“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

~Franklin D. Roosevelt

They call it the White Screen of Death.

The name is a little more frightening than the actual experience, but when I opened my website to write a new blog post a few months ago, an empty white screen is exactly what I found staring back at me. Everything had disappeared.

I quickly submitted a repair ticket to a support company I contact whenever there is a glitch beyond my extremely limited technical knowledge. It turned out that an update I had made was responsible for crashing my site. Once I returned to the original setting, everything was smoothly humming along again.

But to my greater dismay, the older setting was only a symptom of the problem. The lovely theme I’ve been using for the past five-and-a-half years had become woefully out of date, unable to handle the demands of continued updates from WordPress, the platform that runs my site. And as if that wasn’t enough to force me beyond the limits of my comfort zone, I also discovered that the theme’s developer had removed it from the company’s website. It was no longer available, a dinosaur among the ruins in a technological world that moves at lightning speed.

Change was whispering in the wind. I could either dig in my heels and ignore it, or I could embrace it. Five-and-a-half years, it kept telling me. I knew it was time to move on.

I set to work reimagining The Modern Postcard, spending hours perusing an overwhelming selection of theme options, marveling at the abundance of star-spangled possibilities and fancy features. But in my heart, I knew what I really wanted was the same feel and elegant simplicity that the original look offered. An update rather than a remodel. And just as in life itself, when you know what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to find.

Armed with my new theme – and my new outlook – I contacted web designer Ryan McLaughlin, who waved his magic wand and made my vision come to life. The changes are subtle, but better reflect how The Modern Postcard has evolved – a few new photos, an updated Blog page sidebar, an expanded About page. Most exciting to me is the new blog post layout that allows more space for broader columns and larger photos, a format I have long admired.

I hope you enjoy The Modern Postcard’s new look. I think you’ll find it easy to navigate, with menu links visible at the top of the page. The latest blog posts are still featured on the Home page, with links to each piece as well as a link to the entire Blog page. The Destinations and Travel Resources pages are similar as well and will continue to be expanded as I write new posts and discover new resources to share.

The winds of change can sometimes make a haunting sound, especially when we are perfectly fine with the way things are. They swirl in and out of our daily routines, challenging us to examine whatever issue is at hand. I’ve learned that if we ignore their voice, they will surely return, maybe even a little louder than before.

For me, it was a sound I needed to hear. It was time to reevaluate the past and catch up with the future. And I imagine that at some far-off moment when I least expect it, those winds of change will begin to whisper once again.

Windmills near the port. Copenhagen. 2014.

16 Comments

  • Hi Mary,
    Love the new look!
    I am looking forward to reading about your fabulous travel adventures for many years to come!
    Bob

    • Bob, so happy to hear from you! Thanks for the nice feedback about the new look. I hope our travel paths will cross one one of our future adventures!

  • Like the photo in this segment, your blog is like cool water to my soul. What a lovely way to explain what we all go through when changes face us before we’re ready for them. And in your graceful style, you make it all less jarring and more adventuresome. I love this blog!

    • Wow, Judy, you just made my morning! Many thanks for your beautiful thoughts and perspective. It really makes me happy to know that the blog resonates with you. “Cool water to my soul” – love that!

  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein

    Beautiful photo! Love the new look and your perspective!

    • What a wonderful Einstein quote, Ann. I’m definitely adding it to my never-ending collection 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new blog look…I appreciate your insight, as always!

  • I love the new look. I really looked at it in depth for the first time in a while. Your blog posts are all so interesting and well written. And each photo is so carefully chosen and enhances the article so well. I look forward to many more posts. I hope you will get to start traveling again very soon.

    • Marcia, thank you! That really means a lot, coming from your artistic perspective 🙂 I’m happy to know you’ve enjoyed looking back at some of the stories and photos. Herb and I will be heading out next month on our first major trip since the pandemic reared its no-travel head a year-and-a-half ago. I’ll be sharing details here soon…fingers crossed!

  • Thanks, Mary, for reminding us that no matter where we are in life, we need to be open to change. You did well to get through all of the tech challenges with flying colors, and I always look forward to your posts. A side note, I have a friend who has been an artist for pleasure for many years. At 69, she finally decided to try going commercial, having to jump through many hoops to develop her own contact website within a larger online store. I’m loving the 3 pieces I’ve already bought to enhance our small abode. Robin

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Robin. Being open to change is so critical to our continued growth, but it certainly can be a challenge at times!I love the story about your artist friend…a great testament to hoop jumping, indeed!

  • Great new design, Mary! I can only empathise with the “white screen” scenario, which is a horrible thing to happen at any time. Bravo for turning it into an opportunity which resulted in such a lovely outcome. I was glad to see you back – I’ve missed reading your thoughts and look forward to travelling with you again, if only on the page.

  • Great new look. When I was using Blogger, I was able to adjust my column width to a wider one with bigger photos … my preference as well. I wish I had more formatting options with FindPenguins … but at least the simpler format helps me to keep things simpler too (most of the time).

    • Erin, thank you! I really appreciate your feedback on the new design. Your experience with Blogger and FindPenguins offers a wonderful perspective. More options always means more tradeoffs to weigh, doesn’t it?! All the best in your next adventure…I look forward to following along 🙂

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