or need to reach out to me and I am sure the others then do that at what ever interval seem right.
    If you decide that maintaining the blog, then please accept the thanks from myself and my wife for a wonderful time and hopefully the blog will remain on line so that we can go and recapture some of the magic that you have described.
    Allen and Deede

  16. Nice to hear from you again. We all blog for our own individual reasons. Other than the folks that are in it to make a buck, self expression is the main reason for lots of folks. For each post I write, I have to ask myself – “why am I writing this?” I like to write and it all comes easy to me. But I have to have a good answer to that question. Its so easy for me to get off track and try and chase an audience or to write something to generate pageviews. I follow Stephen King’s advice and write for me first and worry about the audience later. The only person a blog post has to please is me. When James Taylor wrote a song or when Ansel Adams took a photo do you think they worried a lot about what the audience would think? My guess is no. Do what pleases you.

  17. I was glad to see that you had posted a new entry, but certainly respect your need to take a break or to do something different. I don’t think you ever have to worry about boring us with the same places. Your thoughts and pictures always make it new and unique in our eyes.
    I had to giggle when I saw your upset kitty in the trap. We did the same thing last fall and thought we had been successful until we saw the black and white animal was actually a cat. It took a pair of leather gloves to get that very angry cat out of the cage. Haven’t seen him since now that I think about it.

  18. Okay. I’m only gonna say this once. Maybe twice. But certainly, not more than three times. You are a good writer. You’re part of a small group, frankly. Having said that, I agree with J. Dawg. You should write when it suits your fancy, and then write only for you. We’re all just along for the ride. But like others here, I’m selective as to the blogs I follow. Yours is high on my short list. If you go away for awhile, or forever, I’ll consider it a loss. But I’ll treasure the adventures we shared thru your blog, as well as the tough times.

    Personally, I think writing is definitely a form of therapy for some. It is for me at least. Maybe it is, or can be for you as well. Anyway, write when you want. We’ll read it when you do.

    And BTW, you’re also an excellent photographer.

    But none of this talent means anything if you’re just not “feel’n it”. We get it. And we’ll wait until you are…or not.

  19. Welcome Back, Suzanne:) I have truly missed hearing from you and looking at your beautiful photos. Thank goodness you have appeared in other blogs so we all know you are back and hitting the trail:) I hope my beer is still in your frig!!

  20. Well I certainly understand all those emotions. I’m one of those bloggers that can’t blog unless I’m there, and feeling it. So when I don’t feel it I struggle, and when my soul is drained I struggle even more. My guess is that blogging is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside (I sound like bleedin Dr.Phill don’t I?) so as that heals hopefully the joy will return, and as you blog hopefully the healing will happen. Beer helps too, of course and more beer is better. Either way I love it when you write and I hope you’re able to find the joy in it again.


  21. Wow. It took a while to get to the “leave a reply” section after wading through all the comments.
    I’m so glad your back, I guess other people missed you too

  22. I have checked-in frequently to see if you were posting again and am happy to read and see. Although I am still a working gal, working toward retirement, your descriptions and photos are wonderful.

    A gal has to do what a gal’s gotta do but for me you were missed. Moving through the valleys of life will bring you to an even deeper appreciation of whatever path you decide to take. Blessings to you.

  23. Glad to hear from you. Seems everyone has voiced how much we enjoy your writing and photos. But in the end, it’s up to you. Please do keep in touch some way.

  24. Although I have been nothing more than a voyeur on blogs as of late (lurking but not commenting), I had to write to tell you how pleased I am that we got a chance to visit with you again and that you are posting again. Your writing and your photos always elicit an emotional response, something that I love about you. Keep ’em coming!

  25. I missed your blog and am so happy you are back. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Life is often very challenging, but walk in nature often makes me feel better and forget (at least for awhile).

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