ApricotPie, my Negligence, and my Apology to you All

James // 5/31/2017

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

It’s been just over six and a half years since Ben felt the need to let Apricot Pie go, because he no longer had the time to manage it and direct it the way he felt it deserved… and then, after I reached out to him and discussed it for a while, he agreed to pass on the management of it to me rather than let it die.

In his initial announcement, Ben said:

"I am more busy(er) than ever before. I am now in graduate school studying Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I am also holding a part-time job in web development. If before I found it difficult to keep up with admitting new members, moderating posts and comments, and reading your writing; now it will be virtually impossible. In all fairness to you and to me, I think it is time to call it quits."

Now, don’t panic… I am not closing Apricot Pie! But I must confess to you that I have been in a place in life for the past few years, where I have been just as busy as Ben was in 2010. I have had very little time or energy to do the things that I ought to do, in particular reading your writing and moderating posts and comments, and in general simply interacting with you all. I have not been fair to you all.

In particular, three and a half years ago I attempted to put standards in place for the content of writing. It didn’t go over well. I know. And looking back on it, I wish I would have done it differently. I saw a need for course correction, but I basically swooped down and did it suddenly, abruptly… and after (understandably) receiving blow-back for it, I only followed-up half-heartedly, and then did very little to clarify things or enforce (I don’t even like using that word) the standards. That left Apricot Pie in a state of ambiguity and confusion. I made it worse by turning a blind eye to things that I knew were wrong to allow, and allowed precedents to become entrenched that I never should have let happen. I did it because it was the easy thing to do.

But that was wrong. I need to apologize to you all for this. I have wronged you all. Even, and in fact, especially to those of you who don’t see things the same way I do… I have wronged you. I am sorry. Please, forgive me.

There is still a matter of “standards” that needs to be addressed… but I did it wrong three years ago. I approached it wrong in more than one way… not just the suddenness of it, and the ambiguity in my follow-up (or lack thereof)... but even the real reason that there should be any standards at all.

I am intending to write a series of letters to you all. I think I will probably title it something like, “Apricot Pie and True North.” In it, I want to be open with you all. Transparent. Vulnerable, even. I want to share with you what is on my heart. And I hope also to resist the chains of perfectionism that so often stop me from writing in a vain attempt to organize my thoughts to my own satisfaction! :)

Oh, there are a lot of things I wish I could do with Apricot Pie, if only I had the time! There are stories I wish I could write, features I wish I could develop (I am a web developer, after all), and most importantly, all the content you write that I wish I had the time to read!

And, I’ll have to be honest… I could make some time to read some of what you write. And I hope to do so going forward.

Before I write my next letter, I would like to just say a simple thank you to you all. Thank you for being a part of this site, for making it what it is, for even wanting to write and share your thoughts in the first place. We’ve been on going for seventeen years now! We’re older than Wikipedia, and we’re certainly older than Facebook! And hopefully we will continue posting on this site for many years to come.

I hope to post my next letter to you all soon.

Your friend,



We are older tham Wikipedia or Facebook?!! Wow!! That's something we can really be proud of...
I definitely don't feel you have wronged any of us - or, maybe I should just speak for myself and say myself - but I appreciate the letter. That must have taken courage! We look forward to the next one. Thank you so much for keeping our site going!

Sarah Bethany | Wed, 05/31/2017

Hi James! Thank you for the

Hi James! Thank you for the update. :) I definitely think part of it was the surprise of it back when the standards were introduced...but again, at least on my account, part of it was simply fourteen y/o indignance. (Was that how long ago they were introduced? I don't know). Regardless, I'm very grateful to still have Apricot Pie...I call it my writing home, because it is. The people here are wonderful, the writing quality...and I really appreciate having this; it's my base. I love that we have a constant dialogue going on between all of us, an equality that thrives regardless of age or experience. It meant a lot to me when I was younger, and I feel like it means even more now, as I sporadically find time to use Apricot Pie. So. Thank you for the update! And also I must say I got excited to hear you mention you're a web developer...I think if the time is right, a lot could be done with the site, although I am quite fond of it as-is! Anyway, thanks again! :)

Madeline | Wed, 05/31/2017

Hi James, It is so good to

Hi James, It is so good to have you pop in again. I totally understand your busyness and sad to say that soon I won't be as frequent either as I enter new stage in life this summer.
Thank you for your humility and this letter was very gracious to all of us.
This website is so special because of all the people here and the writing.

Lucy Anne | Wed, 05/31/2017

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ditto to Sarah Bethany. :) <3

Ditto to Sarah Bethany. :) <3

Damaris Ann | Wed, 05/31/2017

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

James, thank you for keeping

James, thank you for keeping ApricotPie up and running all these years! It's given me an outlet for writing that (prior to finding this place) I didn't even know I needed. And wow, it's pretty awesome that this site is older than Wikipedia . . . :D

Hannah D. | Wed, 05/31/2017

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

I understand James! :)

I understand James! :)

Libby | Wed, 06/21/2017

“The gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation.
Therefore, suffer, yes. Be misunderstood, yes. Be shamed, yes. But do not be ashamed. For the joy set before you, take up your cross, follow Jesus, be shamed and despise the shame!" -- John Piper


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