Something Good

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

In my pre-email, pre-Internet days, this is the time of year when I’d go a little nuts sending for “free” issues of magazines I had little or no intention of subscribing to. This accomplished several things. 1) It gave me a reason to get out of the house and walk down the driveway, the driveway being the only thing shoveled and thus easily traversed. 2) It justified putting the flag up on the mailbox, thereby giving me a way to know when the mail was delivered. 3) It pretty much guaranteed that sometime in the future I’d get something good in the mail. I had gotten this technique perfected to the point where I managed to get the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, which focused on gardening, as my free issue, by judicious timing.

Nowadays I check my email and Bloglines far in excess of my usual routine, once again hoping for something good. I suspect many of you are doing the same, as I’m seeing less blog entries and more blog comments as I make my rounds. Everyone is waiting for someone else to post something good.

I’m going to issue a challenge: be that something good to someone else. Think of any blog you read on a regular basis. If you’ve never posted a comment on that blog, or written an email to its author, that author doesn’t know you’re there. He (or she or they) may have access to the web stats, but all’s that tells them is what ISP you use or what link you clicked on to get there. You’re a statistic, not a person. So be a person and do something personal in what, for us cold climate gardeners, at least, is a very isolating time of year.

Don’t know what to say? Here are some ideas and examples:
Duration: “I’ve been reading your blog for . . .”
Frequency: “I check for something new every . . .”
General Compliment: “I really like your . . . [sense of humor, perceptive analysis, etc]”
Specific Compliment: “My favorite post of all time was . . . ”
Referral: I found out about your blog from . . . ”

And of course, you don’t have to say all of that, or any of that. Just say something nice that you really mean, just like Dan Eskelon did when he commented on this post of mine. Thanks, Dan, I needed that!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

Marianne Hardy March 9, 2005, 6:51 pm

I really enjoy your blog and haven’t visited in awhile but I continue to brag about you.Send me more cards and I will hand them out

Kathy February 8, 2005, 11:05 am

Glad to meet you, Lanie!
I was interviewed by phone for that article and since I don’t subscribe (shame on me, I know) I have yet to read it myself–I couldn’t find it on the magazine rack in all of January, and finally stopped looking. But I guess I’ll have to look again. Please let me know of any good books or links related to cold climate gardening that you see I don’t have.–Kathy

lanie February 6, 2005, 7:05 pm

Finally got to read my PPP magazine and read your sucess story article. Am bookmarking your site and look forward to spending some time gathering your info. I live zone 4 in Maine

Sally February 1, 2005, 9:35 pm

be that something good to someone else

Kathy….thanks for being that something good…I am always glad to see that bold lettering on Bloglines when you have a new post.


Mary Ann January 31, 2005, 11:47 am

I rediscovered your link in my “To Read When I Get a Chance” folder and moved it to the “To Read Frequently” folder.

I garden in the Finger Lakes. The sun’s shining and it’s snowing and I’m procrastinating about working on my garden plan under the pretense of “research.”

Good writing. Good links. Thanks.

Kathy January 31, 2005, 8:36 am

Hi Suzette,
It is true that sometimes a comment might break the spell, but an email would let the author know you appreciated that spell-binding entry. I know comments don’t reflect site traffic at all, believe me, I know–but the point is not to increase someone’s site traffic. The point is to make a personal expression of appreciation that acknowledges their existence, alerts them to your existence as a person (not a blip in their web stats) and in general brightens their day. It also builds a sense of community. A “virtual” random act of kindness, if you will.

Suzette January 30, 2005, 10:26 pm

Sometimes people make posts that are so exquisite that the act of making a comment would break the spell.

On the other hand, comments themselves are a funny thing – they don’t reflect site traffic at all. You can get 20 visits a day and have only one comment and then when the visits increase to 80 a day, you are lucky if you still get one comment at all.