Writing April 6, 2023 3 Comments

Blogger Bob is Back

Greetings blog readers, Bob blog readers, or Bob Blog Binge Readers, all of whom at times, I’m sure, feel overwhelmed in trying to keep up with their favorite blogs, news feeds, Op-ed pieces, and an online mountain of way too much information and visual garbage. My promise to you, if you have a look at my humble offerings, is the same promise I made to all my kids over twenty-two years as a school librarian: I will not be boring! And if such an occurrence strikes, and I am called on it, a million dollars will be doled out to you, or at least a free ticket.

Laugh you might, but there is no way to gauge the number of kids and parents of kids who have told me years later, those freebees remained on their fridge longer than any card form Grandma. And how at the time, they never could have guessed, I would be enriching their kids way beyond what any school had promised them.

As much as I hate to use the same intro image I’ve used in the past, it seems chillingly apropos. Not quite as chilling as when Jack Nicolson’s character, Jack Torrance said, “here’s Johnny,” but on the same scale, for those who remember and wet themselves watching the Shinning. What’s so new this time that has forced me into something I’ve tried to avoid like the plague? I am terrible at writing when it forces me to write to a deadline, but for this endeavor, I am told, if I want consistent readership—as much as those who are enticed to read about Lume products, https://youtu.be/aXaGYaE5EFs (another blog post to look forward to)—I must be consistent.

But why now?

Life. Twenty-five years of life: travel, teaching overseas, and killer adventures, with an overwhelming desire to share thoughts about what it’s been like to repatriate—a term overseas workers know well, and usually dread—in other words, what it’s like to come home to place you barely recognize.  Rip van Winkle slept for twenty years and missed the American Revolution. We were gone for twenty-three years, 1998-2021, so just think what we missed. That’s why so many who work overseas, daring once again to reenter their old lives, last a very short time before shipping out again.

It happened to us in 2016, our first return. Trump had just been elected. Four year later—the longest we had ever lived in the same place during our married life—we were gone, no longer able to recognize the country we used to call home. It’s not that we’d lived our lives under a rock. We read the news, and as librarians, provided up to date periodicals to our overseas communities and kids. We knew what was going on in the US. But there was no way we could possibly measure how it would feel and the impact it would have on us by actually being here.

Our hands were forced when the pandemic struck. Most importantly, a close family member was dying of Alzheimer’s, and we needed to be home for him and our family, and we so greatly missed sharing the love of family and friends.

Over the past two years, I have chronicled these travel years into a memoir entitled Jump. It has been a labor of love, and pain, and reconciliation, and so much more, and to be truthful, another of the reasons to start sharing the lives we led and what inspired me to write it all down. With only a few more months before the book launches, as a way to gain as much interest as possible, my revitalized website, contain the blog, and is the best way for me to reach out. www.vagabondlibrarian.com
No agent, and no publisher will touch an untested author’s memoir these days unless they are famous or infamous, or get damn lucky. Due to the ease with which one can get something published these days, it seems as if every third person is also writing their life story.

I plan to broadcast each blog post’s contents to my other social media as well, commenting on our life overseas, and what we found when we returned home. I also plan to ruminate, as Susan Stamberg once did on her NPR program, “All Things Considered.” I have so much stuff in my head I can’t begin to limit myself to what may seem a self-serving marketing scheme to sell books. I don’t plan to get rich, go on tour, or get carpel tunnel from signing too many autographs. But for any who share a love of travel, an interest of overseas work or education, school libraries, or need a guide to some exciting adventures—of your two favorite librarians—Jump may be the next entertaining read next to your bed.


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  • Susan Stronach
    April 8, 2023

    Wow! Can’t wait to read the next post! Keep ‘em coming!

  • Bob Jonas
    April 12, 2023

    Yes it will, Karen

  • Johann Peters
    April 14, 2023

    Nice one Bob!

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