Thank You for Reading

I am thankful.

This is a post about this blog.

At Thanksgiving, in a lot of families, a blessing is performed before the turkey comes on in its golden, crispy glory. The blessing consists of going around the table with every guest sharing some thing they are especially grateful for. On the occasions I’ve taken part in this ritual, I’ve sometimes had to squelch the urge to say something slightly comical or snarky. I don’t know why, perhaps because the whole thing seemed so self serious. Real thanks seem quieter, more internal, perhaps.

Now, with a few days before us until we’ll be stuffed with stuffing, with a clear head, I want to be serious.

I am grateful, deeply grateful, to those of you who read this blog.

When people ask what my site is all about, I say different things. It’s called Blog Cabin, and it’s about living in a circa 1800 home in a thoroughly modern world, and the time travel that allows for. Sometimes I call it a personal magazine. A diary. A cultural commentary. It’s about the past as a living, breathing entity. All about history and art and nature and literature… An author blog, as I have one novel about to come out and one just in the rearview.

What it really is, is playtime. Writing books, of course, is hard work. (If you’re doing it right.) Writing this blog has given me a chance to dabble in the things that absorb me in my book writing life, but on a more finite scale, with pleasure at the foremost – yes, history and art and nature and literature and… a pogo stick championship?


It was hot July and the contestants soared. You could taste the adrenaline.

Writing for you has given me a reason to go on adventures that you might not take, even if you had the chance. Or perhaps you would, like my search for an infant saguaro cactus at a botanical garden in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a beaming guide, but you couldn’t get there that day.


I’ve taken myself to a Victorian waltz class and tea.


To a Broadway disco-play, and to a euphoria-inducing Brahms recital. And to a dramatic dance performance en plein air, at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.


I’ve plumbed the depths of the 20-something psyche, because I have a young adult close to my heart. Instagramming is their life.


They’re fascinating animals, as are husbands, and mine hitchhikes along with me from time to time.

As are dogs. Mine is inscrutable, but adds flavor to the mix.


And writers.  I’ve loved writing about Gertrude Stein.


I’ve shared many favorite recipes, like the one for Marcella Hazan’s braised pork in milk.

Observed motorcycle pirates on the loose in NYC. With some history about pirates intertwined, of course.


A rowdy pig festival in upstate New York.


Explored a local farm on an enchanted evening, just as dusk fell.


Learned about the power of graffiti at the late, great 5Pointz. Got my leg cast tagged there, too.


And witnessed the unlikely beauties of slime mold in a pristine nature preserve.


It’s been my pleasure to gather these treasures and offer them to you, and your great generosity has been receiving them from me. So thank you. I’m looking forward to many more adventures.


Filed under Art, Cooking, Culture, Dance, Dogs, Fashion, Fiction, History, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Music, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Publishing, Savage Girl, The Orphanmaster, Writers, Writing

11 responses to “Thank You for Reading

  1. Thanks for reading my stuff, my blog and books both. I really appreciate it and I’d love to hear your response when my new book Savage Girl comes out in March.


    Oh, no! The shoe will be on the other foot? Oh, no… another painful lesson to be learned! You will be brave, and you will take our breath away with your ruminations. Whatever. I’ll return to my reading now. 🙂

  3. Kristin W.

    Jean – thank you, for your blog. I discovered your writing when I received an ARC of “The Orphanmaster” which I loved. Followed by “Love, Fiercely” which read like a novel, I am looking forward to your next work. Your blog, as others have mentioned, allowed me a glimpse of another world which some days is as remote and exotic to me as the Gilded Age. Thank you!

  4. I’m going to hibernate quite soon as I get surgery on my other foot. But hopefully I’ll have some mental adventures worth recording here. I’m looking for guest-bloggers to helps me out! If you’d be interested fb me or email me. I would love you to.

  5. You’re so nice. Adventures are what you make them, I find. I also wonder what I’ll do next, and sometimes I surprise myself.

  6. Thank you so much. When I put in the links I always think of you.

  7. Jennifer

    When I started reading, Jean, I thought I would be thankful to read about someone even more of a homebody than I am and expected your blog to convey all the goings-on from the vantage point of your front porch. Then every time I ventured out to go to a museum, I’d feel do accomplished compared to my friend in her log cabin. But even when you were hobbled by foot surgery and ambulating in a contraption resembling those devices I’ve seen injured dogs in the park maneuver around on, you managed to see, write and think about so much more than I did. If I was young and insecure, and I’m not that combo anymore, we know, I would not be thankful for all this. But it’s been such a pleasure to have you out and about and reporting back each day. So thank you, Jean! All the same, I hope the frenetic activity of the past few weeks was just a prelude to a groundhog style semi-hibernation. Although I am no longer young and insecure, at least one of those adjectives still applies.

  8. Come by for dessert on Thanksgiving eve so we can raise a toast.

  9. lkcr

    I am also thankful for your blog. It is amazing to me that we have come so far in the world of information. And now it is possible for me to make comments on something being currently written (this blog) by a well known author (you), and then have you respond! This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, truly it does. I feel like I matter. I feel like my adventures, tho not on a blog, are also valid because yours are. You inspire me to go out and find something interesting in the world.
    I may even start a blog about it.
    Nonetheless, I won’t stop reading your blog! I keep wondering what you will post next, and I am never disappointed.


    Your blog is a daily pleasure for me, Jean; though I’ve only rarely visited NYC and its Near North (is that a term?), I’ve followed bits and pieces of its happenings over the years (quite a few decades), and your blog teaches me something every day. You always include a clickable link or two, which I almost always click, finding even more fascination. Thanks for writing every day, informing me about some of the nuances of your career, and for piquing my interest without fail. I’m thankful for that, sincerely thankful.

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