“Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life” is the tag line that I created when I started my blog Back Road Journal nine years ago. The journal is where I share my passion for food, travel and the good things in life that I encounter with readers like youself. Much has changed in my life, as well as in the world, as I start my 10th year of blogging so I thought I might go back and reminisce.
I’ve written my posts from three homes, a farm in New Hampshire, a summer cottage in Maine and now from our home in a small resort town on the east coast of Florida. Each different location has influenced what I have shared over the years in my journal.
My first post was composed while sitting on a weathered Adirondack chair on the back deck of our summer lakeside cottage in Naples, Maine. I had read every book I could find about blogging but the tech talk seemed like a foreign language to me. I finally wrote a short article but hesitated to push the publish button. My husband looked over and said “just do it”. As they say, the rest is history.
The big events in Naples were the 4th of July Parade and the annual classic wooden boat show. I had only been blogging for two months when my post about the Antique and Classic Wooden Boat and Car Show was Freshly Pressed by WordPress…I was thrilled!
Most of our summers were spent outdoors on the lake or on back roads as we discovered what makes New England such a special part of our country. Camden, Rockport, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park were all just a few hours away from our cottage which made for easy exploring. The region is delightful with quaint villages, light houses along its rugged coastline and offshore islands just waiting to be discovered.
Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slide show.
Summers always included simple, good foods such as lobster rolls, BLT sandwiches with tomatoes fresh from our garden and blueberry pie eaten on the deck or enjoyed at one of the restaurants in town just a few minutes walk from the cottage.
Three years into blogging, I wrote a post on Growing Tomatoes Successfully that was also Freshly Pressed by WordPress. The different varieties of heirloom tomatoes were started in my potting shed in New Hampshire and then taken, along with a variety of herbs to Maine to be planted in our small garden on Memorial Day. I have to say that they were the best tomatoes we have ever eaten…oh how I miss their fantastic homegrown flavor.
Come September, the dock was pulled, the boat and jet ski stored and the cottage winterized as it was time to head back to our historic 1730’s home in New Hampshire. Fall had arrived, the leaves were turning gold and crimson, the weather was cool and it was time to start harvesting the apples in our orchard.
I felt like Martha Stewart each fall when we returned to the farm. Time was spent picking apples and pears and pies, cakes and cookies were baked. Cider was pressed, apple wine was made and apple sauce simmered on the stove in our keeping room kitchen.
Fall quickly turned into winter, beautiful but harsh. Christmas was especially wonderful living in New England as it felt like you were a part of an old Currier and Ives print that many of you might be familiar with.
Three years into my blog, I received an email from the editor of Country Woman magazine. She had come across Back Road Journal and a post about my kitchen. She asked if I would like to write an article for their 2014 Christmas issue. Be still my heart! The magazine gave me permission to write a blog post about the experience of having the magazine photograph the kitchen after the Christmas issue was published.
Seven of the nine years blogging have featured trips to Europe, six being road trips featuring the countries of France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic and one cruise from London to Barcelona.
You might wonder what happened in 2014 and 2015 that kept us from traveling. We sold our sweet cottage in Maine and then our wonderful historic New Hampshire farm because we were having a house built for us in Vero Beach, Florida. We sold most of our belongings and moved back to Florida where we had lived years before.
No matter where we have lived or where we have traveled, one thing has remained a constant and that is good food. Whether a burger cooked on the grill or a multi course meal in a three star Michelin restaurant, the appreciation of good food has always played a big part on Back Road Journal.
I haven’t written much about Florida other than to let you see how different life is when you change latitudes. Since we’ve moved south, there is no snow and no climbing a ladder to prune and pick apples trees. It’s been replaced with sun, palm trees and tropical flowers.
Perhaps you might think my life isn’t as interesting as it used to be and maybe so. What it has become is more simple and that is the reason we moved. I enjoy our new life in Florida and all the wonderful friends that my husband and I have made but I’m thankful for all the years spent in lovely New England…they are memories that will last a lifetime.
Over the years of writing this blog, I’ve used three cameras, three computers and worked with numerous operating systems. Now as I start my 10th year, WordPress is dropping the editing system I’ve always used. I’ve adjusted to changes over the years but if you don’t see me around for a little while, you will know that my technical abilities are making life a little challenging but I won’t stop blogging. If you are a new reader…welcome and I hope you return. If you have been following me for all these years, thank you for your friendship and comments, they are always appreciated.
Wherever I am in the world, you can be sure that I’ll have a camera and a computer by my side so that I can continue to share my passion for food, travel and the good things…the little treasures that make life enjoyable.