Yesterday was my second anniversary (blogiversary?) here at Hoarded Ordinaries: yes, it’s been two years and a day since I posted my first tentative blog entry on December 27, 2003.

This past year has been an eventful one in my blog-life, with me making many face-to-face connections with bloggers whose lives I’ve read: Beth and Ivy in Peterborough, NH in January; two overlapping bands of bloggers in New York City in February and Cambridge, MA in May; Leslee, Rachel, and Andi (now Soen Joon!) in Northampton, MA in April; Fred and Tsuga in Floyd County, VA in July; and that girl in New York City in October. Yes, it’s been a wide-roaming year here at Hoarded Ordinaries…and that’s not counting summer trips to see Gary in Findlay, OH or my aunt in Washington, DC.

When I first started Hoarded Ordinaries two years and a day ago, I envisioned myself writing a place blog that would focus on the human and natural history of my adopted home here in Keene, NH. Looking back over those two years and a day, I see my place blog is movable, focusing on Keene when I’m here and other places when I’m not.

In the spirit of last year’s first blogiversary post, here are my five favorite posts from 2005, listed in order of appearance.

Keep Out, January 23, 2005. I wrote a post about the boundaries bloggers do or don’t place around their personal lives…and what resulted was a lively comment exchange on the question of how much self-disclosure is too much. What I find interesting in retrospect is how Hoarded Ordinaries quickly morphed from being a “place blog” into being a “kinda place, kinda personal, kinda literary blog.” I’m still unsure how to categorize HO…but since I’m still here blogging two years and a day after starting, I must be doing something right, categories be damned.

Conspicuous Projection, February 5, 2005. Of my various posts on consumer culture featuing reflective shots of Yours Truly, this one from the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, NH is my favorite (with my March 15th post on Ikea being a close second). I’m particularly fond of the blind reflective shots I captured on an assortment of shiny household items in the mall’s Target store as well as a fuzzy picture of a photogenic baby in a nearby portrait studio.

The art of possibility, February 20, 2005. This post (along with the companion piece Why not “yes”?) summarizes in word and image a whirlwind trip to New York City to see the Gates in Central Park with a merry band of blog-buds. It was a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience seeing installation art with “virtual strangers” turned friends, and I cherish these two cyber-souvenirs because of that.

Aftershock, April 7, 2005. Illustrated with more reflective shots, this post checked my emotional pulse six months after my divorce. Try as I might to insist that HO is nothing more than a place blog, some of my favorite posts are intimately personal. So sue me.

Hunger, April 17, 2005. When I wrote this post about my lean and hungry years in Boston using an image of the Irish Famine Memorial as a central metaphor, I had no idea the essay would garner such positive comments. In my mind, this was another self-centered musing about time and place…but now that I re-visit it as a reader, I can see why it resonated.

I’m not sure what it says that my five favorite posts from 2005 come from the first four months of the year. Perhaps those first four months were a particularly fertile time for my writerly imagination, or perhaps these “older” posts seem more seasoned and properly ripened than relatively newer ones. In recent months, I’ve suspected the obligations of a particularly weighty semester interfered with my ability to devote the kind of attention I feel good writing demands: at times over recent months, I’ve felt I’ve had too many days where a hurriedly posted picture substituted for “real” writing. But maybe 2005 isn’t yet seasoned and ripe enough for me to be a real judge. Maybe I have to wait another two years and a day to tell how resonant my words and accompanying images truly are.