Wednesday, June 13, 2018

STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS OF DECISION

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A welcome cool front rolled in over night leaving us with a low cloud bank and light fog along Lake Huron's shoreline.  Not exactly an inspiring morning but I loaded Pheebs up and we headed out anyway.  Southeast of Bayfield I noticed the cloud cover was down to about a hundred feet off the ground and with the overcast thinning the day began to slowly brighten up.  As did I.

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THIS MORNINGS CLOUD COVER WAS SITTING ATOP THE AREAS WIND TURBINES 2 MILES INLAND

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We did get us a walk in over near Kerr's Campground south of Varna before the clouds dispersed allowing sunlight through to crank up the humidity.  It was time to head for home and immerse myself in the cooler comfortable air of our A/C house.

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OLD DEAD END ROADS ARE ALWAYS GREAT TO WALK ON

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NOT A GOOD IDEA TO BE DOWNWIND FROM DUSTY FARM MACHINERY

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OH SO THAT’S WHERE WE LEFT THE JEEP

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KEEP IT GOING PHEEBS ONLY A FEW MORE STEPS

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A BIG WATER DRINK AS THE DAY’S HEAT AND HUMIDITY SETTLE IN

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KERR’S CAMPGROUND POND

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This may be my last post for awhile folks.  I've been struggling with this since we returned home early last March and even before that.  I'm talking about my blog momentum.  I sense interest in the Bayfield Bunch has been dropping for awhile now and I have all but run out of ideas on how to hold reader's interest.  I either need a break or after 12 great blogging years it is time to call it a day and find myself a new hobby.  Not easy letting go of something I have enjoyed so much over the years and I have the blog's readers to thank for that enjoyment.  Don't know what exactly I am going to do but do know I have to make some decisions about all this. 

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When I first started blogging on Microsoft's 'My Space' back in 2004 my focus was on a form of record keeping mixed with a diary format. I had periodically written diaries and kept track of things in my life through the written word for years before that.  My earliest record keeping writings go back to the early 60'and my creative writing efforts as far back as the mid 50's and public school.  When I discovered the computer world's 'Blogger' format in 2006 my efforts took a big leap forward as I grabbed onto the coattails of a fascinating new hobby.  Combined with the advent of digital photography and photo editing in the late 90's I was able to combine my writing and photography with my third great hobby of RV traveling which began in earnest by the Fall of 2006.  With my blog slowly gaining in popularity back then it began to evolve and after a number of years my focus began to shift.   I was no longer writing it just for me.  Through countless kind emails, comments, and personal contact with a number of readers I began to realize my blog was reaching out through the ethers of cyberspace to touch folks in a helpful, positive, and entertaining way.  Hard for me to understand how my blog could do that but there it was in the many comments, emails, and readers visits. 

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I believe it was about this time where my blog's focus changed and I began writing and taking photos more for the readers than myself.  It was no longer just me and if it had remained just me I would have lost interest in it years ago.  No, it was the readers I mainly wrote for and each day it was a challenge to creatively come up with something of interest and something a wee bit different from the day before all the time worrying about being too repetitive.  A huge challenge to say the least but it was that challenge I enjoyed the most.  By focusing my priority on the readers and not myself it kept my mind sharp every day trying to think of new things, new photos, and new topics to blog about.  Gave me a reason to get up every morning and see what I could do by the end of that day to bring some kind of entertaining enjoyment, knowledge, or enlightenment to the readers of my blog.  A way of paying back all the folks who through there encouragement had given me a purpose to get up in the first place.  I have been so fortunate these past dozen years to not only be an unexpected help to others but through my inner writings to be a help to myself as well.  However nothing remains the same forever so I stand at a crossroads now trying to decide which way to go, what to change, and where do I want to be.

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GROANER'S CORNER:((  A big game hunter goes on safari with his wife and his mother-in-law. One morning, the wife wakes up to find her mother gone. Immediately, she awakens up her husband and they both set off to find the old woman.Suddenly, they break into a clearing and there's the mother-in-law, standing face-to-face with a ferocious lion!  "Quick, darling," the wife shouts frantically, "Do something!" "Oh, no," the husband says, "That lion got himself into this mess. Let him get himself out!"

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62 comments:

  1. You need to do what is best for you,All. For what it's worth, until I read your post each evening my day is not complete. I have read and enjoyed your very word you wrote and every photo for the last four years.It's hard for me to leave comments, I had hoped you had a stat counter to let you see how many followers you have.Your blog matters to me,but your doing what will keep you happy matters more.Sincerely, Mary

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  2. Believe me I understand your quandry Al, I have found keeping my own blog going has been a challenge.

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  3. Would certainly miss your blog should you decide to go that way but you have to do what is right for you.

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  4. Like so many others, we'd miss your daily blogs Al. Your "at home" blogs are interesting, especially since we have good friends in Clinton, love the local references. Of course you need to do what feels right for you though.

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  5. Oh dear. I just got started and have enjoyed you and your photos so much, but I really understand that "all good things must come to an end," so I must have a resigned acceptance. You have such a dear to keep your blog going so long for your readers. Thank you.

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  6. Might be time to give the daily blog a break and enjoy life with Kelly and Pheebes just for what it is each day. We readers will understand.

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  7. I've only been blogging since 2010 but your feelings echo mine. I still keep a hard backed paper journal so the blog is really for keeping contact with the wonderful people I've met and having a way to search for things more easily than trying to remember which journal it might be in. Your photography, wherever you are, is a delight to all who read you. I'm sorry to hear you need AC but it makes me feel a little better about the ridiculous June temperatures in Virginia this up coming week. If it's hot in Canada, how can I complain?

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  8. No drop in interest over here. Maybe let Pheebs write the blog for a while from the pups view. Anyway I understand and support your feelings. The OFM only writes when he has something to say with no other schedule nowadays. It would be just fine with me if you just publish when you feel like you want to share something with us instead of feeling like it has to be every day. Good luck and have tooooo much fun.

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  9. Even though you are in one place, I think your blog is as interesting as ever, Al. Hope you keep at it. :)

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  10. Al, take a break, relax and do whatever your gut tells you to do. We will always be thankful for the years that you wrote your blog. I started reading it several years before we retired and because of all of the info that you passed on, it really helped us get started snowbirding. Thanks so much. Hope our paths cross again some day.
    Christopher

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  11. I enjoy your photography very much, it is an inspiration. And, your blog is always one of the best I read. I did a little blogging, patterning my blog after yours. My blogging was more for my mom than myself or the world out there. But, I did get a lot of page views after you added it to your sidebar. My feeble blog has disappeared into the cybertrash, but your blog will never go that way. Take care Al and family. All the best.

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  12. Another follower who’s day wasn’t complete until your blog had been read.. i’ll Miss your blog but I do understandđŸ˜¢

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  13. Al, your blog is a bright spot in a dark world----from my point of view! You know what I am talking about. It seems as if all has gone amok since 2016. I sure would miss looking forward to knowing what is going on In your world. And your photos are beyond fantastic. I get it that you want to feel free of the burden of catering to a post every day. You have certainly earned peace. But sure do hope we don't get closed out of your life altogether. Always wondering how things are with you.....
    Whatever you do, you have been a dear friend. Thank you.

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  14. For what it is worth, I read your blog regularly but have not commented much these days. I now write mostly for my myself, as I did did in the start in 2006. I still use my blog as a memory jogger and that works for me. You will, I am sure, do what works for you:)

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  15. We have been reading your ramblings for years.. and I still do..My own blog " Rolling Earthquake " stopped 2 years ago. I can relate to your feelings..You might try once a week blogs for awhile..However you decide you need to know that a lot of people love your words.

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  16. Jim and I understand your position. I journalized for years and one day got to where you are today. We would miss your blog and wondered if periodically posting would inspire you to share exciting or changing times in your lives. Otherwise we always enjoyed our times with you and Kelly. We still talk about our jeep trips. Kelly is on Facebook so we're hoping to keep in touch. Stay "cool" with whatever decision you make. :-)

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  17. Al, your post today started an avalanche of comments. You've spoiled all your followers with daily posts and now we don't want you to stop.
    Your photography is fantastic, your writing is witty and your Groaners Corner is funny. However, if you are tired of keeping up this work, we understand. Do not think you have to write a diary and make it a job or chore you have to fulfil every day. Write whenever you feel like it, when you have nice pictures to show or you want to tell about your outings, trips, experiences and share those whenever. We will still appreciate them. Promise. All the best!

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  18. A daily must be very hard, how about try a weekly for a while see if that brings back the excitement and the enjoyment you have creating your post. Always enjoy your posts.

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  19. Al of course you must do what is best for you but I know my evening just won't be the same without reading your blog. Your photos are fabulous and I just love your dog. If you do take a break I hope you post now & again. We will all be interested in your winter plans for 2019.
    Take care and thank for many a chuckle reading "The Bayfield Bunch"

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  20. Does that mean I got to have my coffee and muffin without you in the morning RATS
    Along with the sad news I guess my day just got a little darker Miss you you old fart

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  21. I'm another reader who doesn't comment, but who saves your blog entry as my final treat for every evening. You must do what feels right for you, but I continue to enjoy your daily ramblings and fantastic photos.

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  22. Perhaps just ease off a little and post whenever the feeling strikes you a little harder than usual. No use stressing over trying to come up with something new every day. I'm like you in that my blog is my primary display for my photography but I'm not nearly as chatty as you are, I often don't have much text in my blog. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  23. I always felt it must be difficult for bloggers to keep it up, day after day, seldom wavering in blogging commitment. Well, perhaps commitment is not the right word, but I can sense it must feel like that. Of course you must be at a crossroads, and of course, you must feel you've reached the last of your creative energies. I'm sorry to see you contemplating ending this. It's been a vicariously wonderful journey for me and lots of other folks. If you must stop, well, it's understandable. Just know that you will be missed, mightily.Thanks for all the years you've shared your life.

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  24. Yours is the first blog I check every evening. Do what you have to do for yourself. We will keep checking and enjoy any posts you do decide to write.

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  25. Well ... all good things slowly die away ... I've been following you for several years. I've enjoyed each and every blog post and always looked forward to settling in for the evening and awaiting the latest. But I do understand and hope you pop back in on the scene every now and then to let us know how you and Kelly are doing.

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  26. Agree with the great comments above. All of us will greatly miss hearing of the activities of TBB. Consider lessening the frequency to weekly or 2x per month or whenever you have specific events or photos to share. Skip days you’re rushed or feeling blah. As for the reaction to today’s post...All of us feel as if a family member just informed us he no longer wishes to communicate! Major withdrawal pains, if that happens.
    But we understand. No one wants to feel they are a slave to the demands of a daily column, and many bloggers halt when that realization becomes unshakable.
    You’ll know what’s right if you stop and discover it served a variety of other purposes beyond thrilling your many followers.

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  27. Your blog is a real bright spot in my evening. So look forward to your words, fantastic photos and of course Miss Pheebs and her antics. If blogging everyday is too difficult how about 3 days a week or so. Would really miss your blog and know you will do what is best for you overall. Will keep my fingers crossed.

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  28. Neither my husband nor I comment very often but your blog and wonderful pictures are how we finish off our day. Hopefully you can come to a decision that if good for you and all your followers. Alice & Rudy, Chilliwack, BC

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  29. I so enjoy your photos. Your pictures are just so beautiful. But I understand how it gets after awhile to find something to post. I have really been lax with my blog and I don't have much to write about and I haven't taken pictures in such a long time. Take some time off and see how you feel. As for interest in your blog dropping off I think it happens every now and again. After all now is the time for lots of folks to go on vacations so they aren't connected.

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  30. It was your writings and encouragement that got us involved not only about Blogging about our RV Adventures but in the direction of our Travels. For that we must say Thank You.
    Reader numbers are down at this time of year and by reviewing our Stats it is a typical trend.
    Taking some time away from the Keyboard might be all you need to recharge your creativity. When you are traveling as when we do it is very easy to write about adventures. We will only hope that this is not the end of Travel With The Bayfield Bunch.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    Rick and Kathy

    It's about time.

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  31. Al
    I sure hate to see you give up the Bayfield Bunch.. I enjoy reading it and I really enjoy your photo's. Take a break for a while. I no we all will miss you.
    Pat and Evelyn

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  32. I hope you don't give it up, but if you do, all I can say is thank you!
    Jim

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  33. Do what is best for yourself at this time, but I think you will find that the individual you helped the most with your blog is yourself. You have found meaning and purpose in helping others experience adventure and nature's never ending beauty.

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  34. I have had a blog for the past eight years and understand the "blog fatigue". When I was looking through tonight's blog, I was thinking, maybe to make your blog more about a place to show your awesome pics. You could call it Bayfield Bunch Views, or something like that. You could even cut down to posting less times per week. I can see how you could be tired of the writing part, but I can't imagine you ever stopping taking pics!

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  35. Al, I understand how difficult it is to write an RV travel themed blog when you are not traveling. I hope that you will continue to write and take pictures, maybe there is another focus to transition to. Either way, thanks for the memories!

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  36. I would really miss your blog if you stopped. It has given me a window into the Ontario countryside and Canadians (good people). I love your garden and your photos and Pheebs of course. Maybe a weekly blog? Thanks for all your efforts though if you do decide to call it a day.

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  37. We will be missing your daily posts, always look forward to them, but understand. You need to enjoy a hobby, if it is not fun and becomes a chore time to back off. Like others have said maybe an occasional posting when the mood strikes.
    We have enjoyed your amazing pictures, and wonderful travel tips as well. Hope we will see you on the road again.

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  39. Sometimes the next door can't open till you close the one behind you... I decide to quit blogging a couple times a year...and take a break as well as give readers a break :). Hits alway drop off in the summertime...everyone is busy doing what they should be doing, getting outdoors. Who knows, maybe a new direction/hobby will provide new fodder for blogging...
    gonna miss Al's daily blast tho. Box Canyon Mark

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  40. If you decide to stop "Daily" posts, consider maybe "Weekly" posts please as your blog is read by so many of us.

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  41. Al, I have always loved your blog and photos. I don't know how many years I've been reading but it has been quite a few. Your blog is the first one read by me every morning. You will be missed. Take a break and I will look forward to your return. Max from Illinois.

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  42. Like all of the above commentators, I will greatly miss your daily postings, however, how's the chance of a weekly one? I read a few blogs daily but always have kept yours as the best for the last reading. Blessings to you, Kelly and Pheebs.

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  43. Long time lurker, first comment. You will be missed. But understand the need to take a break.
    Mary

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  44. I will miss your posts but understand where you are coming from. I read you from Feedly so if you ever just want to pop in and post every once in a while that would be nice. You shouldn't feel obligated but just know that we do enjoy your posts. I liked the suggestion that you have Pheebs give us an update every now and again. Thanks for all the hard work and creative energy you have put into your blog over the years!!

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  45. we have followed your blog for many, many years. Always looking forward to it. It is a refreshing view of your life and your going ons. We loved seeing and reading about life. It was wonderful to read about your daily life without looking for praise or pity. You will be missed by thousands but you need to do what is right for you. Much happiness to you, Kelly and of course Pheebs!

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  46. Based on the number of comments, it appears there is still quite a bit of interest in your blog! I love your photos, which inspire me to try and take better pictures myself. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do next.
    Gayle

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  47. Groaners!
    I need groaners!
    :)

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  48. Just know whatever you decide, you still have lots of silent readers that enjoy your blog.

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  49. Why do you think that interest has dropped off? Are you judging that by the number of comments? I believe that your readers are still reading your posts and enjoying them but just not commenting. You need to write your posts for yourself and your enjoyment, comments or not. You said yourself that writing the blog made you get out and take photos which is a good thing. You are a talented photographer and have a wonderful way with words.

    Do what you need to do, take a break for a bit, post weekly or just post here and there. Whatever you decide you will still be read and appreciated. If we don't see you here again please know that you have made a huge impression on Colin and I and all your other readers.

    Good luck with your decision.

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  50. Not surprising to see so many comments on this post. Even when I'm not commenting I enjoy all your posts. but when it starts feeling like a job it's time to rethink it. There are several options and you have to do what makes you happiest. I'm sure if you take a break you'll make the right decision. Take care and be happy. The flowers are wonderful!!!!

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  51. Al, I will miss your post and pictures so much. But enjoy life and do what makes you and your bunch happy!

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  52. I look forward to your post every evening! I don't go to bed until I read it. But, you do what's best. I hope you take a break and pop in to let us know how you both are doing.

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  53. I too don't comment every day--but I look forward to reading your blog daily --the photos are sooo beautiful--and you have some really great camera gear there--soooo--like some others have said--cut down how often you post--if you and Pheebs are out and about and you take some good photos--when you get time and energy--we are here waiting to see them--
    in whatever you decide to do or not do--just know that you are loved and appreciated for all the photos and talks you have shared--
    enjoy yourself--diane
    and we will miss seeing our Pheebs!!!

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  54. Have enjoyed your pictures and adventures in Arizona and have been by your house in Congress a number of times but never wanted to intrude.But your off to new adventures but thanks for sharing your past with me. Besides looking for your pictures I'm always concerned about you and your brides health. Good luck.

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  55. We will miss you, Kelly, Pheebs and all your beautiful pictures! Take care.

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  56. I know we join the group that would miss your blog post terribly!! We read your post but don’t always comment and I know that is wrong. Your photography is beautiful and inspiring! I do understand the burnout but sure hope you reconsider!! In any way...thanks for the memories, they have been appreciated by Mike and I.

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  57. You will be terribly missed, even if we are selfish!
    Maybe try less often..... That would be better than not hearing from
    you and Kelly at all and missing the beautiful pictures too.

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  58. The consensuses is in Al, you will be missed. It has always been a pleasure to read your blog and follow along in the adventures of The Bayfield Bunch. What ever you decide, Pat and I wish you all the best, good health and safe travels.

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  59. Sure wish you wouldn't stop but completely understand if you choose to. Kelly and yourself must come first and while we've enjoyed your posts each day, you must do what is right for the two of you. There is, perhaps, the option of posting just once a week?! You will be missed until we hear from you again... love to Pheebs.

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  60. Good luck on your decision Al. Whatever you decide, make sure it is what YOU want, not what you think we the readers would want. Obviously, we would like you to continue but I fully understand about keeping up with a blog. It is very hard for me to do it when not traveling because I still look at mine as a travel blog, a means to document to my grandchildren what I did during my travels. Good luck. Perhaps look at a weekly blog instead of daily?

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  61. I agree with all...do what feels right for you but know that you, Kelly and Pheebs will be sorely missed. đŸ˜¢

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