Monday, October 31, 2011

Five Years and Counting

Funny how time flies.

Five years ago last night I wrote my first real headstuffing blog.

The parallels to then and now are pretty interesting.

Five years ago – in 2006 – I had my first inspiration for a headstuffing post while watching The Wizard of Oz with my little girls then four and five. My beloved Detroit Tigers had just days before lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Five years later, for the first time since 2006 – I find myself again watching The Wizard of Oz – the night before Halloween. And at the point where the Wicked Witch of the West is melted by Dorothy who accidentally splashes her with water while trying to put out the burning Scarecrow – again I found myself thinking “just like the Tigers against the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series”.

Only last time the Tigers folded in the World Series – handing the royal crown of baseball to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This year the Cardinals earned it in dramatic fashion – with Game Six of that series in serious contention as the greatest World Series Game ever played.

And I realized headstuffing had reached a milestone.

Is five years a long time for a blog to exist? To persist?

Perhaps not.

I hate the term blog anyways. It sounds so demeaning. This is really just a place for me to put the stories I write. And I hope it will always be here.

Not that anyone would miss it.

Or so I thought.

I mentioned last night to my little family of two little girls and a wife who loves bingo that maybe it was time for me to close the book on headstuffing. Call it quits. I would keep the blog up and running but post no more stories here.

The family disagreed. Loudly. You see it’s not so much mine as it is there’s. The stories are not so much mine as they are ours. And both my daughters – Alannah and Ashley-Rae – as well as my lovely wife Darlene – objected strongly to the demise of headstuffing.

They are the stars of the stories.

Even my faithful black lab Suzy gave a gentle grumble at the suggestion.

And I didn’t even raise the question to the two Grandmas.

Or the Good Doctor or the Nice Nurse Lady.

They are all characters of my stories as well.

Nor did I ask any of the seven hundred and fifty thousand readers who have stopped by over the last five years to read what’s going on. Although I am certain all of you would be less concerned as to whether headstuffing continued or not.

Even Pat “The Book On Sports” Caputo – who I still contend to be the best sports writer in Detroit – who was the inspiration for using a blog to write towards because of how much I enjoy The Books “Open Book” blog every day – and who has been very supportive of headstuffing the past - even The Book would likely be indifferent to the ending of headstuffing.

But I certainly had had a lot of feedback. A lot of good comments thanking me for sharing the cute stories about debating Santa Clause with my eldest daughter or my youngest daughter’s breaking a mirror and subjecting our small household to seven years bad luck – three of which are behind us now – or the little boy Raymond who stormed through Ashley-Rae’s birthday party only to get a kiss on the cheek from her for being such a great friend.

One story that touched many was a tribute to an old friend Bill, who passed away a couple of years ago – who I hadn’t seen since high school, who made such a big difference in the person I grew up to become.

Others caused debate as I referred to the natural way that trees deploy seeds into the earth as God’s Contraptions, or questioned why more attention at Easter is given to colored eggs and chocolate bunnies than the resurrection of Christ. Or that Santa Clause could also be considered to be the Holy Ghost personified – if one were only to believe so.

And others critique my want-to-be sports writer attempts at writing about Tigers baseball – calling my attempts sophomoric at best.

Far be it from me to argue that point.

Like Roger Ebert once complained when he started getting pushback on his movie reviews – “everyone’s a critic”.

There are two hundred and thirty three stories – each about two and third pages long – posted here. That’s about forty six a year. That’s approximately five hundred pages total. Some are just rambling about things in my brain (like this post). Some are personal treasures to me that I wouldn’t have had it not been for feeling obligated to write a post that week.

But I can’t see ever shutting headstuffing down.


And I still haven’t earned even a simple penny from my Google Ads – or Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

We’ll see where we sit five years ahead in time – in 2016 – the next time the Tiger’s challenge the St. Louis Cardinals and all teams in between for World Series supremacy – and the next time I plan to watch The Wizard Of Oz again.

We’ll see where we sit with headstuffing.

Maybe by then I’ll have published my book.

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