Five-year blogiversary extravaganza

Among HBlog’s notifications today I found this lovely note from WordPress:

WordPress five years

Although I titled my first post “Why blog?” I honestly don’t remember what compelled me to start HBlog. But I do remember being painfully self-conscious at first, worried that I would offend — or worse, bore — my online audience.

My worries were unfounded, of course: No one actually read my posts. So eventually I learned to stop worrying about my (imagined) audience, and decided to write mostly for my own enjoyment. That was one of the best, most freeing writing lessons I’ve ever received.

Now, five years later, HBlog is honored to have attracted almost 1,700 subscribers, 3,607 comments, and 147,437 views from more than 150 countries (or 149, if you don’t consider Taiwan a country [shame on you]).

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 9.24.45 PM

But amid all those statistics, do you know what I cherish most? The 10 or so people who — because of this blog — have become dear friends. God willing, next year I’ll make it to Scotland. And Australia.

Of course, there is also another (more selfish) payoff: I have a pretty comprehensive record of my past five years. The things that moved me. A few that angered or saddened me. The day Esteban had a heart attack. The first time I went to Paris by myself (and the six times after that). The winter our house flooded. The spring I learned to find hope again … and the summer that has yet to fully reveal itself.

I won’t link to any of these events because they really don’t matter; they’re mostly in the past.

What does matter is that I’ve collected some good stories along the way — and that I have many more to tell.

With that in mind, here’s a preview of Florida …

Boca beach sunrise 1110271 BLOG

… where I watch my nephew graduate …

Graduation 1110199 BLOG

and then suffer tissue necrosis after being repeatedly bitten by a fire ant (not pictured, but, well, you get the picture) …

Orb weaver 1110091 BLOG

… and New York …

Manhattan 1120148 BLOG

… where I see the Statue of Liberty for the first time …

Statue of Liberty 1110889 BLOG

… and develop a compulsion for talking random strangers into posing for portraits.

Katz Deli guard 1110663 BLOG

Laundromat woman 1110622 BLOG

Like I said, there are many more stories left to tell.

A special huge thanks to those of you who have stuck by me over the past few years. Here’s to you — and to whatever lies ahead.


  1. Hearty congratulations on 5! I’ve enjoyed following your travels and have sat in silent horror through your trials and tribulations. Let’s hope for way more of the former and no more of the latter as you sail into the next 5.

    • Thanks very much for your kind words, Jim — and for being such a loyal reader, and especially such an inspiring writer. Here’s to the next five years of Down the Road and HBlog!

  2. What a beautifully worded post for your fifth anniversary! Congratulations! (Counting up, I suddenly realise I’ll be joining you in September on the 5 year milestone…just keep swimming…)

    I am, to use a good British expression, gobsmacked that (in no particular order) 1) you had never seen the Statue of Liberty before, 2) you have surmounted so many major setbacks with such courage, fortitude and humour, 3) your gift for making strangers into friends extends even to New Yorkers, and 4) there are such things as necrosis-and-nightmare-inducing fire ants out there.

    Looking forward to the continuing adventures of HBlog. And a visit to Scotland. 😉

    • … and congratulations to you, on YOUR upcoming blogiversary, DB! Five years. Rather astounding, isn’t it? I think it’s the longest I’ve kept up any hobby, except maybe photography.

      And you’re right to be gobsmacked about the fire ants. I’d heard of them but had no idea how painful just one of those little devils could be. I have a whole new level of empathy (and respect) for my nephew, who was attacked by a whole colony when he was little. Eeek.

      As for my fortitude and good humor, well, mostly I borrow it from those around me (including a lovely friend across the pond). I’ve had many not-so-stellar moments — but of course I don’t publish those on my blog. To be fully appreciated, those must be witnessed in person. 😀

      But as I mentioned in my post, the past doesn’t really matter. I’ve learned some lessons along the way, and I’ve made some good friends, and I’m still on this side of the dirt. What more can a girl ask?

      So … let us toast to blogging, and to bonnie Scotland, and to the next five years!

  3. Congratualtions on 5 years! I adore your blog and am so pleased that I by chance found it. Although I never quite believe in just by chance, I always argue there must surely be a reason. I believe that getting to know you is reason enough for me.

    • You are so sweet, Rochelle. Thank you for your kind words … you’ve made my day. (And whatever the reason, I’m glad we “met.” Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to visit you in Sweden!) xx

        • Denmark! Ooops. Of course, Rochelle! I swear I knew that, even if my brain apparently forgot. 🙂 Right, then. Denmark is hereby added to the itinerary! And if you ever do come to the Midwest, I would ADORE showing you around the Twin Cities. As you say, any excuse. 😀

    • Oh! How could I fail to mention Taiwan? So sorry, Deborah … OF COURSE i count you! 🙂 (And thank you, as always, for being such a loyal reader. That deserves its own recognition!) Cheers to you all the way from Minneapolis.

      • It was this part of the post: “Now, five years later, HBlog is honored to have attracted almost 1,700 subscribers, 3,607 comments, and 147,437 views from more than 150 countries (or 149, if you don’t consider Taiwan a country [shame on you])” haha

        So I just wanted to make sure that we need to go with the 150. 🙂 Hope all is well in Minnesota! 🙂

        • DOH! How could I have missed your cheeky reference, Deborah? Goes to show that my short-term memory is shot, I guess [washes embarrassed look off face].

          So … *ahem* … absolutely, we’ll consider it 150 countries.

          • I’m so relieved. Both at the 150, and at the fact that I’m not the only one with short-term memory issues. haha

  4. Hello Heide.

    I started my blogging in October 2008. Before it, I blogged on Blogger and Multiply. Then I found WordPress and I am content with. I have two blog-fellows since I started here. My hat to them. One Lady died many years later after my start and to read her kind comments today nearly brake my heart. I raise my hat to her memory and spend a silent moment!

    • How sad that one of your long-time blog friends died, Matti. I am sorry for you … because I know that the people we meet here become as dear to us sometimes as the people we grew up with. But how wonderful that this lady’s kindness lives on through her comments on your blog …

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s