Hello all. It's been an oddly difficult couple of weeks but there are reasons to be happy as well. I did, as I stated earlier, have a very nice Thanksgiving dinner with my husband earlier this week. Samuel came in last night to stay a couple of nights with us and we had the fun of catching up and an impromptu supper of Ravioli with charred vegetables and turkey pieces. Charred is the term I chose to use, but I simply forgot that I was cooking vegetables and they got a little brown, lol.
The day at my mother's went fairly well. No one stepped on an emotional land mine or accidentally took a pot shot at any one. I'm calling it a good enough rerun of Thanksgiving.
But what this day marks most of all is an anniversary. It was ten years ago today that I set up my welcome letter in yahoo groups, invited ten friends to join my newly formed Penny Ann Poundwise group and began to write the opening words to the very first issue. Wow. Ten years. I was novice enough that I actually 'lost' the first two issues sent out to the fledgling group. No idea how but I managed with my lack of knowledge. I also made one huge mistake in setting up my new group. I set the parameters as 'adults only' thinking that meant something entirely different from what it did. It took a member pointing out the mistake and a letter to yahoo itself to get the group reset, which they kindly did, lol.
All I truly had going for me at the time I began the newsletter was a strong desire to just DO something rather than nothing toward a lifelong dream, create a body of work that might stand on it's own, and be an inspiration to live frugally and well. I had no idea what a blessing I was making for myself.
Yes, it's true that this year, in a state of desperate need to change anything at all in my life, I changed the only thing I could and killed off the Poundwise psuedonym I'd written under, but I am a loyal soul and have happily discovered that Penny Ann is me and I am Penny Ann underneath it all.
People blessed me no end and I want to share with you some of those who have meant the most. I don't even know more than a first name for a few so bear with me. I just hope those of you who might still be tagging along with me will recognize who you are. A few names I mention may never read a word I've written but were, nonetheless responsible for something that has brought me great joy.
Tracey McBride, your book Frugal Luxuries was so beautifully written, so lyrical, so practical and lovely all at once that I was blown away. And I felt the embers of desire to write burn hard and fast every single time I picked up your book. It was a little over two years after reading your book that I completed a series of online writing classes. Those classes were taught by an English professor at a German university as a pilot program. I was blessed blessed blessed to be under the tutelage of Susan J. Letham who gave us guidelines, critiques and encouragement. John Cheney, my husband, who listened to my first efforts, encouraged me, never discouraged me and always was willing to wait an extra thirty minutes for dinner or was tolerant as I sobbed out my losses when a 'save draft' failed and a morning's work (or a week's!) was lost.
Jennifer Loudon authored The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life and began an online journal group by the same name, took my very first online submission.
God blessed me with the inspiration for Penny Ann Poundwise, gave me the name late, late one night. I started the yahoo group. At about the same time there was a woman who wrote under the name of Martha Matthews I think. She had a yahoo women's ministry group herself and very kindly plugged my little newsletter to her readers. I went from 25 to 250 readers in a day's time and I was on top of the world! I can't for the life of me remember the name of her group letter nor her real name (she 'came out' several years later writing under her own name) but I do know she was still writing a year ago.
A few names stand out as long time readers who commented and a few of them have become true friends. Vicky who invited me to join a group of women in a couple of closed online groups related to home/family. In those two small groups of women I've found some true sisters of the heart and soul.The women of both Creative Home Life and Thrifty Homemakers have been supportive in more ways than I ever thought people I'd never met could be. Also Roni, Rhonda, and Kay, friends of the first order. Roni has been my pen pal for more years than either of us can count anymore but we've shared nearly daily emails for eons it seems. Rhonda and Kay have influenced me, encouraged me and given me the little bit of friendly competition I need to keep going strong frugally.
And there are so many others. I can't name you all, truly I can't, but a few who come to mind immediately: Becky, Louise, Dorie, Donna, Pat, Sharon...Gosh I feel I know each of you! And oh how I wish I could remember every single name of every person who has commented or written or gifted me large and small over the ten years!
You see it's the readers who have blessed me, I often think, far out of proportion to any blessing I might have been to any of you. You've allowed me to live and share my dream. You've none of you any knowledge of how extremely encouraging you've been simply because you took the time to drop a line after reading a letter or post. Nor how humbled I felt at your expressions of affection, understanding and knowledge which you so willingly shared. You all have invested in my dream. Thank you.
Happy Anniversary! Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you.