I believe that "less is more" when it comes to decorating, and I also subscribe to that philosophy when it comes to my blog design. I prefer an "uncluttered" look, which I think makes it load faster and also makes it easier to read — but that's just my personal opinion.
I don't have a lot of "widgets" on my sidebar, but there is one I have that I really enjoy, and that's the "Live Traffic Feed" by Feedjit.com. The "Live Traffic Feed" not only lets me know when visitors arrive on my blog, but it also tells me where they are in the world.
It never ceases to amaze me how far-reaching the Internet is ... and how powerful it is that it allows someone literally on the other side of the world to find my Southern Lagniappe blog, and read about my little corner of the world here in Vicksburg, Mississippi. That is truly awesome, if you think about it.
I have to admit that I have never heard of some of the faraway places from which my visitors have come — places like Palembang, Solotov, and Basildon — but I am honored that they chose to visit me, and I am especially pleased that some keep coming back again and again.
Today, I would like to acknowledge and thank all of you who visit me here at Southern Lagniappe, but I would especially like to welcome those of you who come from places on the other side of the world. I have made a list of a few of those "faraway places," and have traveled via Google to visit you and to find out a little about your part of the world.
My first stop was at Basildon, Essex, UK.
Located 25.6 miles east of London in the County of Essex (and 4,600 miles from Vicksburg!), Basildon is primarily an industrial center with industries including chemicals, clothing, printing, and automotive engineering.
Just a "hop, skip, and a jump" away from Basildon, is Hannover, Niedersachsen (4,900 miles from Vicksburg).
Hannover is a major city in northern Germany, and the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony. It is known around the world for hosting expositions and fairs of international significance.
From Germany, my make-believe travels took me to Saratov, in southern Russia.
Saratov, located approximately 450 miles south of Moscow (and 6,000 miles from Vicksburg), is a major port on the Volga River, and is one of the most important and largest cultural and scientific centers in Russia.
Then on to Morocco in northern Africa, home to the western Sahara Desert (and approximately 4,600 miles from Vicksburg) ...
And 8,200 miles away from Vicksburg, to New Delhi, the capital of India ...
Then "down south" to Brazil — the largest country in South America, and the world's fifth largest country (4,900 miles from Vicksburg).
Next, I traveled even further south, 8,644 miles from Vicksburg, to Brisbane, Queensland.
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian State of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia.
While I was in Australia, I stopped by Melbourne, Victoria, often referred to as the "cultural capital of Australia." It is the capital of the State of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia.
Whew — talk about "globe hopping!" One of my visitors was 10,302 miles from Vicksburg, in Jakarta, Indonesia! Jakarta is located on the coast of Java, and is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. The country's economic, cultural, and political center, Jakarta is the 12th largest city in the world.
Another visitor was only 270 miles from Jakarta, in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra Province of Indonesia. Palembang also has the honor of being the oldest city in Indonesia.
Nine thousand, six hundred miles north of Palembang is home to another one of my "faraway" visitors — the city of Toronto, the largest city in Canada, and the provincial capital of Ontario.
Toronto is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, just 1,001 miles from Vicksburg, "as the crow flies."
Oh, how wonderful it would be to visit all of these places for real, and capture them with my camera instead of just places on a map.
But, as a result of my imaginary travels, I do feel a little closer to my visitors from afar, and hope they will see this story and take the time to say 'hello' next time they visit Southern Lagniappe.
I would like to close with the lyrics from a song performed by Vince Gill, and usually associated with Christmastime. It is called, Let There Be Peace on Earth*, and I think this verse eloquently conveys the message I was trying to get across in my story today:
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father,
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
*Written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller in 1955