July Blogger Spotlight

Welcome to my series in which I spotlight one of my followers. I’ve always had a deep fascination with people: how they became who they are, the struggles they won, and the hard lessons they learned over time. All of these scars and stories make up a person’s life. While I think it’s important to reflect on your own journey, it is also equally important to hear other voices and see diverse perspectives. In this series, the spotlighted blogger will be able to tell their story through curated questions I’ve asked of them.

The blogger I chose to feature in this month’s spotlight is someone who I was introduced to from a previous blogger spotlight. One of the things I love about this series is the ability to get to know other bloggers within this infinite sphere of writers. She is a fellow Canadian (at birth and at heart), although, not by current location. Her patriotic loyalty to Canada pales in comparison to my own (as much as I am proud to be from here myself). She started her unique blog at the urge of her neighbor, as a way of “memorializing the people, places, and things I see on my daily walks.”

When I asked her if she would be interested in participating in this series, she quickly agreed and made herself available to me. From the moment we connected, she’s been nothing but lovely, thoughtful, and kind. I so appreciate her candor in the questions I’ve asked of her and she may have inspired me to start writing a post that I have been trying to write for a long time now (perhaps years).

Without further ado, I introduce you to Linda Schaub of the Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy Blog.

A Bit About Linda…

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I live alone but I am not lonely. I miss my mom as we were close, and it’s especially difficult on Christmas, her birthday, and Mother’s Day. I have no family and you might find this hard to believe, but I have worked from home since 2011 and have not seen my boss face-to-face since October 2012. 

What is one thing you do now that you didn’t do 5 years ago?
Well, in conjunction with blogging, that would be photography. When I was in my 20s, I traveled a lot. None of my friends wanted to travel– all of them either had careers or were married and had children. I wanted to see the world, having done some traveling in my youth, so I took one major trip once a year. 

Do you get embarrassed easily? What was the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
No, I can’t recall anything except deciding to memorize a passage from Shakespeare for extra credit in 10th grade.  I walked around the house reciting Shakespeare’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech for days. I had it memorized to a “T” and got up in front of the class and forgot the entire speech– every stinkin’ word! The teacher was an old biddy with a pinched face; hard to please and a very difficult grader. She told me “sit down, you’re wasting my time!” I went to her office afterward and asked if I could recite it to her for the grade boost and she told me to get out of her office. 

On Life So Far…

What were you scared of when you were younger but have since gotten over?
My parents were very strict, I can’t imagine having fears and exhibiting them. They were no-nonsense and would not indulge me in a tantrum or screaming fit. Perhaps this was since they were older when I was born (30 years old for first-time parents in 1956 would be considered “old”) and I had no siblings, so they didn’t really indulge me in fears. However, I have always been scared of “crawling” bugs– a centipede or spider in the house will totally undo me.

What was a pivotal turning point in your life? 
My father decided he didn’t want to be in this family (my mom and me) anymore and announced his imminent departure on Christmas Day 1983, a day usually filled with joy. It was just as we were around the Christmas tree, ready to open our gifts. My mother didn’t miss a beat and turned to me and said “pick up your father’s gifts Linda– we’ll return them and get our money back tomorrow.” I scooped up his gifts and put them in my room. We did not know that before the big announcement he went to the bank and removed all the money from the bank and had already closed out their joint long-term annuity fund, lying by saying my mom was out of the country and he pleaded hardship. He left no money for my mom who had some mobility issues and hadn’t worked since having me in 1956. She was only 58 and too young to collect Social Security from here or Old Age Security from Canada. We were close and I supported us for several years, though luckily the mortgage had been paid off long ago. So, this was a learning experience for me- I had to suddenly do all the things he did (outside work) and other things. A whole life change for me and tainted my feeling about marriage and relationships forever as my grandmother and great-grandmother were also in toxic relationships. I decided, “I am not going to go there!”

On Writing…

What makes a writer a writer?
You don’t just plunk down at the keyboard and churn out words and sentences. You have to enjoy what you do and the words will flow.

What word, in your opinion, gets overused a lot?
Some expressions that make the rounds every so often are overly used, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head. My boss is infatuated with the word “kerfuffle” and uses it at least once per day. 

On Blogging…

When did you begin your blogging journey, why did you start, and what was your first post about?
My neighbor encouraged me to start this blog in 2013 and my first post was about my entry into the Blogosphere. I am glad she did because, for me, it is the writing career I never had. I graduated from Wayne State University in 1978 with a degree in print journalism.

Who was the first blogger that you followed that still posts today?
Anne at Mehrling’s Muse. She just lost her husband of 58 years one month ago. Her blog is about life in the mountains of North Carolina. She and her husband moved there from New York after retiring.

Who was the first blogger that followed you that still posts today?
My first “real” follower was Keith/”Uncle Tree” – he always commented but he’s not an active blogger at the moment (there has been a series of deaths in the family). He pops onto my blog for holidays to say “hi”.

Can you list your top 3 posts you are most proud of?

https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/05/12/mom-n-me/
https://lindaschaubblog.net/2022/02/14/the-locket/
https://lindaschaubblog.net/2020/02/14/its-valentines-day/

How would you describe your blog to someone who’s never read your content?
A mixture of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen on my walks. I have a goal of walking miles each year which I try to have at least one more mile each year. My goal this year is 2,022kms or 1,256 miles. I have always met my goal, though it is getting tougher with climate change.

What was your most recent post about?
The blog post is part two of a two-part walk at Lake Erie Metropark. I linked to part one within that post. I was pretty excited as I saw a Mute Swan family that day, something I can now cross off my “birdie bucket list” even though they were quite far away from me across the marsh.

Who was the first blogger that commented on your most recent post? Please tell us a bit about them, their blog, and why others should follow them.
The first commenter was Kate Crimmons. Kate, Anne, Peggy or Barbara are usually my first commenters of the day. That day it was Kate. Kate has four cats, all rescues, named Morgan, Gracie, Sasha, and Gus. Kate posts three times per week about various funny topics, but her Friday posts are always about her cats.  

What keeps you blogging after all this time?
I enjoy writing, taking pictures, and interacting with others in the comments on my posts and my comments on their posts.

Liked this post? Check out other popular posts on my blog:

Read previous Blogger Spotlights below:

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50 thoughts on “July Blogger Spotlight

  1. Thank you so much for asking me to do this interview Jen. If we we were sitting down, face-to-face, I’d have talked your ear off. Brevity is not my strong point! You picked the best portions out of the info I gave you and have given me my 15 minutes of fame. Thanks again. – Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, I am so glad you liked it! I am always nervous before publishing these interviews as I always want to do the interviewee justice! 🙂 So glad everyone is loving this post and getting to know you this way!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh you did do me justice Jen. It was a good interview and comprehensive. It was nice interacting with people about what happened in my life. Only once in my blog did I touch on my father’s defection and how shabbily he treated my mom by stealing their life savings when I did that Mother’s Day post. I think there are more people than we could imagine who had this happen in their family, or knew someone who did. Your followers were very kind and I enjoyed meeting them here in the blogosphere!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. In reading Linda’s story about her dad… it’s almost identical to the one I have about my stepfather and what he did to my mom, my brother, and me. The only differences being that he tried to take my brother from us and he didn’t leave during Christmas. Never thought I’d read about someone going through something similar ❤️ I’m so glad it made her stronger! I totally want to check out her friends blog too… the one about living in the mountains of North Carolina after having lived in NYC. My blog is kinda like that only we moved from Chicago. So many similarities! Thanks for the introduction my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LaShelle – like you, I never knew anyone else who went through an ordeal like this. Friends’ parents either stayed together until one of them passed away, sometimes they divorced, but who does something low like this? Over the years I have just resorted to saying my father died if the subject of a father comes up – it it easier than going through the whole sordid story. I’m sorry you had the worries of your brother maybe being taken away – this complicates the horrid story. At least this was just my mom and me. This happened in 1984 when I was 28 years old. She was 57 and turned 58 six weeks later. My mother knew this tainted my outlook on marriage/relationships and said “look around Linda – not all men behave badly.” I have not budged and feel I am stronger for going through this ordeal. Fellow blogger Anne’s move to the mountains in North Carolina from New York sounds so idyllic to me. Nice meeting you LaShelle.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s so good to meet you too! My WordPress has been glitchy as of late but I’m working on becoming a new follower of yours. I think we have a lot in common and I love the way you write! Looking forward to checking out more and reading more from your friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi LaShelle. I’ve been having problems with WordPress being glitchy too. I went through a period of time where posts would publish, then disappear from Reader a few hours later, or images would disappear from older posts. I am 9 1/2 years into this blog and for me it is a labor of love. It has morphed, thanks to a renewed interest in photography. Originally, I just wrote with no pictures, then added a few, then used stock photos, but in 2015 I got a camera with 12X zoom, then in 2018, I got a DSLR camera with a long lens kit which I use on weekends and because of that, my posts have become picture laden.

        My friend Anne did a series of life spent in England, that she just completed maybe three months ago. Her husband was transferred to England for a few years (forty years before) and she began the series saying she wrote to both families at home and kept copies of all the letters. So she had those letters as a weekly post about their family (two girls and a boy, just a toddler at the time) and living in England. Those posts are in a separate tab if you are interested. The area where she lives is beautiful.

        Liked by 2 people

      • That sounds amazing! I briefly looked at her tabs and browsed her stuff and I’m looking forward to when I have more time to sit and look everything over. Her tabs inspired me though! I think I need to start a “Bloom gallery” of photos of my garden and progress on the greenhouse when we get that up and ready. Love the way her stuff is set up!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think Kim has retooled some of her blog since she started her painting and I think she has an Etsy site. Her last few posts she explained what she was doing as her posts were infrequent.

        I knew you’d like the part about the flowers and she has a YouTube channel. I subscribed a while ago, but have not been there since she last did a post. Kim did a video of a tour of her garden areas. She would make the bouquets of flowers, put them in the roadside stand, along with some eggs, some crafts and it was on the honor system.

        For blogs that have a lot of photos, I like to go right to the site, rather than Reader as the pictures display better in my opinion.

        I’ll see if I can find her YouTube channel and that video and send it in a separate comment.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Here is a video about the cutting garden. She donates flowers from here to a local hospital. They had a bad storm and some damage – I recall that from the post and she mentions it in the video.

        Liked by 2 people

      • WOW! Her garden is SPECTACULAR! Mine is just getting started and I can’t wait to make it even better next year. It’s all a learning process because this is my second year with cut flowers. I’m just elated for the future! Thanks SO much for sharing this with me.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I just did a post about watercolor painting – I took a free class. When I retire I hope to join a group of plein air painters what I’ve met a couple of times and been following them on Facebook. I just did that post a couple of weeks ago. I’m looking forward to retirement and doing some other creative things – I’ve bought some charcoals, pastels and the watercolors and some how-to books, but after I retire as I don’t have time to enjoy that hobby yet.

        Liked by 2 people

      • So I think I read that you write professionally? Is that what you do for a living? And I think that’s really amazing that you like taking classes on watercolor painting cause I haven’t taken any classes but I would really love to!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi LaShelle – no, I don’t write for a living. I have a B.A. in print journalism from Wayne State University (1978). The market was flooded with journalism graduates as lots of people went into investigative reporting after Woodward and Bernstein and the Watergate scandal. They could not even place me in a newspaper internship, so I was put in a public relations agency for the internship. I worked at an ad agency for 18 months, then we lost our major account. All but one of my nine bosses left for other ad agencies. I left and have worked as a legal secretary for 42 years. My boss and I left the law firm in 2003 after we went through a merger and so we went out on our own then. I have worked from home since 2011.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, we worked together at the Firm since 1993, then I worked only for him since 2000. I love working from home – I would not have been able to start the walking regimen otherwise as I don’t start work until 11:00 a.m. so that has been a real plus.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. You are 100% correct Storyteller – it was all in the way it was done. You just don’t do that to someone you were married to for 30+ years, but he did and thought nothing of it. I do not understand the animosity – you want out of a relationship, do it fairly and squarely. I’m glad your folks’ breakup was amicable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t believe I’ve stopped by Linda’s blog before, so thanks for this, Jen! What I like about Linda is that she takes pics as well as writes, and I always appreciate a multi-medium blogger. There seems to be a lot of stories there that tug at the heartstrings, so there’s a lot of exploring to do. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Stuart and thank you for the nice comment on my Mom-n-Me post, one of my favorite posts ever. My blog has really morphed by including my own photos of the walks I take and some memory-filled posts with vintage photos as well. Beginning a walking regimen in 2011, then starting a blog two years later were the best things I’ve ever done for myself. As a person with no family and because I’ve worked from home since 2011, blogging has become a huge part of my life – bloggers have become my family.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You have the most extraordinary blogging friends, Jen. Like you, I always like hearing the backstory of someone’s life. It’s fascinating to learn what we have in common with our fellow bloggers and to read about each other’s passions and motivations.

    I love Linda’s initial comment. “I live alone but I’m not lonely.” I like my time around family and friends, but I also treasure my private time. It’s a rare person who doesn’t get embarrassed, so I found that answer fascinating. As a former teacher who tried to be nurturing to my elementary students, I detested the response of Linda’s teacher. What an awful thing to say to a student!

    I don’t understand how someone can just abandon their family the way Linda’s dad did. I can’t help wondering if he ever regretted that decision.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I had the same thoughts, Pete! I was a very sensitive child so every little slight from anyone of authority or even a peer that I looked up to would have shattered my confidence easily, so that was a bit hard to read about but like I’ve told others on here, Linda’s resilient spirit is what caught my attention when I was first introduced to her!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your nice comments petespringerauthor. I like to know people’s backstory when meeting them, whether in person, or here in the blogosphere and to learn what makes them tick.

    I like my alone time, something many people do not understand. I live alone, have no family and have worked from home since 2011. I was laid off due to the recession, then my mom became ill and passed away and my boss hired me back but part-time, so I asked to work from home, long before it was a way of life for some due to Covid. It is just my boss and me and I’ve not seen him for almost a decade. My daily walks are sacred to me – I enjoy leaving the house with my mind a blank slate. I love interacting with nature and I’d rather be feeding and talking to the squirrels and birds than re-hashing the current events with other walkers. Like you I treasure that alone time.

    My father was transferred to the States from Ford in Oakville, Ontario to Ford of Woodhaven, Michigan. I was ten years old. My sixth grade teacher made me stand up in front of the class and read and he and my classmates would laugh at my Canadian accent and Oxford English precise pronunciation. That continued into middle school (grades 7-9) and those years included the teacher I mentioned in the interview. I had some wonderful teachers in elementary school at E.A. Orr in Oakville and there is a Facebook forum for that school where I have met other classmates from the early 60s and we do reminisce about those great teachers.

    My mother and I wondered if he regretted his decision and decided he didn’t. A friend of mine is into genealogy and recently learned he lives in a tiny town in Germany, has remarried – he is not technically divorced.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is the best thing we do for ourselves – get out and clear the head of cobwebs and get exercise. The first year (2011) I just walked and recorded my miles at year end, but I’d only walked from Labor Day through the end of the year and we had a mild Winter so I got a lot of walking in. The next year I knew I could do better with more months to walk. I was under 1,000 miles a year and a Canadian blogger challenged me to walk 2,020 km for the brand-spanking-new decade 2020. I said it was 1,255 miles and a lot more miles than I was used to, but took the challenge. With climate change it has been more difficult. I went back to adding just one more mile to my goal – if I go over, the rest is gravy.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I enjoyed this interview! Thank you, Jen. And thank you, Linda. I can’t believe a teacher would allow students to laugh at a new student and her accent. Yes, I’m a teacher. Linda, you are an inspiration.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Thank you for your comment Jennie. You as a teacher, as well as a person, are appalled at this behavior – thank you. No one did anything. I didn’t tell my parents as I thought it would cause more problems. Yes, this was a terrible time for me, just ten years old and the teacher mocking me and the class laughing at how I was speaking – very bad example.

    Liked by 1 person

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