Pictured above is a beautiful island. The photographer took this image before a wildfire destroyed much of Maui and all of Lahaina. For days now, I have thought of the people struggling to rebuild their lives. For many, everything before is gone. Everything after needs construction from the ground up.

During the summer of 2020, wildfires did similar damage to an area in Oregon. Many residents lost everything, and those people are still living in motels and apartments while attempting to re-establish their homes. Their before and after seem so similar to our neighbors in the Pacific.

Thinking about these and other disasters in the news from day to day brought to mind the past year as I left my website idle. My post two weeks ago explains my lengthy absence.

Today I want to share with you how difficult my return is. The difficulty has nothing to do with my health or my writing. It all relates to the before and after of my circumstances.

When I closed down my site on August 11, 2022, I had been a WordPress user since 2011. Quick math results in 12 years of blogging. During that time, I don’t recall any big changes in the operation of maintaining my site. At least, nothing I couldn’t learn quickly.

Vintage ABC Blocks | Photo by Susan Holt Simpson on Unsplash

Now, I come back from an entire year of being away. Everything seems about blocks! And these aren’t the cute wooden A-B-C blocks I had as a child.

I remember using a plug-in called Elementor. If I’m correct, it worked something like what I read about the new block methods we have now. Some days my head buzzes, thinking about all I have to learn.

The other day I thought perhaps I should update the appearance of my site. Everything seems so new and shiny when I look at themes. It seems each before theme isn’t a block-based theme. So, will they throw those themes out the window in the future? Does anyone know?

The new and shiny after themes are mostly, if not all, block-based. Oh my, where do I start with these? Is anybody else using one of the block-based themes?

Not as devastating as the wildfires in Maui this fire season, and in Oregon during the 2020 fire season, these WordPress issues are only a part of my before and afterOn August 11, 2022, I left here with my site neat and tidy. Upon my return, everything feels topsy-turvy.

I’m hopeful my outlook improves as I engage in watching/listening/reading tutorials about “blocks” and how to work with them. I much prefer wooden blocks to play with, but if it’s blocks to contain words, images, and more, I suppose I can adapt!

How about you? Are these changes easily learned? Do you have any suggestions for this great-grandma? I’ll take whatever you want to share in the comments below.

Happy block building,