Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quick Update and some Blogging Thoughts

After a very nice meal and visit with the couple who had bought much of our audio equipment, we spent one more day in Dallas and then drove to Shreveport Louisiana. A short 220 miles on a sunny day. We are settled in at the Tall Pines KOA for the next five days. It is an average KOA, clean, level pads, pool etc. for almost rice the price of the older park we were at in Texas. But it was easy to find and had good recommendations.

We will be doing tourists things for the next few days. The weather has gotten just a tiny bit cooler.

Thoughts about blogging:
One of the blogs we read every day is The Bayfield Bunch, as much for Al's down-to-earth words as for his wonderful images. He has written about what he considers interesting or not about other blogs. He often makes me think about what I write.

I ask myself why I write a blog.  He encourages other bloggers to write about what they think, and not just what they are doing. Sometimes I do, but most of the time if I write a post about what I think, I keep it as a draft, ask myself if it will offend or influence anyone in any way, and then delete it. Unfortunately I'm not as good at deleting my comments on other people's blogs for the same reasons. Oh well, I think comments are more like conversation.  I offend people all of the time with my big mouth.  :)  When I write a blog post I have time to think before I push the publish button. Most of the time I realize I cannot change what other people think if I disagree with them, so it is only an aggravation to try.

For me keeping a blog has several functions. 
  • It's a personal log which I can look back on in the future. Where we go and where we stay are keystones to my memories. 
  • It's a letter to my friends and family. Instead of sending dozens of postcards, I post the pictures and tell the story of where we are and where we are going.
  • It's a way I can share what we are learning about living in an RV full-time. I know I learned a great deal from reading the blog posts of other RVers. They helped me make up my mind about doing this, and prepared me for both better and worse days.
  • When I write a post and keep it in draft form, the blog becomes a place to vent or just to mull over things that bother me.
I cannot control who reads or follows my blog. I wouldn't know how to if I wanted to. I know there are some who I will never meet, and probably some who I will never know read it at all. But there are a few that I write for.
  • My son and daughter. I want them to know where we are and what we're doing. I read my son's blog to keep up on what he is doing. I have to rely on weekly phone calls from my daughter, but that works too.
  • My sister-in-law and her 90+ year old mother-in-law that lives with her. She reads the blog aloud to Grandma Flora, which helps her to remember her own travels and adventures from long ago.
  • My brothers and their wives. We don't talk on the phone very often, but the blog is a way of reaching out to them.
  • My daughter's in-laws in New Zealand. I hear they enjoy hearing about what we are doing.
  • Friends from the Los Gatos Mountains. 
  • And many members of the RV community.
Why do you blog?  Why do you read mine?


  1. I've read each and every entry you've written and enjoy reading your blog, and your son's, also. When my husband was alive, we enjoyed travelling, and hoped to one day RV. Needing much surgery, I haven't even been able to consider travelling (RV or not!), but enjoy reading travel blogs. Thank you for writing. Blessings... Lynn p.s. I write a blog called: Life with Lynnie. I set it up originally, to become a travel blog, but God used it in a different way. Also, I wrote a book entitled, LOVE NEVER FAILS YOU...

  2. I started out blogging to let my Dad know what we were doing and where we were. After he died I did some serious thinking about blogging and decided that my memory just isn't good enough to remember all the fantastic places we've been and the experiences we've had. So I don't often blog about what I think. Just not my style for sharing all that. I blog about what we've been doing and that works for me.

  3. I've used my own blog as a reference point back in time from time to time as well.
    Our life is pretty much back to a "normal" routine these days (whatever the heck "normal" is) so I sometimes sit on the fence when it comes to whether I want to add some more drivel to the internet. Of course, fence sitting can hurt too.
    Keep doing your thing. And if you offend someone, who cares!
    When someone actually says something like, "Well! I'm not going to follow you anymore." because you spoke the truth as you see it? Then they can bloody well piss off, as far as I'm concerned.
    Have fun.

  4. I rarely miss reading one of your posts. I like reading about where you've been, but also about your experience and thoughts. It is a bit like having a one sided conversation, and I've enjoyed getting to know you.

    I started writing mine to practice my writing skills, and also to keep in touch with friends and family far and wide. It is like a postcard :-)

    I tend to write about what I feel, and sometimes my experiences with living with mental illness.

    I print mine out every year so that I have a hard-copy book to enjoy in the future.

  5. I think it is possible to become virtual "friends" and so I have an interest in what you are doing. I understand about the comment thing...I do it too but if someone just wants everyone to agree with them then what is the point? I think people take blogging waaaay too seriously...if it is not fun then why do it?

  6. There’s no “one size fits all” for bloggers – everyone has their own style, reasons and pattern of blogging. There are niche blogs for those who want to delve deeply into “feelings and thoughts” as per Dr. Phil but I’ve found in the RV Community anyway that most bloggers are happy to discuss their travels and daily activities. It’s a record not only for them but for their families.

    Sandie probably spoke for many bloggers in her comment saying “Just not my style for sharing all that.” Like you, I’ve read some of Al’s blogs where he says he likes bloggers to talk about how they feel or what they think. But, he seems to have a real problem with bloggers who write about their day or life being “awesome or happy”. He claims he’s realistic and those bloggers are not. How does he know? How does anyone know?

    As bloggers we don’t have judges and our juries are those who read our posts. No blogger gets to dictate what’s good, normal or worthwhile.

    Why do I blog? For fun, mostly but who really cares? I think it’s a self-serving question that usually results in self-serving answers.

    I agree with the previous comment that sometimes folks take blogging waaaay too seriously.

  7. I started reading your blog when you were dreaming about hiking in the state parks. It was fun to experience the process of shopping and eventually choosing your Alfa motorhome - very interesting for us because we bought our Alfa See Ya in 2003. Now it is fun to read about some of the places we have visited.

  8. I've read you since you were in Camp Driveway last year and take delight in reading about your adventures now that you are free. It reminds me to be patient during our own waiting time. I blog to capture the journey and have already referred back when trying to remember an event just in the past year.
    Poor Rick just can't help but critique Al's blog :-).

  9. I read your blog because I want to know what you're up to, Merikay. I won't be following in your footsteps... RVing is not for me, but I love reading about where you are and what you're doing.

    As for my own blogging, that's closer to venting than anything else. And yeah, I choose to vent publicly.

    Really, though, I need to get a site going for my sculpture again, and blog about that. One of these days!

  10. In response to Jodee’s comment all I can say is “I call ‘em as I see ‘em”! Just expressing my ‘thoughts and feelings’ as you are, Jodee.

    My more important point is that “thoughts and feelings” do not always have to be about bad or negative issues, they can be positive too. That is why I expressed my opinion about Al’s critiques of bloggers who he says write about their happy, enjoyable and often trouble free days thus presenting what he calls an “unrealistic” picture. I mentioned Al because he’s the only blogger I know of who seems to be bothered by such stories.

    As far as I’m concerned if bloggers want to write about their awesomely wonderful days and lives then that’s just fine – it’s no reason to be critical of them if that’s how they feel.

  11. Rick made some good points.

    Certainly thoughts and feeling do not have to be negative. One of the things I use my blog for is to remind myself about the good things in life - I try to find something positive, even if I'm depressed. It is like a Grace journal and is good for mental health!
    I think maybe some of the differences in bloggers is because of gender. I've often noticed that men tend to talk about non-personal things (think trucks, politics), while women talk more about their feelings and personal experiences. Just eavesdrop at the next gathering you are at! Not saying this is always the case, nor that there is anything wrong with it.

    It is wonderful that we are all different :-)

  12. I have read your blog, like the others, from pretty much day one. We were all going through the same things at the same time. Selling houses, purging our belongings, etc.
    I started our blog as a written journey of our progress with pictures. Something that I can look back on, and something to keep our friends and family updated as to our whereabouts. I'm sure I haven't always blogged all the ups and downs, but there are quite a few truths in our blog, whether they are happy or sad or grumpy times :)

  13. I lurked on your (and many others) blog for a long time, most of the blogs I follow I've gone back and read all of the old posts.

    I first decided to blog so my folks in particular could follow our travels. Some friends from our S&B days have read it to see what we are up to but just as important it has allowed us to become friends with others in the rv community. So our blog has become a travel diary for us, of our adventures good and bad. I don't blog everyday, especially when sitting still for extended periods, I write when we do something we've experienced, for the most part I don't put emotional feelings or day to day thoughts in it.

    We all blog the way that's right for each of us, it is our choice to read the blogs we read. Keep on doing what you're doing.

  14. I started reading your blog last fall when we decided to full time RV. I held my breath for you during your home sale situation and was glad that it turned out well for you. I felt guilty about the fact that we listed our house on Friday evening and by Saturday afternoon had a full price cash offer that closed with no issue. I blog to keep our children, grandchildren and friends in the loop as to where we are and what we are seeing. And for our own personal record. We have been fortunate that all has gone well so I haven't had any reason to blog about negative situations much. Mainly blown away about the beauty around us. Who knows, as time goes on I may add more feelings into it.

  15. I have been reading your blog for awhile. We originally started to blog so we could let our friends follow along on our journey, plus so we could help our memory down the road. We try to avoid the situation that Rick Doyle frequently finds himself in :-)

  16. keep writing and we will keep reading..we all blog for different reasons..sometimes it is just 'journal of our travels' and sometimes it can be about our thoughts, albeit good or bad..

  17. Merikay....enjoy your blog as you bring your own perspective to your travel prep and now your new full-time life. I blog to keep a record for myself of what I have been doing, pictures of what I have done and seen, and because some family, friends, and other bloggers have let me know that they enjoy it. I follow a lot of other blogs because I enjoy them as well. They show me places I may never go or show those places to me with a different viewpoint. You can even get a laugh out of those bloggers who are obviously trying to "start something" just to get their own ratings up. They claim to not care about such things but it is so obvious. Keep up the good posting Merikay.

  18. I have been reading your blog for a long time even back when you were in the wondering and what if stage long before getting the motor home. I use my blog to keep in touch with our many friends and family, and as a venue to showcase my photography. I used to be very active in the amateur photography circle but have given that up since full timing. Many of my readers are getting on and can't travel any more but still enjoy seeing where we've been. I've never done daily blogging on an extended basis, just when there is lots to share. I try to not get too negative, thinking back to the line in the old Disney movie "if you can't say something nice, better not say anything". I keep a daily journal for my personal life and will sometimes copy and paste from it to create my post. I read an eclectic mix of blogs, often based on the daily title when I spot them on someone's sidebar. John

  19. I've been sharing personal thoughts and observations via the internet for some time now, since back when they used to be called 'homepages' and you had to make individual html pages and upload each individually. The word 'blog' wasn't really in use yet, and there certainly weren't any sites like this to help you do it.

    Honestly, as important as it is that we have a convenient way for our friends and loved ones to know what we're doing, for me, I blog primarily to satisfy my own need to be creative. Sure, I think about who is going to read. I'm happy Merikay is my #1 reader! That's icing on the cake though. The cake itself is the satisfaction I get from the process itself. I love writing. I love making music and videos. I enjoy the creative outlet the blog gives me.

  20. I started out writing a blog to help us remember things we did and places we went. Actually, before the days of blogger, I wrote a journal and included pictures.

    As the blog progressed, I discovered other blogs and got to "know" other bloggers. When I first realized that some of these bloggers were my friends was when Roger and Margie were killed. That really upset me and that was when I realized these people I have never met were actually my friends. I think that was when we became "friends" too.

    I liked when you used to put your thoughts and feelings on your blog. I noticed sometime back that you quit doing that and I missed those thoughts and feelings when you were on the verge of becoming fulltimers.

    I don't like to offend anyone either, which is why I keep my political thoughts to myself. I hate the name calling I see on some blogs, and I do not comment.

    I do feel that it's up to the writer what they choose to write about, and it's up to me what I choose to read.

    I like your blog, and the only suggestion I could make it to write more often and post more pictures!

  21. Loved your thoughts on blogging. I tend to get bored with blogs that just are a tourist overview. I want to get to know the person writing the blog. I want to have some common interests. I want to read about them being imperfect/human. I specifically try to segment my blog into subtitles, so if a reader is not into "crafts", they can just skip over it. Or if they don't want to read my "Pet Peeve", just skip over to the next subject. I enjoy that you do write what's inside your head and not just what is happening around you.


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