RSS

Tag Archives: blogging

A Little Late …

I’ve never been good at accepting accolades. They’ve come at times in the past … at work, at church, as a volunteer with a few charitable organizations, etc.  

A good portion of my uneasiness his had to do with unrealistic expectations I put on myself. After all, how can you accept kudos for doing what you are supposed to be doing in the first place? Whatever you do, you are supposed to excel. It’s expected!

The other part of my reluctance has had to do with guilt, and what someone sees when they look at themselves in the mirror. If you’re of a mind that none of the good you do will make up for all your shortcomings and mistakes, then you’re always fighting the urge to say, “Yeah, but …,” when someone acknowledges something good you’ve done.

Quite honestly, I thought I had come to terms with all that stuff. After all, I’m finally happy and at peace. I’m enjoying the time Frank and I have spent on the road way more than I ever expected to. And I’m grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to touch other people’s lives.

So I was pretty surprised by the anxiety that came to the surface a couple of months ago by a comment that was left on our blog … something that came completely out of the blue!

In the time since, I’ve struggled to make a few blog posts. I guess it’s sort of like what happens when a batter, who has been in a groove, suddenly starts thinking too much. He starts second-guessing pitches, or worrying about whether he’s dropping his shoulder, or bringing his hips out too early. And all of a sudden, the hits aren’t coming anymore.

In any event, I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks in meditation. I’ve even brought the old workbooks out and have spent time back doing some writing therapy. Funny thing though … I was working on the wrong thing! Instead of focusing on getting back in the groove, I should have been working on my manners!

In the middle of this morning’s meditation, a sudden realization interrupted the silence. An epiphany! “Dude! How rude!”

Yes … I’ve been rude to someone who went out of their way to acknowledge our blog. Irrespective of groove, or blog updates, or whatever, that needs to be addressed.  NOW!!! So …

bloggerrecognitionaward

Back in June, “Frank and Jeff – Two Old Vagabonds” was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award. My manners to the contrary, I’m shocked and humbled by this recognition. Quite frankly, I’m just happy people have decided to follow along on our little journey! I never really expected anyone to actually like our story!

What is the Blogger Recognition Award?

Here are the rules;

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give some pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

The Thanks

Our nomination came by way of vagabonds-to-be Kelley and Michael. They made the decision a while ago to follow their dream of traveling around North America in an RV. In between shake-out trips here and there, they’ve been working on renovating and selling their home; downsizing their stuff; and planning their Adventure. So far so good – they are on target for lift off at the end of this month.

They’ve been chronicling all of their preparations at 2heartsand2wheels.wordpress.com.  I encourage you to visit their blog and sign on to follow them as they hit the open road!

Kelley and Michael, I’m sorry that it took so long to thank you. I’m touched that you have enjoyed reading about Frank and my travels and look forward to the chance of meeting somewhere on the open road! Thank you for our nomination, from the bottom of my heart!

Brief Story

The vast majority of you know our story. If you don’t, you can learn about where we started, and how far we’ve traveled … in terms of both geography and psyche … by visiting our “About Us” page.

I used to think that I was the brains of this outfit and Frank had the good looks. I’ve since come to realize that he only lets me think I’m the brains. I had help with that from an unexpected source.

A little boy, whose family camped next to us at Myrtle Beach State Park this past spring, probably did the best job explaining my role as it stands today. He had been talking excitedly back at his campsite about playing with Frank that afternoon. His mother noted that he knew Frank’s name, but wanted to know, “ who does Frank live with?”

Oh, he’s just the man that takes care of Frank!”

Yep. That’s me.

New Blogger Advice

If you’ve already decided on a format, great! Stick with it! People aren’t visiting you because of bells and whistles or fancy widgets on your page (unless, of course, your blog is all about bells and whistles and fancy widgets!) Put your energy into telling your story.

Second, work on consistency. Try not to go for long periods of time between posts. For what it’s worth, I’m telling this to myself as much as you. It’s easy to get sidetracked. Don’t let that happen!

Lastly, write from your heart! That doesn’t mean you open up your editor and just start writing free flow. Rambling is never good. Write from your heart … whatever your topic, let the passion you feel for it come through the story. The rest will follow.

My Nominations

https://storyshucker.wordpress.com

I’ve been following Stuart Perkins for. about 3 years now.  In all honesty,  his blog is the standard by which I measure my own storytelling. From tales about his grandmother; to life lessons learned through encounters with everyday people; to stories about his friends and children, Stuart offers a wonderful perspective on finding the extra ordinary in daily life.

Stuart’s blog is one of my “must-reads”! Just seeing a notification that he’s made another post brings a smile to my face and I usually stop what I’m doing to go read whatever wisdom he is imparting.

https://travellingtheworldsolo.com

Ellen is a young Australian midwife who also happens to be a world Traveler. Her goal for 2017 is to report from all seven continents! Her blog includes some great travel stories and the most amazing photography.

https://theblondecoyote.com

As she notes on her “About Me” page, “The Blonde Coyote is my trail name, which I use to sign trail logs and summit registers. Like most good trail names, mine was given to me by a fellow hiker after many long, hard miles. The Blonde Coyote also pays tribute to one of my favorite non-human traveling companions: a deaf coyote-cattledog hybrid named Freckles who was a great ally in my desert wanderings around rural New Mexico.”

Mary has been living the nomadic lifestyle as a correspondent for Earth magazine for over 10 years and has the stories to prove it. Simply put, Mary is doing what I would do if I have the stones and the stamina! LOL

https://rvchickadee.com

Kelly has been on the road for about the same amount of time as Frank and me. She is one of the growing number of young people who have decided not to wait until retirement to see the country … while embracing a lifestyle that’s become known as “minimalism”. If only I would have understood, as she has, what things are important in life when I was her age!

Kelly works in the digital world and is accompanied by her four-legged companions, Trixie and Gizmo. You have any questions about the boondocking lifestyle? Well, odds are Kelly and crew will have an answer for you.


20170808_193612

Our new campsite flag

Frank and I haven’t really done that much since our last post. We’ve hung around the campsite for most of the last couple of weeks.

We’ve taken a couple of trips out to see the ocean. The last one was a little disappointing – a couple of days ago, we drove out to what was advertised on the web as a dog friendly beach. But on arriving after a 1+ hour drive, we discovered that wasn’t the case! So we had to be satisfied with smelling the salt air while sitting in the car for a while.

What we have been doing is getting ready for our trek westward.  On Sunday, we’ll be leaving the East Coast and won’t be back for quite a while. We’ve spent our days taking care of chores.

The Nutshell’s cabin is cleaner than when we arrived. We’ve done some preliminary testing on the power pack for our WiFi device and phone in preparation of a little bit of boondocking this fall. That’s gone pretty well. We’ve replaced the car battery, that was showing signs of dying.

We also had to replace our canopy. As it turns out, we can get about 7 – 8 months use out of one before the constant exposure to the sun weakens the material to the point that it becomes unusable. In setting up at our last campground in Sturbridge, the canopy split wide open along one of the sheaths holding a leg in place. Fortunately, we had a temporary solution until our new canopy was delivered to  our present location.

While we were staying in Maine at the end of June, I picked up a big sheet of thin drop cloth … something like 20’×12’.  With Frank’s supervision, I cut it so that we now have sheeting that covers the opening between the bottom of the canopy and the canopy insert. We no longer have to worry about rain seeping through and on to our camp table.

The leftover portion of drop cloth sure came in handy after that big tear in the overhead. We had enough remaining to simply drape it over the hole and then fasten it down with some clothes pins. It came in handy – we did have rain. What else is new, right?  : o)

Since arriving here, I cut another piece out of the remnantd to cover the opening between the canopy and the top of the Nutshell, where it angles over the door. So Frank and I are now more fully protected from the elements. If only I would have remembered to save the extra insert from the old canopy before tossing it in Sturbridge! That wasn’t very smart. Not one of my better moves!  : o)

This weekend, we will have a short stay in Connecticut with the New England Tearjerker chapter, after which we will immediately depart for Pennsylvania. Our plan is to arrive in Park City, KY on Wednesday, August 16th.

That’s it for now. Look for another post on Monday, our next down day. Over the month-and-a-half, I had two occasions to gain some closure on past chapters in my life, one of which happened last week. They’re worth talking about. Until then …

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2017 in Musings, Travels

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Would You Know to Look?

As you can see from the website address, I’m using WordPress to host my blog. It’s a relatively nice venue for people like me, who feel like sharing a story. It’s not as intuitive a platform as I’d like to have, but I’ve always been a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy. Someone who’s not interested in a lot of bells and whistles. It’s a place to tell my story and that was pretty much all I was looking for. (I’m sure if I were smarter, or more patient, I’d be able to do a lot more in the way of presentation, but that’s a subject for another time!) ;o)

But that’s really not what this post is about. It’s to let you know a little about some of the other interesting bloggers that I’ve run across over the short time I’ve been posting. And therein lies the one big issue I have with WordPress. There’s no easy way for the general public to browse through the site! Unless you’re registered (presumably to create one of your own), the only two ways you’d know about a blog are: 1) if someone invited you to it; or 2) you happened to find it on a search engine when you were researching a certain topic. Oh yeah, there’s a third option: at the bottom of the main WordPress page, there’s a “Freshly Pressed” link that’ll give you a glimpse at some of the most recent blog posts. But that’s all it is – a glimpse!

Once you’re behind the curtain … once you’ve registered with WordPress (presumably to create your own blog) … your browsing options are significantly expanded. Beyond the “Freshly Pressed” feature I mentioned, we bloggers can do a subject search through all the other thousands of blogs being hosted on the WordPress site. I am presuming here, but I think that option’s available to create a sense of “community” amongst all of us bloggers. We can find others who are telling a similar story, follow them, and post on each other’s sites. It’s certainly helped me realize that I’m not alone in wanting to ditch my current life for a different one!

So I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about some of the other people and sites I’ve run across behind the WordPress curtain. They’re telling some wonderful stories, offering up great information and providing some thought-provoking (and quite humorous) insight on everyday life.

By the way, I’ve realized two things about the lifestyle I’ve chosen to follow in a few months. First, I’m not alone – I said that before. There are a number of people who’ve decided to go out on the road and share their story.  None of them are doing it for the reason I’ve decided to, but I guess that’s not really important, is it? Second – most of them are a helluva lot younger than I am!  Not that I’m having second thoughts – I just think I have to do a bit more planning throughout the experience than these other folks have to do.

(A word before I write further – I’m not certain, but the links I’m sharing below might have to be approved by the people included in the following list. Hopefully they allow that to happen.)

Man.Earth.Machine is written by a young guy named Jon, who set out from North Carolina last April and has made it across country while living in the back of his converted Toyota Tacoma. He’s on an adventure and the photos he’s shared are proof of how much he’s enjoying himself. His girlfriend Erin has joined him for his latest trek down the Pacific Coast. I am envious of his passion for life (and his youth)! Few words, lots of great pics.

Ellen shares her travel adventure at “Traveling the World Solo“. She’s a 21-year-old Australian who is a registered midwife and has been to ten countries so far.  She has plans to see “Greenland, Iceland, Eastern Europe and the Middle East” … all in 2015! She’s just returned home from South Africa and has offered up some great stories.

The couple who share their story on a blog named “Corporate Vagabonds:The Adventures of Riley and Misha” have ditched their jobs to engage in a “prolonged adventure across the United States of America”. Riley is a former accountant … hey, who says us number-crunchers aren’t capable of non-conformity? So far, they’ve been up and down the west coast and have shared some great stories.

The Traveling Rabbit is where Tamara posts her travel stories. She ditched her job and went on the road back in April and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest. I especially liked her post “Funny things happen when you don’t have a full length mirror“!

BNomadic is written by a gentleman from India who says he is “a devoted bird-watcher, adventurer and travel enthusiast” who manages “the affairs of a society dedicated to conserve wildlife.” If you’re interested in birding, visit his blog – there are some amazing photos!

If I hadn’t found Kristin’s blog, I might not have discovered a book she included on her summmer reading list – “Vagabonding” by Ralph Potts. Okay, I might have found it, but certainly not this soon! (Potts’ website is now saved in my favorites thanks to her.) Kristin has been out on her journey for three years now and shares her thoughts at “Leave and Explore“. I look forward to reading more of posts.

I really like Lisa’s blog, “Scratching the Itch” … she is a “British 20-something” who travels extensively as a geologist. One thing’s unique about her blog – she engages her visitors by asking a question at the end of each post (and gets some wonderful comments as a result). Amazing photos from across the globe, too.

These are just a few of the folks I’ve found. Please, check them out. I’ve also found some thought-provoking blogs about PTSD, authored by a range of people from therapists to sufferers like me. Frank’s post from yesterday introduced me to some other people who let their pets onto the computer … unless they sneak on like Frank did … to tell stories about their lives (and the humans they put up with). I’m now “following” a number of blogs – I get notified when new posts arrive – and some of those people are now following me! I can only hope to offer up as wonderful a story as they’re sharing!

Now, how would you have been able to find these people if you weren’t registered at WordPress? You probably wouldn’t! You’d be hardpressed to find them on Google … they certainly didn’t come up when I searched “vagabonding”, “ditching corporate life”, “adventure travel,” and the like. I think that’s a shame. And that’s not just vagabonding or travel – there are blogs about everything from coin collecting to moustaches to fashion to astronomy!  If you’ve got an interest, there’s someone else who’s writing a blog about it!

In my opinion, WordPress would be well served if they viewed their services a bit more expansively. Yes, they’re a platform that enables people to tell a story. But they’d do themselves … and their bloggers … a lot more justice if they opened themselves up to become an online library where non-bloggers can be be entertained, amused, educated, amazed and inspired by everyday people sharing their lives. It’d be nice if they opened up the curtain and let other non-bloggers in to find other people who share their interests.  Again, my opinion.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Musings

 

Tags: , ,