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Home on the Fringe: One Year in the Blogosphere

We started this blog one year ago today. We sat in one of the few wi-fi enhanced restaurant bars in this city, drank margaritas, ate nachos, and John convinced me to start typing. The name of the blog was decided by the time we were seated at our table, a result of our discussion in the car on the way there. I held the laptop in a beige canvas bag resting in my seatbelted lap, still skeptical about the whole "blog" idea, always skeptical, always coming up with objections: "well, we don't even know what we'd call it!" John, knowing me all too well, kept driving in a content, open silence. I kept talking. Kept objecting: "I mean, I don't want it to be something having to do with our geographical location, because, barf."

"Why? We might as well reference it sarcastically, like we do in real life. 'Home on the range' or something."

"I'd rather it accommodate the fact that we're a blended family...but then again, I don't necessarily want it to focus solely on the blended family aspect because there are other things that make up our freak-like identity, like Bryce's intensity, my feistiness, our age difference. We're just freaks. Freaks on the range. Home on the freaky range, midwestern misfits. Something about being on the fringe of society."

"Home on the Fringe!"


"......" *driving, waiting*

"Hmm, Home on the Fringe. Actually, that does pretty much sum it up, doesn't it?"


Like I'd guess most blogs do, this site has changed significantly over the past 12 months. John and I talked about doing a "best of" post to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Home on the Fringe, but as I perused the archives and tried to pick posts that I felt were most indicative of our year, all I found was - big, huge surprise coming here - a lot of chaos, some of it hilarious, some of it horrifying, some of it maddening, some of it expected. You could basically click any one of the archive links and find examples of what I'm talking about with very little effort. Also, this blog already tends to the navel-gazing side (I guess this makes us real bloggers. As my trainer would say, "hoo-ray, right?"), and linking to our own blogging selves, in a post about our own blogging selves, well... felt a little extreme. Those of you that have been reading since the beginning, or have taken the time (Why? Oh, why?!) to read all the old posts must believe us by now when we say with every day that goes by, we come closer to truly believing we're insane.

Having this blog as a legitimate writing outlet, particularly for me, since I'm the one who comes here the most and drones on and on, has severely lessened the chance of my being committed or arrested. That was something I wasn't expecting a year ago. I don't really know what our expectations were, but I know they didn't include free therapy or, more importantly (prepare for the sappiness), new friends. We didn't know when we started down this windy blogging path that there was such a community in existence; we pictured the blogosphere as much smaller and much more compartmentalized than what we ultimately found. In fact, I think if we had known how much of a community this experience would introduce to us, we probably would have run shrieking away from it, given so many of our past failed attempts at social life.

We've learned that here, in this community, we're no more on the fringe than any of the rest of you. In one year in the blogosphere, we've ("virtually") met and befriended more people than we have in seven years of "real life," including social functions resulting from nine jobs, three schools, four kids, 28 holidays, and a few ill-fated attempts at neighborhood parties. I can't decide if this is a sad statement about middle class U.S. society or just another blatant confirmation that we don't fit in there. For whatever reason, we've been welcomed here, and at times over the past year, times that many of you know have pushed us to our absolute emotional brink, that fact has existed in our minds as the only calming and reaffirming thought in our beaten down collective consciousness.