B is for Blogging
Are there downsides? Well, sometimes I feel a little left out when I get too busy to pay as regular visits as I would like. Sometimes, the knit-blogging world can seem like a competitive grrl-pit, with knitters trying to out-do each other working their way through the "latest", while I am more the type to go with knitterly challenges, even if they are classics and not fads. Sometimes there is controversy, even about relatively harmless items, such as fun fur yarn (hey, the preteens I taught the past two years just loved them!).
But, isn't that pretty much how the rest of life goes? There's your inner circle of family and friends, who you have a strong affinity with (my kids call this their "top 8" on their MySpace sites), and these are the people whose blogs you can't wait to check for what's new. Then, there are the neighbors and acquaintances that you like, but just aren't in sync with, so you don't ever quite get around to taking that hike, having that cup of coffee together, or developing the closeness you might otherwise have.
And, of course, there are the random blogs you stumble upon, much like the person you have a great conversation with on the train, or while waiting in line to pick up a prescription, and then never see again.
Blogging has also given me a support group of like-minded crafters, a great highlight for a person living in a rural place. My dear friend Mary, who I spent almost every day with back when our two 26-year olds were learning to walk, moved to a very small town before I did. She said that one of the most important things she learned was that there were interesting things and similarities in people who still had a life view far different than hers, and these people became friends in small towns out of necessity, where in the large city of Sacramento where we met, people tended to gravitate towards those like them, without benefitting from this broadening of one's outlook. Blogging works in much the same way, allowing us to find our similarities and put aside our concerns about differences.