Friday, January 18, 2013


This is my 700th post.

Seven Hundred Posts. That's kind of a lot of time spent on my own, writing. As Jill famously said, it's cheaper than therapy. For me, of course, there's the added benefit that I now have a record of my FS life and my life as a mom. I don't do baby books. I'm not much for photo albums. And my memory is terrible: if I don't write it down, it never happened.

I started out by writing emails home from Moscow. But my list of recipients got a bit unwieldy, as people started asking to get on my distribution list - people I'd never met, like colleagues of my mother, or my in-laws' neighbors. It was sort of embarrassing sending emails to these people, and my friend Jim kept bugging me to blog it instead, so finally, 4 countries in, I did just that.

Some day I'll have to figure out if I can retroactively add my emails from Russia and Armenia and Kazakhstan to this virtual record of mine (Jim? Help a girl out...). It would be kind of nice to have the whole story in one place. For now, all of those emails live in a file somewhere in my computer, and I sort of suspect my parents kept them all, too - my own personal cloud.

I've been going through the archives - there's so much I forgot about.

There's my first post ever, read by an audience of just 216, if blogger is to be believed. My first post from China, when the place was confusing and scary and new. My first pictures from the Great Wall, just after I discovered I was pregnant with Ainsley and days before I suddenly went deaf. And a description of the actual trip to the Wall, with the incomparable JennD, who would later become one of my best pals in all of Beijing, figuring prominently in adventure after adventure.

Ainsley was born. Casey died. We moved to Amman. Yogi followed.

So many memories for me, here in these 700 posts. So many friends made, and laughs shared. So much sadness, too, mostly when you read between the lines. Adventures and embarrassment and boredom and fear and sickness and what-the-hell-were-we-thinking and what-the-hell-are-they-thinking?

This right here? This is the Foreign Service. Moving through life at the speed of light, making decisions on the fly, being ordered to some random corner of the globe by someone who has never met you and relying on the kindness of strangers once you arrive in that big scary corner. Bonding hard - too hard, sometimes - with the people who are tossed into the pile with you, and crawling out the other side, bruised and scarred, but laughing - mostly laughing - and in awe of what you managed to do.

It doesn't make any sense, not to the people who never try to live this way, and not even always to us, the people who are doing it.

But looking back over the last 700 posts of mine, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Nomads By Nature said... [Reply]

Congratulations, Donna! You put the FS experience in words so well. Thanks for your humor despite the challenges because it inspires the rest of us and helps us laugh at our own chaos. Here's to another 700!

Fairevergreen said... [Reply]

If you do figure out how to add old posts, could you post the "how to". I have a travel blog I'd like to add my older e-mails to, but not with "today's" date.

Kate said... [Reply]

Congrats, on 700, Donna! Why, your blog doesn't look a day over 650.

Donna said... [Reply]

Kate- when are we gonna get poste together? I have a feeling we'd have a lot of laughs. (and margarita bars. Obviously.)

Jill said... [Reply]

Happy 700th! I just hit mine as well. Been thinking about ya ... hope all is grand!

Kate said... [Reply]

Donna, I think if we got posted together, we would drink/eat margarita bars while our kids ran around dressed in rags and we would laugh about what awesome mothers we are.

Please. Write your own stuff.