When the comments are as good (or better) than the blog…

C'mon now. Everybody comment, please.

The cell rang as I drove back home Wednesday morning.  It was Barry.

“Hi, hon!” he said enthusiastically. 

It was about 7 a.m. and I had a seven hour drive ahead.  I tried to match his enthusiasm.

“You know,” he said.  “I spent a long time last night reading the comments on your blog.  There were some GOOD comments.  People really wrote good things.  Memories.  Told some great stories.  I was so impressed with the comments.  Hey, did you happen to read my comment this morning before you left?”

Umm, no.  What did you say, Barry?  (And it always looks suspiciously like I’m the one commenting when he posts a comment because the “Kathy” pine cone icon pops up.  You have to read carefully to see that it’s not me.  But I’m always so thrilled that he’s commenting that it doesn’t matter.)

Here was the last part of his comment:  PS–We need cucumber and squash plants for the garden, and Impatiens for the hanging baskets, if you come across some on the way home, and–can you say this on a respectable blog?–toilet paper!

Love all the comments. Keep 'em coming!

It’s good to know this is a respectable blog, Barry.  And the toilet paper was actually sitting on the floor down in the basement.  Not its usual place, mind you.  You had to look down. 

But let’s talk more about comments.  Years ago, when I was a Blogging Baby, a blogger friend named Aley said, “Whenever someone comments on my blog, I imagine that they are in my living room.  I answer them like we’re having a conversation.”

Those words sounded good to me.  I try to live up to Aley’s standards.  Anyone who comments on these blogs gets some chatty conversation in response.  Even if they never re-appear to read the response, I am chatting away with them.  In the recesses of this mind, we’re having an in-depth conversation, deepening relationship, becoming friends, developing community.

I love comments.  I adore all of you who comment.  And the rest of you who don’t comment…I would love you, too, if I knew who you were.  One wild & crazy day last week the blog received 247 hits.  People stopped by to read about  the church, the steeple, the baby bunny & the merry-go-round.  Lots of people, apparently.

About 17-18 people left a comment.   Great comments.  Magnificent comments.  People have been commenting left and right all week during my trip downstate.  (Except for my blog talking to my dead grandparents…I think everybody raised their eyebrows and took off in the other direction when they saw that!) 

I want to thank you commenters for adding thoughtful, funny, wonderful snippets and stories and memories and ideas and agreements and–what the heck–sometimes even mild disagreements.  Although none last week. 

You guys are the BEST!  I would send you all a bouquet of flowers if possible.  Consider yourselves the recipients of virtual flowers.

(This seems a good place to interject a comment that I got on last year’s outdoor blog two days ago.  It was the blog about Why did the porcupine cross the road?  Here was the comment:  The porcupine crossed the road because you’re all stupid.  Needless to say, I deleted that one.  Malicious and mean-spirited comments get tossed in the virtual wastebasket.  However, in the last 18 months, I have probably only received three to four mean comments.  And one guy came back to apologize a month later!)

Comments are like a bouquet of flowers.

Sometimes I wonder what propels a person to leave a comment–and others to pass through without a word.  There’s a part of me that would like a comment from EVERY ONE who reads, please.  Thank you. 

Another part says, “Don’t be silly.  You’d be overwhelmed.  Just be appreciative of who does comment.  For goodness sakes, Kathy.  Get a grip.  You can’t be best friends with everyone in the Universe.”

This past week both Barry and I think that the comments were as entertaining to read as the blog itself.  It’s as if a blog-story opens up into more stories which opens up into more stories. 

Comments, at their best, ripple outward.  I know I read what the commenters offer and learn something new almost every single day. 

And the comments make me feel connected to a big wide incredibly versatile world.  Instead of being isolated in the middle of the Big Woods…I am connected by an invisible web to the rest of the planet.

How cool is that?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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54 Responses to When the comments are as good (or better) than the blog…

  1. Emma says:

    Hi, Kathy! 🙂

    I’m declaring a Comment Party here in the Comment Section! That means when everybody comments, they can imagine they’re wearing fancy party hats and eating tiny foods!

    Oh, and I always read, but don’t always comment…even though I know comments are great! 🙂

  2. Makes you appreciate the www (dot) stands for World Wide Web even more. They created had an idea which has grown into a reality and then some.

    No, you are not isolated up there in the woods of the UP nor am I in the “crowded” corridor of update New York suburban life. Where I get advanced weather reports from Gerry to the south of you and learn of places I may never visit but happy to know they are there.

    • Kathy says:

      Scott, we sure do appreciate some of the gifts the web has given us, don’t we? I used to feel so isolated here in the Trees with only leaves for friends. (OK that’s a slight exaggeration.) And now look at the connections which ripple out!

  3. Kathy says:

    Emma, oh good! A party in the comments session! I am wearing a fancy party hat now and obnoxiously blowing one of those horns they give you on New Year’s Eve. Hurray!!! And, dear Emma, you comment Just Enough. No matter what my Other Voice has to say about it. 🙂

  4. Kathy this is very cool… I wonder what does have us reading along and other times commenting along. And sense we are having a comment party I want to say how great you are at holding up YOUR end of the conversation. I too love the comments on my blog and find it deepens the conversation and relationships. I took my one of my cues from you. Also, like you I am relatively isolated on a small island in the woods. My blog conversations are little chit-chaps, deep discussions, new learning and funny stories that enrich my life.

    Good to see you are home… and Barry has found the toilet paper.

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, I am wondering if those of us who are isolated find more pleasure in the conversation part of blogging?? Glad you were able to join the commenting party! Shall we go run through the trees together holding virtual hands?

      • Sounds like a good idea to me! Can you do that little skip step that kids do as we go?

        Yes I suppose Kathy there is an element of hungering for conversation when a person spends so much time in silent conversation within themselves.

  5. p.s. sssspst Kathy!… I’m only 78 views from 12,000. I know it is only a number but it seem like a nice round sum worth a shouting out at a comment party:)))) Yaaaaahoooo! Thank you for all your blogging encouragement and support over the past six and a bit months.

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, I am SOOOO happy for you!! That is no easy feat…to get 12,000 views in such a SHORT time on WordPress. Congratulations a million times! If I hadn’t had last year’s blog, you and I would be in the same place right now. It’s such a lovely accomplishment. Shows how interested we all are in creativity and how to inspire one another. Yahooo!!! You party, girlfriend!

  6. Gerry says:

    The Cowboy wishes to inquire about the tiny foods . . . ?

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Gerry, Tiny foods? Forget what Emma said!! Tell Cowboy that there are giant food offerings here on this blog. Like fried tofu and tempeh and….no, no, no. Don’t tell Cowboy that. Tell him there are real goodies here. Desserts in grand style. Chocolate. Tiramisu. Tell him. thank him for being an inspiration for so many of us who visit your blog…

  7. Kathy, it’s only because you clearly established earlier that we are, indeed, allowed to say “toilet paper” in this respectable blog that I want to tell you my great relief that Barry now knows where it is. Whew!

    And …

    We know that he loves reading your blog as much as we do. So here’s what I think is a good plan: the next time you travel solo, photograph where you’ve left the toilet paper and post it in your blog. I know this would be acceptable because just last last week you clearly established that it’s okay to take photographs in bathrooms.

    And …

    You know the reason you get so many good comments? It’s because you write so many good blogs. That’s been clearly established as well.

    • Kathy says:

      Jeez, Laurie, we’re having a comment party and I’m the party pooper!! Isn’t that the truth?

      I am so glad you feel this is a respectable blog. Yours is respectable as well. I would feel comfortable saying “toilet paper” on your blog. tee hee… Thanks for the good words of establishment!

  8. P.j. grath says:

    Hey, some of us commented on the grandparents blog! Didn’t we?

    I agree. Comments are great! And it would be overwhelming if 247 people commented on a single day!

    • Dawn says:

      Yes we did comment on the grandparent’s entry. I especially liked that one!

      • Kathy says:

        Pamela and Dawn, what WAS I thinking??? You guys DID comment on the grandparents blog. Shame on me. As usual, I was…how do you put it…embellishing the truth just a tiny bit? And not concentrating fully enough on “what was”. Thank you guys!

        (And I did have almost 200 comments once. And completely shut down. Couldn’t even respond. Silly mind! It really doesn’t want 247 comments per day…)

  9. Mike Dineen says:

    Never a Druer word was said
    and
    Laurie we can’t say toilet paper, but blog roll is accepted in extreem cases- don’t forget to wash your hands!

  10. Carol says:

    Have you been reading my mind? I’ve been thinking a lot about “blog Protocol” as relates to comments, responding to comments, etc. the past few days. I comment sometimes – but sometimes I’m tired and comments don’t come easily to mind (I do my blogging and read blogs in the evening normally). And I love love love getting comments to my posts. But I don’t always reply. I rarely return to a blog after I’ve commented, and I’ve wondered if others do. So – if you leave a comment on my blog and I don’t respond, please don’t think that means I don’t appreciate your visit and your comment. I do, I really do!
    So, Kathy, even if I don’t comment on your blog on a daily basis, believe me, I do read it. And love it. And appreciate the time you spend doing it.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, it is perfectly OK. One part of my mind is perfectly OK with whoever comments and whoever doesn’t. And it’s hard to go back & read responses to one’s own comments. (Hey, are you reading this response to my comment? never mind. The devil made me ask…) Thank you for commenting today. 😉

  11. Dawn says:

    Happy comments! Why did the rubber chicken cross the road? To stretch her legs!!! ha, ha.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, chortle, chortle, chortle!! (Or would that be cluck, cluck, cluck??) Laughing anyway…and glad to see one of my favorite photographers! Oh, and general-all-around-blogging friends.

  12. Jessica says:

    Oh how lovely! I’ve been featured on your image of cool comments about the bunny. And don’t be fooled, I actually responded to your (now aging) comment on my blog today BEFORE I read your post about responding to everyone who comments. I’ve come to the Kennewick library again to catch up on things. My dad is pretty particular about his computer. Spy Sweep MUST be run after every single outing to the internet, and the modem thingy must be turned off after each visit to the internet, too. I’m hardly as devoted at home. So, I like to use the library’s computer instead. I have another tale now, very similar to your bunny story. I don’t get to see quail in Colorado. I vowed not to leave the Kennewick area without a picture of a quail, as they are Everywhere here, even painted and sculpted onto mailboxes. One male quail was waiting at my parents house for me to take its portrait when I returned from walking the dog. I didn’t even have my camera! It waited patiently while I went in the house, prepped up the camera and came outside to capture 2 pics of it while it stood motionless on the driveway. That’s all he allowed me, though, before he flew off somewhere else. When I get back to my own computer I’ll post the best crop I can prep.

    • Kathy says:

      Good job on getting the picture of that quail, Jessica! Isn’t it fun to get these animals/birds to remain still enough to capture their photograph? Isn’t it also interesting how different folks have computer protocol? That’s nice that you are respecting your dad’s wishes. (And smiling at the synchronicity of you responding to my old comment just when I was writing this!)

  13. Thanks so much for the flowers…I will be sure the dog does not get to them!

    I can say that even in a busy suburb like we are, there is still a part that wants to connect

    I thing of the quote from Laurie, seeking relationships that are positive,healing, uplifting, and constructive.
    The world out there seems to be sooo busy, with what – do not get.those times of just being with a good friend are long gone, at least in my world. Talk fast and get it over with because there are things to do….ugh.

    Thanks for sharing your little piece of the world that enriches me every time I log on.

    Kim

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Kim! Your comment ended up in the spam filter again, darn it. But I found it and sternly told it, “Do not keep putting Kim’s comments in the spam!” The spam filter agreed to cease & desist.

      I like when the world slows down–but sometimes in the woods it can get too slow. Seems like we all need to find that balance between slow and fast…

  14. pearlz says:

    Yes, that’s great advice to blog as if talking with them, and I learn so much from your as a blogger.

    Talking fast and listening fast- do not really deepen relationships do they, they kind of cause them to skim the surface.

    I know when I am in the presence of a great listener, and that is in blogging terms someone who responds to what others comment on their blog, but also the topic of the blog itself must lead to that kind of discussion.

    I still feel like a baby blogger (:

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, yes, sometimes I think that being a fast reader is a detriment here in computer-land. We are all sometimes reading so fast we miss some of the subtle points. (Excuse me, I didn’t mean to say “we”. Maybe everyone else reads slow and digests fully before moving on.)

      The advantage of fewer comments is perhaps fuller digestion. Deeper relationship instead of skimming the surface at the top. (Hey, Mind-who-wants-247-comments, do you hear that?)

      Thank you so much!

  15. Susan D says:

    About your Grandparents’ blog — when you mentioned the “plastic coin purses” and the “knowing” about that grandpa’s solitary walk … well – something tore inside me – in a good way – flood of similar memories and it was lovely, poignant …

    … A Comment Party – such an odd way for me to enter the festivities …

    Part of me is singing “We Are Family – I got all my sistas (and bros) with me” (complete with bustin a move) … and another part of me longs to wall flower it over by the piano – something by Chopin tinkling unobtrusively –

    Sometimes, when I don’t leave comments, it’s because words fail … they would almost dishonor the depth of understanding, relating, feeling ….

    There is something sacred here. Tears and even crazy, wonderful laughter – which aren’t words at all – often say “everything.”

    It seems important to let you know this, dear lady ….

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I suspected–yes–that the Grandparent blog might actually spark some silent memories. Didn’t truly expect for a lot of commenting to happen with that one. After all, it might seem like intruding into a private letter. (Although a LOT of people commented on the private letter to Facebook, LOL!)

      Must more embrace the comments that words might sometimes dishonour a depth of connection. WOW! That’s a big one. (I think people have been trying to tell that to me for many years…except I keep missing it…)

  16. Kiah says:

    My dear mama, I must stand up in support of the non-commenters! I know how you love the comments and the interaction but you musn’t discount those who support you without commenting (since they are indeed the silent majority). Blogging can become a two-way conversation and that’s perfect for some people. But for others it’s also perfect to simply listen to what you’re sharing.

    Either way, all of your readers–commenters or not–are interested in what you have to say and we truly appreciate what you do! And maybe those silent ones among us will realize how much our comments mean to you & can learn to share a little (I know, I know, I’m working on it!)

    • Kathy says:

      My sweet, my sweet! Thank you SO much for commenting, I love you, I love you! Oh yes…we’ve had this conversation many times…and sometime it seems that your innate nature is the opposite of mine in this respect.

      You have been my teacher for so many years, dear daughter. Will continue to listen to and absorb your wisdom… (But thanks, anyway, for commenting!!)

  17. Robin says:

    *grabs a party hat on the way in*

    I love comments too. It took me a while to figure out the comment protocol for blogging. I didn’t realize I could (and should) respond to them. It’s much more fun as an interactive activity. 🙂

    I didn’t comment on your post about visiting your grandparents because it brought back some memories of my own. Instead of commenting, I sat with the memories for a while.

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, like you, I love the interactive part of it. But I am wondering if everyone “should” respond if it’s not in their nature to do so. For some people commenting/chatting might simply not be their Cup of Tea. Do you think?

      How I do love how you look in your party hat, by the way! Where did find it??

  18. fountainpenmlk@msn.com says:

    Dear Kathy, I just returned from a Thai meal with a friend that I have
    not seen for a time…..We had chicken lettuce wraps and ginger ale….
    Certainly that counts for a BLOG PARTY…..no BLOG PARTY HATS though….

    Thanks for all the words given to all of us…..and thanks for all the pictures given to all of us………both take time and thought and some effort ALL the time……in that creative head and heart!!!!!!

    Fountainpen

    • Kathy says:

      Mmmmm….mmmm….did you bring some lettuce wraps for the rest of us?? Truly, fountainpen, we would all like some lettuce wraps and gingerale! I just saw a recipe for lettuce wraps a day or two ago. Mmmm….

      Glad you like the words and pictures, ms. fountainpen. And hey! What did I happen to find in the mail??? Another package from YOU! But I can’t open it til my birthday??? How’s a girl to wait?

  19. Jeff Stroud says:

    Good Morning Kathy, and everyone,
    Might be a little early to continue the “comment” Party. How about coffee/breakfast chat?

    I have not commented in the last few days even though I meant too. I have been off in la la land somewhere…

    I am grateful for your blogs and for the comments that you always make, it is like a discussion/conversation in your living room or else where. And I usually read all the responses as well. One never knows what sights, senses, creativity may present!

    On my blog I always respond to the comments as soon as I can as well, for I am thrilled to have the feedback and discussion. The comments allow me to “see” what others “see” that I may not.
    Speaking of blogging I am a day behind writing mine. Speaking of toilet paper, reminds me I got to go buy some!

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Kathy says:

      Good idea, Jeff! We’ve changed from a comment party to a Coffee Clatch. (Is that the word? Coffee Clatch?)

      I truly love how you and Laurie and Terrill and others all respond to your comments so quickly. You guys are on top of it! I sometimes turn ye old computer off for long hours–sometimes–and wait until one sitting to respond to comments. This seems to have its advantages and disadvantages and maybe I’ll change that one of these days.

      Love what you said about the comments allowing you to “see” what others “see” that you may not. So true.

      • Reggie says:

        Hi Kathy

        I think you mean the German word “Kaffeeklatsch”, which consists of “Kaffee” (er… obviously), meaning coffee, and “klatsch”, meaning chatting, gossiping, sitting around the table, sharing stories about our lives and those of the people we love. All while having some delicious cake and fragrant coffee. 😉

        By the way, as a baby-coffee-drinker, I am pleased to add that Tea is also allowed at a Kaffeeklatsch.

        • Kathy says:

          Yep, Reggie, you’ve got the word! Delicious cake and fragrant coffee sounds wonderful. Right now. Although tea is a good afternoon drink, indeed. Too bad you’re living across the sea. Maybe one of these days we’ll Kaffeeklatsch together.

  20. Kim says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you! I think it’s fun to follow-up on comments after you leave one and then receive them in your email, because it’s like a conversation happening amongst people sitting down at a table, but in fact we’re all “dotted” around the world! I’m a “baby blogger” as you would say, and have come to find that this blogging community is where I fit in, I just wish I would have found it sooner 🙂
    http://www.photo-salsa.com

    • Kathy says:

      Kim, are you really a baby blogger or are you a teenage blogger? Laughing! You’re certainly not a baby photographer! I like that kitchen table image so much. Would you pass over a cookie? Mmm…. 🙂

      • Kim says:

        Thanks Kathy! I appreciate the words of encouragement about my photos, too! And maybe you’re right about being a teenage blogger…I guess because I have been doing this consistently since February, I considered myself a 5-month old, haha!

        • Kathy says:

          I think blog years are more like dog years. You know, one year of a dog’s life = seven years. Five months of blog life is probably older than a 5 month old! 🙂

  21. I followed the link from Terrill’s blog to this one.

    I’m someone who lurks on other blogs. Sometimes I comment.

    Why don’t I comment all the time?

    If a blog gets tons of comments I don’t bother because I think my comment won’t be read. If I read prior comments and my thought has been captured I don’t bother because I think it has already been said.

    So, that said, had I read your blog regarding talking with your dead grandfather I would have commented. You’re not the only one who does this. I talk with my parents and grandparents.

    Just to let you know your not alone.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Leanne, for coming over and sharing about why you don’t always comment. It is very interesting to hear other’s opinions about this. I always read every comment, no matter how many appear. Well, that’s not true. If there are over 50 comments, I shut down. But that hardly ever happens, so no worries! I am glad to hear you talk with your parents and grandparents who have passed over.

  22. Karma says:

    Wow, look at the comment storm you’ve created here! LOL!

    I just wanted to let you know that you’ve been part of my inspiration as a new blogger. I love it when a blogger comments back on what I’ve said – and the fact that you and several others on my blog roll do it, have inspired me to comment back as much as I can. I’m still a “Blogging Baby” so responding is fairly easy for now. I do check back using the WordPress dashboard to remind me of where I’ve commented – so I do read it when you respond to my comments! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, that’s a good idea…to use the WordPress dashboard to check back. I keep forgetting about that. Glad to be part of your inspiration! I love how we inspire and re-inspire one another! 🙂

  23. Reggie says:

    I love receiving comments on my blog!

    I always get so excited when I get a comment, that I try to reply immediately, just in case they are still online, and see the reply, and then reply back to my reply, and then before you know it, you might just have a little conversation going on… but that rarely happens.

    I love knowing who my readers are, whether they pop in regularly, or whether they accidentally clicked their way to one of my posts. I want to know whether they like reading what I write, and whether they learn something new from it.

    Sometimes, when I’m feeling strong within myself, I even want to know why they don’t come back to read more, and why they don’t leave a comment. Strange, that, though.

    I don’t always leave a comment on all the posts I read. Sometimes I just can’t think of anything new or interesting to say, or someone else has already said it, far better than I could.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Reggie don’t you love it when a little conversation gets going? Although it doesn’t happen too often, you’re right. And I know exactly what you mean about wanting to know why someone wouldn’t leave a comment. Although sometimes I can get in a totally silent mood with very few thoughts and nothing to say. That doesn’t happen too often, though! 😉

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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