One afternoon last summer, I just happened to be walking home from work when, rather randomly, my cousin Joyce pulled alongside me in her car (keep in mind she lives more than two hours away, but I suppose these are the sorts of things that happen in small towns like these). Even stranger was that Joyce said she had something for me in her car. It turns out that she had been in town cleaning up the family home (her older brother, my cousin Ed, had passed away a few months earlier after living in the house for around 50 years, first with his parents and eventually by himself after they had passed on).
Evidently, when I was visiting Joyce’s folks as a three-year-old way back when (having just celebrated another birthday this week, that ‘way back when’ seems even way more back now), I had decided to amuse her parents – my great-uncle Nick and great-aunt Esther – by performing some geography-related parlour tricks; in this case, running off a list of Canadian and world capitals on some foolscap. Little did I know that Uncle Nick had not only kept one of those pieces of paper with this three-year-old’s nearly illegible scrawl, but had framed it, thereby keeping that rather fragile piece of paper intact only for Joyce to find it in a box decades later.
You know what’s really sad? My penmanship has barely improved.
The Basement Geographer is going on hiatus for now. I thought that throwing these images up would be a way to tie the blog up nicely; a way to come full circle and take it all back to the days of when I started exploring the world from afar (in this case, via a battered Merit Students Encyclopedia set some travelling salesman had suckered my mother into purchasing that, along with a 1975 edition of Fischler’s Hockey Encyclopedia and the telephone directory, were the only books in the house).
The reason? I’ve taken on an exciting new project that is going to occupy the bulk of my time over the next while just to get it off the ground (and if it really takes off, who knows?). I won’t be going away completely; you’ll still see me contributing articles to Google Sightseeing, and I’ll still be found participating in the comments at sites like Twelve Mile Circle and frimmbits like usual. And I certainly reserve the right to come back here at any time and begin posting away. Who knows? This new project might blow up after a couple of months and I’ll find myself itching to post. I miss it already, honestly, even though objectively I probably need the break and a new task to work on. When it takes 14 hours to write two articles instead of 12 hours to write four, that’s probably a good sign of burnout. I’m not going to do this if I can’t do it properly.
It’s a bit weird stopping right now when everything’s going so well here. In fact, I don’t like having to do it all. I’m continually blown away by the growing number of visitors this site gets. I hope I’m not disappointing anyone. There’s still a massive list of topics on my to-do list to write about, and after all it was just a few weeks ago I was talking about how much more time this year I would have to write new articles for TBG. Sure enough, barely a month later something else comes along and, well, it was too intriguing to pass up. I was just asking for it writing that, wasn’t I?
Thank you all so much for your visits, comments, and links over the years. The fact that I’ve met and/or got to known some of you personally makes it all worthwhile. I shall return, somewhere, sometime.
Talk to you later,