Not-So-Wordlesss Wednesday: A Tale Of 3 Bloggers

A funny thing happened on the way to this post. 

I thought I would write about my Christmas wish list — you know, wishing it was warmer, wishing I could plant some seeds — that sort of thing.  At least, that was my plan until I opened up my comments awaiting approval, where I read the urgent request of The Last Leaf Gardener (TLLG), a gardener based in New York City.  She was worried about the health and well-being of another blogger, Patrick of Patrick’s Garden

TLLG had posted a comment on Patrick’s site but hadn’t heard from him.  When she tried to phone him, she learned that the phone was not in service.  Concerned, she contacted me because I was the last person to have posted a comment on Patrick’s Garden and to have him respond to me. 

I wrote back to TLLG.  No, I typed, I don’t know anything about Patrick — but if I do hear of anything, I will contact her. 

The truth is, I did know a bit about Patrick because of his posts — but that was it.  I had never met him or spoken to him.  All we shared were a handful of comments on one another’s blogs.  So why was I now so worried?  Why should I worry about someone I’ve never met, about someone where our only interaction had been type-written words?  And that’s when the lightbulb lit up.   I’ve read his words — not only about gardening, but about his life and all that he does.  He’s in Kansas and I’m in New York — but once we learn so much about each other in this personal-but-impersonal blogosphere, doesn’t that make us neighbors of a sort?   As gardeners, as bloggers, as people — aren’t we members of a community?

I too called the number on his blog, but it was out of service, just like TLLG indicated.  Next stop, Google.  I managed to find another number.   

“Hello,” I said.  “I’m hoping you can help me.  I’m calling from New York, and I’m trying to reach someone named Patrick. . . His last name?  No, I don’t know a last name, but he gardens and he’s a blogger.”  For a moment, I think I sounded a bit looney.  For another moment, I worried that I was completely overstepping some sort of boundary of appropriateness.

Within a few moments, I was connected to the man behind Patrick’s Garden.  The truth is, he’s doing fine — but some technical issues kept him from his blog.  And as for my believing I was out of bounds, nothing could have been further from the truth.  Patrick was impressed/flattered that a stranger had checked on him — but once we have read about each other, are we truly strangers?

It was a great conversation.   Suddenly, we were real.  We were the voices behind the typed words, talking about the weather and gardening and garden centers and gardening pet peeves — you know, shop talk.  Gardener to gardener.  Blogger to blogger. 

Neighbor to neighbor.

26 thoughts on “Not-So-Wordlesss Wednesday: A Tale Of 3 Bloggers

  1. When I started gardening a couple of years ago, I would often hear experienced gardeners say “gardening brings people together.” I quietly laughed it off to myself thinking I would remain exempt from that club. Wrong! I sort of get it now- how we are all bound by a need to transform our environment in hopes of it sustaining us on some level. How regardless of our backgrounds, all gardens contain an aesthetic element that represents our individual creative expression. That’s complex stuff. No wonder it’s bringing people together. I would like to think that I would have done my best to find a ‘Patrick’ if I found myself in that same situation. It’s remarkable that even in blogging, gardening brings people together. Good post Kevin.

    • Hi Mario. What I find interesting is that I enjoy gardening because it is solitary. It’s where I breathe. Then, when I’m having a conversation and gardening comes up — there is an excitement that spreads through the gardeners. We are a sharing bunch. Always great to hear from you.

  2. Blogging is an amazing community. I have a Card Making blog too & it’s amazing what you get involved in & how you worry about folk without ever speaking or ever meeting them. Some people really touch your heart, inspire through their courage & pick you up too when you’re down…YAY! For Blogging!! xx

    • It’s so true — this is an aspect of blogging that I never really considered. It’s been an amazing journey — and I will check out your card making blog as well!

  3. I am so impressed with your outreach — I too, noticed the sudden absence of Patrick’s posts and comments, but you did something about it. Thank you, and thank you for letting us know.

    You also expressed this fuzzy feeling I can’t articulate about the community I have found on garden blogs. I don’t want to indiscriminately be friends with every blogger out there, but some I have made a real connection with, some I have actually met, and many are people I would worry about if something happened. It’s all so very real, as you said.

  4. Love this post! I agree that we form a bond through our words and messages. I wonder and worry about some bloggers, too, although I’m not sure I would ever have the courage to call one. But, how nice that you did! Now you’ve formed an even greater connection. As I said – I love this post!

    • Like I said, it’s strange to worry about a stranger who’s not really a stranger. Even more strange was the ease of conversation with a stranger who’s not really a stranger. I’m thrilled that you were touched by the post.

  5. Hi Kevin, loved your post! I often say that my whole social life happens through my computer…and people who doesn’t know me that well usually laugh and think I am joking, or they give me a strange look and I can see ‘weirdo’ in the corner of their mouth….but as a 47 year old disabled woman living on my own, my social life literarily happens through my computer and my phone. I would really appreciate it if someone Googled me and phoned me if I ‘disappeared’ from the net for too long 🙂 Good on you for doing that!

    Btv, I found you through Blotanical, have just signed up there and I have found lots of new friends already this week. Will be back for a second helping of your blog later on!

    • Helene, welcome and I’m glad that you found me and stopped by. I’ve been thinking about this whole absence thing. Maybe we need a blogging co-pilot, someone who’ll take the keyboard when we’re unable. See you soon — and enjoy Blotanical!

  6. This post just has me smiling ear to ear. Sometimes i think garden bloggers are a breed apart and I’m so impressed with the good will that is out there. Glad to hear you found Patrick safe and sound and delighted that you took the time to check that he was okay.

  7. Kevin I love the fact you were so proactive. There is Hazeltree who wrote so beautifully from South of England and one day puff…….just stopped. I shall make a note to chase. I have two, seperate, really old American friends… in both cases the christmas cards stopped, the dsictinctive letters on yellow paper from the one ceased and from the other, one last email, could I find him a wife when I came back from
    holiday and when I did, the plug was pulled. We can all get quite intimate and fond of one another and the silence breeds desolation.

    • Catharine, great to hear from you. I have found this new way of meeting people interesting — we know each other, we write to each other, and yet many times, we never meet. Still, it’s nice to have that connection. Good luck contacting Hazeltree.

    • Howdy! Glad you enjoyed it — and it is rather nice to be able to talk to each other over the garden fence, even one as large as the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy the holiday season.

  8. I have had those “funny things happen” on the way to writing a blog post too, Kevin. In fact, I made reference to this (in a posting I made on 9.3.11) where I stated, ” . . . And speaking of God, are you dear reader, familiar with the adage, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans’ ? Well, what has happened is that I have recently discovered this very same thing happens with a muse. If you want to amuse your muse, tell him/her what you intend to write about.”

    That being said, you indicated that one of the things which you intended to write about was wishing [you] could plant some seeds”, and I am here today in my comment to tell you that you did plant some seeds. The seeds of connecting with “the voices behind the typed words”.

    Your post is beautiful, Kevin, a great reminder that we can use the nurturing gifts we have as attentive, tending gardeners to care and extend it to other humans.

    I am so glad you reached Patrick. I was unsuccessful in my Google search in finding a phone number for the facility where he lives and I also worried (as you expressed) that I would “sound a bit looney” and like you, I worried that “I was completely overstepping some sort of boundary of appropriateness.” In fact, I felt the same way about contacting you with my concerns for Patrick’s well being. BUT, I am so thankful I did, once again, thanks for the seeds you planted in this lovely post.

    • Thank you for your beautiful comment and for putting it all into the proper perspective. I’m glad that you reached out to me. That small act set everything in motion — sometimes being human can be a wonderful thing. It kind of makes you wonder about all of the opportunities we have on a daily basis to come together for good. Wishing peace and happiness this holiday season.

      • We probably have plenty of opportunities, Kevin, but sometimes in our self-absorbed society it can be hard to recognize them. Everyone is always scurrying here and there — often in a frenzy (including yours truly). But fortunately, I have the things (80+) which I grow in my terrace garden to keep me in line.

        BTW, I “told” folks on my Facebook Page for TLLG about The Tale of Three Bloggers. Here’s the link:

        Wishing you a blessed holiday season as well.

        P.S. Is that snow falling on your blog or do I need to clean my glasses and computer screen? If it is snow, it’s the most I’ve seen in NYC since our “Halloween” snow storm.

      • Thank you so much for the link! I am truly honored. As for the snow, there’s no need to clean your glasses. The flakes are a winter gift from the people at WordPress. I’m not sure how they do it, but it sets the mood. Merry Christmas.

    • Hi Patrick. Glad to see that you’re back on line — and from what I’ve heard, I’m not the only one who’s glad to have you back. Enjoy the holiday season.

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