Rutledge has had to ‘cut his loss” too….or in this case his ‘locks.’ As you can tell it was just as stressful for him as it was for John and me with the blog this past week. (First haircut….18 months)
But I digress…let me start at the very beginning…a very good place to start.
Last Wednesday, November 19, started out as any other day…among other things… it was the 151st anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address …a model speech for brevity…so let me see if I can explain what happened to the blog in the same fashion. (Or as FDR always said, “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”
Since I am already ‘seated‘ at my computer…I will explain sincerely what happened (minus an editorial comment…as tempting as it is) as briefly as possible.
Last Wednesday I checked on the blog post to make sure it was up and going (like I do every day)…and then started reading some comments on it that had trickled in…they were all quite nice…a great day was unfolding.
And then…I saw an email from a company representative that I didn’t recognize. The more I read….the tighter the knot in my stomach became. I was being accused of infringing on a copyrighted photo I had obtained off the internet concerning an historical ‘marker’ known to all of us. I was directed to remove it immediately from my blog and pay a substantial fine…at least substantial to a retired teacher right before the holidays living on social security and retirement…or there would be a lawsuit.
The worst part of the situation was that my beloved son-in-law, John, who helped me start up Chapelofhopestories (almost five years ago) was considered legally responsible…even though it was my photo faux pas.
Tommy and Kaitlyn were immediately summoned and after lots of research…it was deemed best to follow the instructions and chalk it up to a lesson learned (expensive lesson learned)… even though I was totally unaware this picture was copyrighted.
( One of my old Erskine rules from our freshman handbook came back to mind …”Ignorance is no excuse.”)
The entire blog was closed down …(John is in the process of saving it for me in a private archival ‘folder’ -which, as you can imagine, will take days or weeks.) So basically…think of Chapel of Hope Stories now as Part II…a brand new day. We just couldn’t take a chance on something like this inadvertently happening again….our nerves couldn’t take it.
I have been left with a ‘healthy’ amount of paranoia (except it doesn’t feel healthy…just stressful) and stories of hope that will never be read or available from past months and years dating back to 2010 . That hurt more than the fine…red puffy eyes moments.
It will take awhile to regain a sense of carefree abandonment in my creative blog writings without the feeling that someone out there… some where… is looking over my shoulder. But I am also determined that I will not let one email change me from the person I am.
When I talked with Honey last night…she agreed with my decision to keep moving ahead and sent me this beautiful token of friendship contained in this touching message.
My heart has ached all night . I just am so sad that someone has tried to steal your joy and the joy you give away each day. I don’t understand but there must be a reason. Keep your spirit!
We all have pictures we can share and I know they add to your creative flair. But Becky, it is really all about the message you give us of hope and love. The wonderful pictures of you and your garden and wonderful family are what I always look forward to and enjoy.
I love you so much,
So here we are…on November 25, 2014…starting out with a clean slate with all new stories to tell. (With God by my side assuring me that ‘It will be all right’… and encouraging me to move forward and leave the past in the past for now)
Like Rutledge’s first hair “cut” experience…(he went from tears of sorrow to smiles of sheer joy… -later the same day…-when he met Santa Claus… symbolizing happiness, generosity and surprises)… I know that there are smiles, peals of laughter, happiness, surprises and a circle of giving and receiving still out there for all of us to share in the stories ahead.
And my new motto now is: (As Honey so eloquently hinted)
“Ain’t Nobody Gonna Steal My Joy!”
It is time to ‘walk the talk’ about letting go...I am letting go of the past and forging ahead with hope for the future…My hope is that all of you will continue to join me on my journey.
I want to stop and thank all the angels God sent me to get through this unexpected bump in the road 1) John...what would I do without you?) 2) Tommy and Kaitlyn rushing to my rescue with legal advice 3) The Ya’s showing up just at the right moment to comfort me and make me laugh again 4) All you faithful readers who emailed me and asked (just not about the status of the blog)…but about my well-being… concerned an on-going health issue might have emerged once again.)
My family and friends...and God’s Hand has gotten me through this…I am the most blessed of women. (And even James Taylor assured me last Friday night…”You’ve got a friend.”)
Tomorrow’s story has to do with a special number that happened to coincide with the “incident” last week..a wonderful God’s Wink. The Ya’s were here to experience it with me. A poignant story and lesson in God’s mysteries.
So until tomorrow…I love you.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
* Speaking of James Taylor-I owe him one. I danced through the entire concert Friday night waving my bandaged hand to the music. When I got to physical therapy yesterday my therapist asked what I did with my hand and arm over the long weekend… it had shrunk remarkably smaller…she thought we had an official “break-through” in the treatments…and might get fitted for the glove much sooner than originally thought…the miracle of James!
Welcome back…with a bang, Becky! I really missed reading ur blogs in the past week… Very glad to read how the Almighty God led you through those trials and now has given you a new hope of sharing your joy to all of us readers… May His Grace be with you always… Cheers!
Thank you Ambika…have missed you too and was so sorry I couldn’t explain to we had unraveled the legal entanglement!
How truly sad that one insertion of a picture unknowingly “copyrighted” caused you so much stress and worry. Thank goodness you had Tommy and Kaitlyn to assist in this matter. I cannot help but agree with Honey in saying “Ain’t nobody gonna steal your joy!” And, also agreeing with Honey, I know your posted pictures of your family and garden, the Ya’s – photos YOU take – add a lot to the blogs and while the pix you choose from within the “World Wide Web” also add to the blogs – and they DO – it’s your personal pix that appeal the most. At least to this follower. It’s really, really sad that someone would “attack” you in such a manner without knowing the story behind your blogs and that there was no “malice aforethought” in your posting of HIS picture. We ARE a litigious society, sadly.
Welcome back! Loved today – your explanation was welcome; I was one who was afraid the problem was with your health. Glad that’s not the case! Know that you’re loved truly by many, many people who love your blog; I read it every single morning after my little daily readings from Forward Day by Day. That’s MY start to my day and I missed you! I hope John’s able to salvage your previous blogs. Carry on! Breathe deeply, smile, breathe, and place one foot in front of the other, one at a time. You WILL survive!! (“I am woman, hear me roar!”)
Sis….Wow…you nailed the incident to a “t”….your presence in my life with your support and optimism has helped me so much along my journey…please know that.
That’s my girl! Thank the good Lord our Becky is back and better than ever!!!
With lots of love to the greatest storyteller in the universe,honey
Thank you Honey for your encouragement and support throughout all of this!
What a relief to see you back with your stories o
Of strength, hope, courage, and love.
My mornings have been empty without you.
I am so sorry you had to experience this
blatant example of human exploitation and greed.
I love you and welcome back, my friend❤️
I have missed all of you and the fun comraderie from the blog back and forth….glad to be back!
I’m still trying to receive your blog on my email, but you know me and computers. Becky, I wrote you a long dissertation on my feelings about this since I felt like a Mother hen whose child had been hurt, but decided to trash it and just say, “You have touched so many lives with your stories, and you may never know all the good you have done.” I truly wish the person who felt it necessary to hurt you would take time to read some of your stories, and he/she/they would probably understand what a truly good person you are and the wonderful spirit you share every day. Thank you for continuing to spread your love, joy and inspiration.
Jo…I love having you for a mother hen…I needed one the past few days…but I got angels instead in all shapes and forms…you, my dear, have always been my mentoring angel…and we will just rise above it…sticking together to take on the money-makers.