Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thinking of Friends

It's the end of the year, and I'm thinking of friends and family who are no longer here to celebrate the seasons and the New Year with us. I haven't written about those we've lost, as I keep my blog on not-so-personal subjects. But like my real life, my blog world is full of valued friends. Most of these, I've never seen or met, and I know only the face they show in their posts. One blog friend was Louise Vee, whose blog was "Months of Edible Celebrations."

Cookbook Wednesday was one of Louise's participatory
blogger activities. She designed the logo shown here.
For many years Louise wrote blog posts that reflected her great expertise on American home cooking history, and shared fascinating images from her archives of culinary ephemera. Louise had blogger friends throughout the world. Many of them participated in her blog events, such as "The Picnic Game" that she frequently held in early summer. Her blog included a list of links to their blogs, which automatically updated to reflect their current posts. Every post she made received a large number of comments from all these friends.

Louise often wrote about her grandchildren, about her friend and housemate Marion, and about her garden. In the last few years, after Marion died at the age of 95 or so, Louise did less and less blogging. Occasionally, she mentioned health problems she was having, but also upbeat things such as that she got married soon after Marion died.

A screen shot of Louise's last Facebook post, August 29, 2018.
Last summer on Facebook Louise shared quite a few photos of her garden and the birds and butterflies she saw there, but she had stopped posting on her blog. In the fall, her entire blog disappeared from the internet, and her Facebook page became a memorial.

For the last days of 2018, I wanted to write a post expressing my sadness at losing this friend that I never met -- in fact, I don't think she posted a photo of herself, so I have no mental image of her appearance. I am sad that she's gone, and I regret the great loss of her whole blog. I had thought her blog would always be a reference for the many unusual cooking topics she covered during more than a decade. That's not what happened.

If Louise's blog hadn't disappeared, I'd link here to some of her great posts and some of her photos. Needless to say, it never occurred to me to make saved copies of her work. Blogs have always seemed to exist in a parallel universe that isn't subject to the same forces that affect us -- but I guess they can be just as ephemeral as real life.

In memory of Louise and her wonderful blog, I am concluding this with an image of a cookbook for Cookbook Wednesday, her invention:

A very early American cookbook, from an era
that Louise knew much about.


Jeanie said...

Oh Mae, she sounds like a wonderful woman and I know her death is a loss to those who followed her. This is a beautiful tribute.

I've had the final farewell of a good blog friend and it is terribly sad. We become connected with one another's passions, interests, lives, families. And often I feel I know some bloggers better than my real-life friends and acquaintances, some of whom I've "known" for decades. So, I do understand. I think somewhere Louise is smiling. I hope you share the link on her memorial page.

Tina said...

What a lovely tribute. I was going to post and ask if anyone had heard from her as I noticed her blog disappeared. That's a problem with paying for a Dot Com address, they can disappear so I had no way of contacting her. I did email her as we exchanged a few emails over the years and never heard back. This is sad. She told me once that her real name was Denise!

If you could, and you don't mind, would you post her FB memorial page or link? I'm not on FB but I can look at her page without trying to sign in.

Louise will be missed!

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I enjoyed reading this touching post- There are so many blogs I enjoy - I'm always sorry to see disappear-

Claudia said...

A nice tribute to your friend, Mae. I had no idea that blogs would just disappear like that.

Jackie McGuinness said...

A few years ago a beloved blogger photographer was killed in a car accident with her husband.
The memorials were amazing and she is so missed by so many who never actually met her.

Beth F said...

It's amazing how close we feel to those we know only through our blogs.

Carole said...

That's sad - I wonder why the blog disappeared... I would have thought it would be nice for friends and family to dip in to remember her. Cheers from carole's chatter

Debra Eliotseats said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Mae. Her posts were always informative and but not stuffy or pretentious at all. I found reading her blog like talking to a good friend next door. Miss her voice.