Meet Karen Eidson from FabGrandma
Blogger: Karen Eidson
Blog Name: Fabgrandma.com
How’d you get started blogging?
I got started blogging because my son, who is in the Air Force, was stationed in England and met his wife over there. I wanted to have a way for my new daughter-in-law to “meet” our family and get to know us before she moved to the States with him. I think I wrote three posts about family before I started writing about where my husband and I were camping/living at that time. It was much easier to write about my daily life than it was to write about family, so that is what I did.
What do you love most about blogging?
The community. The comments that I get from people who don’t know me, who keep coming back to read what I have to say. That is what keeps me going and wanting to write again another day. I love that people seem to care about what I write, especially the personal posts. I love that when I was in the hospital last year, I received over a hundred pieces of mail (real, snail mail) from people I have never met in person. The hospital volunteer who delivered my mail every day asked me, “Who are you? Are you famous?” because no one in that hospital had ever gotten so much mail.
What’s the worst part about blogging?
Deadlines. Definitely the deadlines. When I accept too many reviews or sponsored posts and I have to juggle the calendar to get them all scheduled, then I have to write more than I wanted or had planned to just to get everything done. It becomes too much like a J.O.B. ~shudder~
Why do you blog?
Why do I blog? Why do I blog? Because the blank page is a challenge. Because catching the words out of the air is like going on a butterfly safari. Because I am narcissistic. Because if I don’t who will? Hell, Andrew, I don’t know why I blog, only that I must.
Does your family read your blog?
My father-in-law reads my blog. He is 84 years old, and the sweetest guy on earth besides Fabgrandpa. He reads my blog, and he never leaves comments. But when I see him in person he discusses things I have written and tells me what he thinks of what I write. And if I don’t write for several days, he calls me to see if I am OK. Other family members read my blog as well. I know my daughters do, and my sister. But if anyone else does I don’t know about it.
How has blogging affected your life?
Since I started blogging, I have a camera attached to my body at all times. I photograph more things than I ever have in my life before blogging. I think about every new thing that happens in my life in terms of whether or not it would make a good blog post. I get withdrawal symptoms when I am away from the internet or my smartphone for any length of time. UPS and FedEx Delivery guys have become my best friends. And I dream about writing. I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts racing through my head of things to write down. Yes, I think I have blogger brain.
Have you met other bloggers in person?
I have met several other bloggers in person. I actually knew Geogypsy before she started blogging. I was (still am) her mentor and helped her get started blogging. I have met several other RV bloggers, and it was like I had known them all my life. They all had at least one thing in common with me, and that was that they were fulltime RV-ers and lived to write about it.
Last week I met my first Mommy Bloggers in person at an event held by a sponsor. That was awkward for me. Everyone there was either pregnant or had a baby. Except me. I was the oldest person in the room. Even though it was awkward, it was fun, and most of them knew ME by my blog. That was exciting for me.
Are you known as the “Cool Grandma”?
Hahaha, the first time I held each and every one of my grandchildren, I snuggled them close to me and whispered in their ear, “I am your FAVORITE grandmother.” I indoctrinate them at a very young age, so that they are always glad to see me. Really, though, I don’t have to do that, because they find out pretty quick that I AM the best grandmother they could have. I bake cookies, I give them ice cream and grapes, and I get on the floor and play with them. And I don’t tell on them if they do something Mommy and Daddy don’t let them do. And I lived in a camper. How much cooler can you get than that?
You traveled with your husband in an RV for years. What was that like?
Oh, gosh, where to start. Yes, we lived full time in an RV for 13 years. We tell everyone we meet who is even remotely interested in doing it, “You have to LIKE the person you are with. LOVE has nothing to do with it.” You are in a space of less than 400 square feet for most of your waking moments, so being able to get along is a prerequisite of living that life. We know lots of people who got divorced the first year into living in an RV because they found out pretty quick that they did not like each other.
A lot of people who live that lifestyle travel every couple of days, constantly moving. We chose to get jobs at campgrounds and resorts, so that we were living and working in one spot from 6-10 months out of the year. That was the “season” of wherever we happened to be. On the off season, we found places like state parks or national forest service campgrounds to volunteer, and all the volunteer gigs included a free full hook up campsite. It was a win win situation for us and for the places where we volunteered.
So, in our situation, we moved from one place to another twice each year. It worked for us. We were able to go to places we had always wanted to go, live there for longer than a two week vacation, explore the area, eat where the locals ate, see all the sites, and enjoy our time there while we were there. We have friends all over the country now that have kept in touch with us. Priceless!
What’s the most embarrassing post you’ve ever written?
Ugh, you would ask that question. It has to be this one. I was new to the Grand Canyon, and new to hiking. I was IN UNIFORM and went on this hike, ran out of water, and had to ask other hikers for water. I was very embarrassed by it but I learned a lot about hiker safety that day.
I also wrote this one. It IS embarrassing, but someone had to do it. I get at least 25 hits a week on THAT post, which lets me know that other women are looking for the same information. And I still get comments on it.
If you could have anyone in the world (living or dead) write a guest post for your blog, who would it be?
I would pick Maya Angelou, because she is a terrific writer . She endured a lot of trials in her live and came out on top. She is able to express herself so eloquently.
Or, I would pic Hillary Clinton, because I admire her. She is one tough cookie. We might not agree on politics, but she held her head high when Bill was being grilled for his indiscretions.
Or, I would pick Harrison Ford, but only if he was required to write in my living room.
Or, I would pick Stephen Colbert, well, because he is Stephen Colbert.
As a daddy blogger, I’m in a minority group of bloggers. While you’re part of the big mommy blogger group, you’re also one of the privileged few in the Grandma Blogger group. Do you know any other Grandma Bloggers and any advice for wannabes?
I really don’t classify myself as a Mommy Blogger. My children are all grown and moved out of the house. I wish that the term Grandma Blogger would get to be more known, and that we as a demographic would be more respected by the media, public relations, and advertising personnel. As grandparents, we (well, most of us) have more money to spend on “wants” and are usually eager to spend it on our grandkids.
I know a lot of Grandma Bloggers. Henrietta from A Hen’s Nest; Kim from Resourceful Blogger; Lisa from Grandma’s Briefs; and Susan from About.com Grandparents are just a few that come to mind. There are many, many grandparents with blogs these days.
Advice for wannabes? Want to be a blogger? Start. Don’t just think about it, do it. Every person has something to say. Every person has their own topics they know something about. Writing about what you know, in your own voice and in your own style, will insure that you succeed at what you want to do. Don’t be afraid of writing the same way you talk. Be yourself.