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October 25, 2016 /

GratiTuesday: Another blogger meet-up

As I wrote about in an earlier post, I have had the special privilege of meeting several of my favorite bloggers face-to-face. Virtual friendships can form in the blogging community as we get to know each other by reading the bits and pieces we share over time. When the opportunity presents itself to actually meet, it is a real treat.

From the moment I “met” Donna via her blog, Retirement Reflections, I knew I liked her. In addition to having several things in common (we are about the same age, retired a few years ago, are active and enjoy traveling, and tend to view life through an optimistic lens), our differences were also interesting to me. For instance, she’s Canadian, a grandmother, and has lived overseas (I’m not, not, and haven’t).

When I learned that Donna, her husband, and dog, Cody would be staying for a month in a desert community not too far from where I live, I jumped at the chance to arrange a meet-up. Fortunately for me she was also interested and, after some back and forth picking a date, we finally managed to meet yesterday for a nice, long lunch.

So, what did we talk about? Blogging, of course!

We both agreed how nice it was to be able to talk about all the ins and outs and ups and downs of blogging with someone who was actually interested. We shared ideas, tips, frustrations, suggestions, and stories. We talked about the many bloggers we follow (were your ears burning yesterday?) and how much we appreciated everyone’s varied focus and writing styles.

We also gave each other encouragement. When I mentioned that I hadn’t been posting as often lately, Donna said that she had noticed and had been missing me (wow!). She is newer to the blogosphere than I am and is still brimming over with ideas. I, on the other hand, sometimes feel that my writing well can get a little dry. Donna helped me realize that I may have a few more things to say before Retirementally Challenged is tossed on the ever-expanding ash heap of long-forgotten blogs.


If you don’t already follow Donna’s blog, I hope you will check it out… and follow… and comment (we both agreed that we love comments and interacting with our readers). It’s well-written, openhearted, and always interesting. After meeting her, I can say that her blog reflects her personality perfectly.

I am so grateful that I, once again, had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger face-to-face. It is so gratifying to be able to transform a two-dimensional writer of a blog I follow into a three-dimensional friend.



Leave a Comment
  1. Terri Webster Schrandt / Oct 25 2016 5:43 pm

    Always love to hear stories of bloggers who get to meet and talk in person! Nothing like it! I have a fellow blogging friend here is Sacramento and we just started getting together on a regular basis to talk about, well…blogging! You and I will have to get together when we come down that way again! Christmas time!

    • / Oct 25 2016 9:48 pm

      I would love to get a group of local bloggers together for a regular meet-up. You can learn so much from each other. And, yes, let’s definitely plan to meet over the holidays.

  2. Liesbet / Oct 25 2016 5:49 pm

    What a nice encounter, Janis. I’ll definitely check out Donna’s blog, and I hope I will get to meet some of my favorite bloggers over time as well. I didn’t feel my ears burning yesterday. 🙂

    “It is so gratifying to be able to transform a two-dimensional writer of a blog I follow into a three-dimensional friend.” With a closing statement like that, I am sure you still have a lot of good writing in you! Let it all out… 🙂

    • / Oct 25 2016 9:55 pm

      Since you move around so often with your house sitting, I would think that meet-ups could be very possible for you… it seems that bloggers are just about everywhere! One of these days, I hope we can too, especially now that you are in California. 🙂

  3. rporter610 / Oct 26 2016 7:05 am

    How nice that you got to meet a fellow blogger in our niche! It sounds like a very enjoyable time. I followed your recommendation and took a look at Donna’s blog. Thank you!


    • / Oct 26 2016 8:53 am

      It’s always a treat to meet face-to-face. Through my blogging, I feel as if I have friends around the country – and the world. How great is that?

  4. Keith / Oct 26 2016 8:00 am

    Janis, very cool. I have met two of them and it is quite fun. Please keep doing this and if you ever find your way to NC, please let me know. Keith

    • / Oct 26 2016 8:54 am

      Of course I will, Keith. Since I have in-laws there, it is certainly a possibility.

      • Keith / Oct 26 2016 3:37 pm

        Would love to see you, if you do venture here.

  5. snakesinthegrass2014 / Oct 26 2016 8:59 am

    How cool! Meet-ups sound great, and that’s a great picture of you and Donna.

    I’m with you on the whole delayed posts thing. I’ve been in a rut with ideas and fresh takes on things, and I think it’s always better to wait until the muse hits you. Don’t worry… it will come. I tell myself that nearly every day, so I hope it’s true!

    • / Oct 26 2016 9:17 am

      I agree, it’s better to wait until we have something interesting (we hope, anyway) to say rather than just post “stuff.” The last thing we want as retired bloggers is to feel as if it’s a job – an unpaid one at that! I always enjoy your posts so please don’t fade away!

  6. Anabel Marsh / Oct 26 2016 12:32 pm

    Sounds fun! I have another meet-up to write about if I ever get to that point in my vacation blogging. I also popped over to Donna’s blog – that concert she went to was amazing.

    • / Oct 26 2016 4:57 pm

      I would love to read about your meet-up!

      Yes, the concert sounded truly incredible! I’m not much of a concert-goer, but seeing all of those legends in one place would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  7. Kate Crimmins / Oct 26 2016 12:52 pm

    That is cool. I have met one blogger in person so far and I wasn’t disappointed. We really get to know each other through writing.

  8. Kristine Puzel / Oct 26 2016 1:25 pm

    Truly a gift to meet in person, when you both already have so much in common, and know so much about each other. And it so true that it is hard to talk to people in our lives about blogging–because they really have no idea what is actually involved. Good for you for grabbing the opportunity when it presented itself!

    • / Oct 26 2016 5:01 pm

      It was a nice opportunity and felt so comfortable from the beginning. Anyone listening to us who didn’t blog probably would have been rolling their eyes (although her lovely hubby joined us for a bit and he didn’t seem too bored 🙂 ).

  9. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Oct 26 2016 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Janis for a great meet-up and a terrific post! Thanks also to all of your readers who have stopped by my blog. I have greatly appreciated their visits and comments. I have also found some wonderful new blogs to follow in the process!

    • / Oct 26 2016 5:08 pm

      It was so nice to meet you in person and get to know you even better. I am also happy to have introduced your blog to others… I know they will like it as much as I do!

      I hope Cody is feeling better now that the weather has turned a little cooler.

      Have a safe drive home!

  10. patwdoyle11 / Oct 26 2016 2:37 pm

    I am soooooo jealous. Two of my fav bloggers got to meet. Two women who I would also love to sit down with for a long chat! Ah, maybe someday.

    • dconnollyislandgmailcom / Oct 26 2016 3:07 pm

      Thanks, Pat! My problem is that I am usually totally unaware of where the bloggers that I follow live. Good thing that Janis was totally on top of that! If you are ever in the Vancouver Island area please give me a shout — I would also love to sit down for that long chat!

      • patwdoyle11 / Oct 30 2016 10:52 am

        FYI – Cincinnati, or sometimes St. Petersburg FL…. if you’re ever traveling to either!

    • / Oct 26 2016 5:13 pm

      It would have been great to have you join us, Pat! If you ever have plans to visit SoCal in the future, let me know.

  11. Joanne Sisco / Oct 26 2016 5:56 pm

    I’m already a follower of Donna’s and love her energy and her writing. How wonderful that the two of you were able to connect!

    We make friends in this virtual world, and it’s so nice when that friendship makes it to the real world 🙂

    Janis, I hope you won’t consider abandoning your blog. I’m sure you have many more stories and insights in you to share. I’m thinking that your accident just really disrupted your life, but hopefully you’ll find your muse again soon 🙂

    • dconnollyislandgmailcom / Oct 26 2016 9:27 pm

      Hi, Joanne – Thank you for your kind words. And I totally second your comment about Janis’s blog!

      • Joanne Sisco / Oct 27 2016 4:34 am

        We all have so many stories to tell. Some of us just don’t know it yet 🙂

    • / Oct 27 2016 4:58 pm

      I don’t think I will abandon my blog anytime soon. I may go through periods of fewer posts, though. Interesting thought about my accident having an impact… I’ll have to consider that possibility. I have a feeling it’s more that I want to explore some additional creative outlets in my retirement. But, right now I have three or four… or five posts in mind so I’m not going anywhere. 🙂

  12. John / Oct 29 2016 8:14 am

    Interesting about meeting up with fellow bloggers. I’m relatively new to blogging and trying to learn by reading more established bloggers like yourself. Lovely blog by the way. Once I become a bit more established I think the idea of meeting up with fellow bloggers here in England is something I might try. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • / Oct 29 2016 1:04 pm

      Hi John! Thanks for visiting my blog and the comment. Meeting other bloggers face-to-face was definitely a blogging bonus I hadn’t anticipated when I first started. It’s like I have pen pals all over the world, and as I travel, I hope to meet many of them.

      I enjoyed looking at your blog and will definitely be a follower.

  13. laura bruno lilly / Oct 30 2016 6:08 am

    Janis, as always an excellent post; especially to hear of virtual-facetoface meetups! When I was nominated for the following award, I thought of your blog and how interesting it is…so…I nominated you for the Liebster Award. There’s no pressure to participate, but I wanted to give voice to your blog and personal message.
    Please consider it.

    • / Oct 30 2016 2:25 pm

      How nice of you to nominate me! I’ve made it a policy, though, not to participate in blog awards… except if they involve massive amounts of money or all-expense-paid trips as prizes (kidding… kind of). I did enjoy reading your post about the award and your answers to the questions, non-the-less.

      • laura bruno lilly / Oct 30 2016 2:47 pm

        Yeah, it’s a decision that we each have to make. It’s always been a moot point for me since this is my first nomination. Didn’t know about the ones with vacay bennies HA! Just a joke.

  14. Shadya Brown-Hall / Dec 1 2016 12:40 pm

    That’s cool that you guys got a chance to meet and you read each others blogs.

    • / Dec 2 2016 12:00 pm

      It was really a special treat! A few of us retirement bloggers have written about how difficult it can be to make new friends since we no longer work. It seems that we all agree how special the blogger community is in that regard.

      • Shadya Brown-Hall / Dec 2 2016 12:37 pm

        Yes it is! I’m new to blogging and I love the community and the support. Be sure to check out my page snd thanks.


  1. Face-to-Face | Retirement_Reflections

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