This is Following Augustine’s 600th post written over a period of slightly more than six years! I think that the secret to the blog’s longevity is its eclectic nature.
Originally started as a way to share our year in Japan (2008-2009) with friends and family, it has become much more than a travel blog. Family often shows up but it isn’t a mommy blog and while I occasionally focus on clothing, shoes or accessories, it definitely isn’t a fashion blog. In recent months, I’ve been using the blog to share my cancer journey but, just as my life continues to be about more than just my health, so does the blog. My faith permeates every part of my life, including what I write, but this isn’t a religion blog either. For lack of a better description, I refer to it as a travel and lifestyle blog but I also like to think of it as an active retirement blog.
One of the things that I like about blogging with WordPress is the stats page where I can see how many readers view the blog, where they’re from and which posts are most popular. I’m often surprised by which ones generate the most interest. In fact, some of the most popular posts are ones that I wondered if anyone would find interesting!
Today, in honour of 600 posts in 6 years, I’m going to profile my top 6 posts of all time. Since several of them are older posts, I’ll include a link to each one in case newer readers are interested in looking back with me. Just click on the titles below to check them out.
Following Augustine’s Top Six Posts of All Time
#6 What influences your sense of self-worth? Oct. 29, 2011
The idea for this post came from Charles F. Stanley’s Bible study, How to Reach Your Full Potential for God, and was the result of some serious self examination. It was one of the most difficult posts I’ve written because it involved baring my soul and owning up to an attitude that I knew needed to change.
#5 Tatami Aug. 28, 2008
I find it quite funny that the most popular post from our entire year in Japan was about the traditional floor covering known as tatami! Tatami has many advantages and I loved it but I didn’t love the insects that crawled out of the tightly woven mat at night to bite me! Eww! Fortunately, we learned how to get rid of them and it’s obviously this information that people are looking for when they Google “insects in tatami” or other similar phrases and find their way to this post.
#4 A new journey… Aug. 30, 2013
The newest post on my Top Six list, this is the one that shared my cancer diagnosis. I was walking this trail beside a peaceful lake in southern Alberta when the cell phone in my pocket rang and I first heard that dreaded C word.
Now that a second cancer has been diagnosed, we are no closer to knowing where this journey is going to take us.
#3 Alex’s yellow lizard May 28, 2012
Richard and I are avid geocachers. Geocaching is a grown up, high-tech game of hide and seek. Participants use GPS units to hide and find containers called geocaches and then log their activity online. One of the aspects of geocaching that I like best is trackables; geocaching game pieces that are moved from cache to cache by geocachers like ourselves. Alex’s Yellow Lizard was a trackable that we picked up from a roadside cache in Manitoba on our way home from Winnipeg a couple of years ago. When it started its journey in Minnesota, its owner asked that pictures be taken and posted along the way so that his seven-year-old son could watch his little yellow lizard as it traveled around the world. We placed it in a geocache at a native ceremonial site on a high point of land about 24 km north of our home. When I posted this information on the geocaching website, I included a link to my blog.
#2 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout Jan. 21, 2011
I have no idea why so many people enter things like “gold ring in pig’s snout” and “pig nose ring” in search engines! I thought this was a pretty obscure thing to write about! The phrase comes from Proverbs 11:22 and refers to a beautiful woman who has no discretion.
And now, drumroll please!
#1 Bridges of Madison County July 21, 2010
My most read blog post of all time is also one of my shortest. On a road trip to Kansas City for a missions conference during the summer of 2010, we purposely went out of our way to visit Winterset, Iowa, the setting of my favourite novel, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Like Robert Kincaid, one of Waller’s main characters, we drove the back roads of Madison County photographing the covered bridges that were made famous by the novel and the movie that followed. I crossed another dream off my unwritten bucket list when I stood on Roseman Bridge and touched the spot where farmer’s wife, Francesca (Meryl Streep), pinned a note inviting Robert (Clint Eastwood) to come for dinner “anytime the white moths fly”.
And here it is, the most viewed photo to appear on my blog thus far!