Saturday, May 9, 2020

An Offering

I have worked to produce a blog post a day since March 30.  At the same time, I have taken it upon myself to share one item of postal history in discussion areas for a couple of online groups (beginning in early March).  I have also tried to make sure a post a day shows up on Facebook and Twitter - though that has become mostly links to the blog.

Some people have noticed that I am doing this and have been kind enough to tell me they appreciate it.  Others have encouraged me to continue.  A few have gotten up the courage to ask where I get the time to do it all.  And, one brave soul even asked the million dollar question - why?

Small Things Make A Big Thing Happen
First, I do want to make it clear that this does take me some time - that is certain.  But, you might be surprised that it does not take me as much time as you might think.  I do have some motivations to be efficient.  After all, I do have a 32 hour/week job with Pesticide Action Network and we have a farm to run.

What are the secrets to doing some of these things quickly and reasonably well?  First off, I was taught to be a touch typist by a wonderful person!

Thanks Mom!  Happy Mother's Day (again)!

The other thing that makes it 'easier' for me to do all of this is that I am playing to some of my strengths, interests, and stored knowledge.  The items I share with the postal history groups are things I have collected over time and already researched.  It isn't all that difficult for me to share something I enjoy with others who have similar interests.  It gets done faster because I have front-loaded the effort with my prior efforts, that's all.  Sometimes it is amazing how much persistence over time can pay off.

And, as far as writing goes?  Well, I have been writing for this blog since late in 2008.  I've been practicing!  I hope it shows (there's that persistence thing again).  Coming up with ideas?  My mind doesn't turn off when I am working in the fields - it's more a matter of remembering some of the ideas when I am ready to write.  The hard part is turning the brain off sometimes.  A person has to sleep sometime, you know!

So, you see, it's a matter of connecting a bunch of little things to make the bigger thing happen.

Barn Swallows are back!
What Do I Have to Offer?
Tammy and I have always asked ourselves what we can do that will make a difference for someone.  Tammy's path often follows her roles as teacher, social worker, advisor, mentor, facilitator and advocate.  She has a knack for linking people with resources (or other people who can serve as a resource).  It is amazing what she manages to accomplish on a regular basis, though she doesn't always see it that way.

My path has probably taken a bit more of a winding road.  But, like Tammy, I keep asking myself what I have to offer.  Sometimes I am not so good at finding the right place for it all to go, but there is a willingness to make the offering in good faith and seek to honor those it is offered to by doing my best at whatever it is I am trying to do.

We have always had concern for the well-being of others, but that has been heightened by the current pandemic.  We fear for people who have lost their income stream or who have businesses that may not survive the current situation.  We worry that our collective mental health and social health are in decline.  We have concerns that we have forgotten how to converse and find ways to co-exist.  We are aware that there are so many people put into unfair positions when it comes to their job and their income versus their own safety.  We hope to have compassion for the people in and around the medical profession as they battle on multiple fronts: fighting to help people to live, struggling to do their best in a system that has numerous shortcomings and having to endure verbal, emotional and sometimes physical assaults by others.  And, of course, we know there are people struggling with physical health problems, including COVID-19.

Of course, we also have concern for our own well-being at this time.  We do not want to test our bodies against COVID-19 any more than anyone else.  We do worry about what will happen to small colleges, such as Wartburg and how that might change our personal financial security.

It's a lot to take in.

So, we asked ourselves - What are our strengths and what can we offer at this time while using those strengths? 

A Gift For You
I know some of you are feeling cooped up, frustrated and perhaps, worried about all sorts of stuff.

I hope some of the things we offer in this blog or in other social media do something for you.
Maybe you will take comfort that you are not alone.  Perhaps you will find something interesting or humorous - and that will allow you to move away from your frustrations for a while.  It is possible you will find an idea that appeals to you - or you will be prompted to come up with your own idea - and it is also possible you will find the energy to act upon that idea.  This could be a starting point for a dialogue that helps us to do better in all kinds of ways.

Perhaps.. just maybe... you'll just see what I have written as it was intended.  It is a gift for you.


  1. No offense to your mother. I have learned that I can use voice to text so much more efficiently than typing. And I’m pretty good at typing. I like to be the epitome of efficiency. And I’m a planner too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally understand that they get lost sometimes in the hubbub of all the busy things to do and to think about. It’s kind of you to share and thanks for being the kind of person you two are.

  2. I have very much enjoyed the more frequent blogs. I look forward to reading them, and make it a gift to myself to slow down for a few minutes a day read it while I sit (butt on couch, cat in lap), something I rarely used to count as important or take time for. If I miss a day, I feel the loss, but there is still the blog, the couch, and the cat, all waiting for me to return to them and my newfound self care routine. Thank you, Rob, for the effort you put into the blogs. They are more than words on a screen.


Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.