Castle Gate

Everything has a beginning and, well, this is the beginning of Van Castle. Today is the first post of what I hope will be many over the years to come. The Queen and I hope to share our life, experiences, and family here, so those interested can keep up if they want.

Van Castle is a place where we can write and remember. As we are getting older, we find ourselves more and more often looking back at pictures and asking ourselves, “What was going on here?” There are times, we just can’t remember anymore, even with a picture to look at.

We could write these things in a private area, but it would take away the ability for other family members to check in and see what is going on. It also takes away some of the fun. Experiences, in my opinion, are better when shared with others, and beyond the initial experience, the memory lives in it’s being retold.

We used to share quite a few of our moments, and memories on Facebook, but social media has become all but a waste of time to me. It’s a place where people share news stories, political agendas, and other peoples great quotes and photos. Anything of value or substance typically gets ignored. There is little or no story told on many of the postings, half the time you can’t tell what is real, and in the end, finding and revisiting those postings is an awful experience. Have you ever tried finding a post on Facebook you’re interested in looking at again? It’s horrible.

Facebook decides what it thinks are your important moments, and reminds you of only those. It’s great for the quick little quip you want to post, but likely never need to recall. On the other hand, blogs have search features, and the posts don’t hop around based on the latest activity. They hold their post order, resulting in the ability to go back and easily read chronologically if a person chooses.

As the content on Facebook grows, or any social media, the endless miles of scroll bar continues. A blog allows us to eventually organize our events into groups, tag them to kids, hobbies, or time periods, and categorize them any way we see fit.

As we create posts, I’m certain we will continue to share them on social media. In fact we’ve created pages at both Facebook, and Pinterest people can like/follow in order to get updates. But in the end the only thing we will look back to for memories, is our blog. It could, perhaps, be called a journal.

While I personally write in several locations on the web about topics ranging from faith, to technology, to my ongoing love of the trucking industry, here my topics will remain close to home. In addition, I hope by starting Van Castle, it encourages my wife to share her invaluable insight on some things in our life. She loves to scrapbook, but just doesn’t have time for it. Hopefully by preserving memories, funny quotes, and wonderful times with our children, and each other, coupled with pictures, she will later be able to sit down and scrapbook many wonderful albums full of family history for our kids to carry on.

But why Van Castle, you might ask. Where did that name come from?

Funny enough it came about because of some friends. We needed a domain that we could point to some specific resources, and in talking to a friend I found the name of their site to be creative. I stole the idea from Mike at Engel Manor (psst… He knows.) Except Van Manor, or any form of that, sounded ridiculous. Add to this the fact that we’re trying to defend against the loss of memories, and one of our hobbies as a family is building castles in Minecraft, and it didn’t take long for us to come up with this.

When we came up with the name a blog wasn’t part of the idea. We were going to dead end the web page, and use the url for our other needs, not even concerned with a website, we registered the url. As talk about the url reoccurred over dinners, and moments of silence around the house (you know, the 45 seconds of silence between when the kids and the Queen fall asleep) we started to realize that doing a family blog might be fun, and serve as a way to get some of our stories documented for later. Thus, the blog was born.

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