Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reflections of a Challenge

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is over, and as you can see by the new badge I am proudly displaying on my sidebar (picture that being my chest and it is a medal, will ya?) I am finished with a capital "F"! Now you know this girl likes writing "to do" lists, then crossing them off when I accomplish the tasks. Not only did I cross off each letter, I also crumpled up the yellow legal-sized piece of paper and tossed it in the garbage. Boy did that feel good when I was done!

When I stumbled upon the challenge, I thought long and hard if I wanted to get involved. I have been slowing down on my posts and have even contemplated dropping out of the blogging sphere. I started blogging when my husband and I began our life on the road - traveling in our RV - or as we like to call it, our "candominium". But once we got off of the road, I was posting less and less.

I saw the challenge and thought, "I wonder if we've traveled to places that began with every letter of the alphabet?" So, first task. I wrote the alphabet down on a piece of paper. Next I searched through our countless files of photos on the computer. I wrote down the name of the place corresponding to the letter and the date of the pictures, and would come back later to choose which pictures I would use. Right off the bat I had 24/26 letters. I thought, "I could do this!"

Not only did this challenge push me to write six posts a week, but it also brought back such wonderful memories. The experiences were only from the past eight years, but we've been to so many places that I forgot some of them! It made me realize how lucky my husband, Jim, and I were to be able to just take off and travel across the country and see so much.

Believe me, I didn't know I was lucky at the time. When my husband suggested that we sell our home, get rid of everything or store our things and hit the road, I looked at him as if he had grown two heads. But my husband is a charmer. I still recall sitting at the bottom of the steps in the foyer, crying, while he took a chainsaw to my dresser because it didn't fit down the stairs. (True, it was kind of falling apart, but still.) I thought it was symbolic of what he was doing to my heart by dragging me on the road. My family was appalled that one of their own was leaving the "nest", so to speak. I'm Italian, what can I say?

But, back to the challenge. It was fun, it was hard work, and a feeling of great accomplishment when I finished.

Thanks to Arlee Bird, the founder of  Blogging from A-Z

Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out

and the hosts this year

Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Tina Downey at Life is Good
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse
Matthew MacNish at The QQQE
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small
Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs

Livia Peterson at Leave it to Livia
L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick’s Tips
Nicole at The Madlab Post


Gail said...

A fantastic job in the doing too.

JoJo said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your tour around the USA and my fiance' & I talked more and more about how we'd love to do this someday. Maybe not for several years at once, but for a few months every year, definitely.

in the coop said...

Jumping in during the challenge like I did, I had no idea of the circumstances in which your travels began. My goodness, how scary that must have been! I'm so glad you did the challenge. It gave me many great ideas of places to visit.

Lynda said...

I think this might be the first time I knew of your emotions before beginning your travels. You are a good wife though for "going along" with your husband's dream. I know you had lots of fun many days though - - - and some really hard days, too - - -like traveling through some rough weather. Your posts have been a blessing to us - - and even if you slow down on blogging a LOT, I hope you don't quit.
As you can see, I only get to it about once a week. There is a file on my computer where I put ideas I might want to use in a post. Otherwise, I get to the end of the week and wonder what I should write.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You did a fantastic job! I hope it gave you a jump-start to keep on are just as funny and talented even if you're not on the road you know!

(It is definitely easier to come up with blog-fodder when you're seeing new stuff every day though...I'm in the same space there and I understand.) Still I often think that it's my blog that keeps me sane, so I'll keep it up for a while anyway, I hope.

Anyway great job on the A to Z. Keep it up!

Brian Miller said...

it was pretty cool seeing all the places that you have travelled...i am still envious of your adventures a bit..hey i remember when you decided to come off the road...smiles...hard to believe how long we have been reading each other eh? smiles.

DesertHen said...

I really enjoyed seeing and hearing about all of the places you have been. My in-laws sold their place and hit the road in 1994 and traveled the USA in their big diesel pusher! They would always winter in Arizona and finally "landed" in Lake Havasu in 1999, where they bought a home, but continued to travel in the "rig" until my mother-in-law had a stroke in 2006. My parents also traveled the US in their motorhome, but didn't give up their home. I hope you will continue to share photos from your trips as well as memories of those trips.

DeniseinVA said...

Pat I think you are marvelous! Congratulations too. My hubby is going to be retiring soon and we intend to hit the road for a while. I don't think we'll be getting an RV yet but we do have a dresser (an old one) that I can see we will be taking a chainsaw to as we start getting rid of and downsize our home. I'm glad you have gotten back into blogging with this challenge. We've all enjoyed it so much. Have a great week and happy blogging :)

Kate OMara said...

Congratulations on finishing A to Z! Visiting, Following & Inviting you to my blog. Looking forward to 2014

Valerie said...

You did marvellously well on all counts, Pat, and the blogging public benefited from your travels as well as the A-Z challenge. I couldn't have done either. Well done, girl.

Jackie/Jake said...

Oh I am the one who could sell it all and just travel. We just spent our first winter away from home for 5 months and I loved it. Already planning where to go next!

Snowflake said...

I really enjoyed your A-Z challenge and the posts you did for each letter. What a great way for you to look back at the wonderful travel days you had. Please don't quit blogging! Although I don't comment much I read every one of your posts and not having that will leave a major hole in my reading!!!

EvalinaMaria said...

Mission accomplished, well done!
Evalina, This and that...

DeniseinVA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

We LOVE Michigan...everything about Michigan, especially the U.P.