So here I am with a yearly ritual, which is usually a beginning of the year ritual, but better late than never, am I right? The first five posts were the most popular with readers last year, and the second five are my own favorites. Readers’ favorites can be from any time (and some of them are super old, y’all!) but obviously mine are all posts I wrote in 2021.
Things I Never Thought I’d Cry about: Losing a Dentist
There is really nothing special about this post and I am not sure why it is making another appearance on this list. I think it must have something to do with the photo which is not even mine. My dentist, as I recall, had a pink chair!
Another one that has appeared before. St. Joseph will always have a special place in my heart, due to my fond feelings for my alma mater, St. Joseph Elementary School.
This was one of my earliest posts to get a lot of attention, being featured on Blog Her back in the day when that was still a thing. If you are a mother, I suspect it will resonate with you.
Mary, My Mother: Quotations and Images
I used to spend a lot of time making quotation pictures with my own photographs, something I have not found time to do lately. This is a collection of all the ones I made in honor of Our Blessed Mother.
Bookwalter Cemetery: Pretty but Not Peaceful
I suspect this particular cemetery story is included for a sad reason: it has a scandal attached to it and is therefore probably being searched for by folks whose relatives are buried there. Because I write about cemeteries, people often assume I know the answers to their questions, but I don’t know anything more than anyone else could find out via Google and Find a Grave.
Religious Freedom: More Than Freedom to Worship
It should be clear, then, that religious freedom is about more than freedom of worship. Yes, in America we are blessed to be able to gather to pray with fellow believers without fear—something we would do well to remember is denied to many people in the world. But true faith demands more from us. We must also be free to exercise this faith in the public square. Our faith is supposed to animate everything we do.
Honestly, I have grown very comfortable with my new way of life and am now feeling a little scared about how things may change for me as we emerge from the pandemic. As an introvert having all this time to myself has been nourishing to me–while my extroverted husband has become drained of all energy!
They Like Me! (Or Maybe Not. And I Still Don’t Care.)
I am no longer going to worry about my niche or my stats or my marketability. The few folks who pop into my inbox to tell me that they are grateful for what I write, that it makes them feel less alone, or that they look to me for insight on certain topics, are enough to assure me of what I feel in my bones already: that I am writing and posting about the things God wants me to write and post about.
Not only was it the last trip we took before the pandemic dramatically shrank our world, but unbeknownst to me at the time, it was likely my last trip to San Francisco for years–because my son switched jobs and cities and likely the next trip we take will be to Boulder, Colorado, whenever it is safe to do so. And while I am excited to go somewhere I have never been, and to have the chance to fall in love with a new city, I love San Francisco and at the moment have almost a visceral feeling of wrongness as I sit here in cold and dreary Knoxville.
I’m seeing a lot of people online whining, frankly, about free speech and censorship and living in a communist country because President Trump got kicked off Twitter and Parler got shut down and now we’ll be next and no doubt they are coming for our guns too. So I just thought I’d use MY free speech (because I DO have free speech here on this blog WHICH I PAY FOR, unless of course I start trying to plan to an insurrection, in which case WordPress would kick me off their platform, and rightly so) to explain how so many people are getting it wrong.
If you’d like to read highlights from previous years (which is a great way to see what this blog is all about), see below: