A to Z Reflections

So the sponsors of the A to Z Challenge have asked us to reflect upon our experiences participating in this year’s challenge and to post our reflections. But before I begin, I want to thank those of you who ran the show. You put a lot of time and effort into it, and I’m sure those of us who participated in this year’s challenge appreciated your work.

Anyway, here are my reflections.

For my challenge, I posted each day in April — except Sundays — about mostly vintage or classic TV shows in alphabetical order, from “All in the Family” to “Zorro.” I had a lot of fun doing it and the response I got from readers was mostly positive. Many remembered watching the shows and appreciated the trip down Memory Lane.

Is that true? Did you like reading about those old TV shows? Do tell!

One aspect that surprised me a little was that my blog’s traffic didn’t pick up this April as it had in April in past years. In 2019, I had 12.4% more views in April than I had in March, even though March has one more day than April. In 2020, I had 10% more views in April than in March. But this year, I actually had 1.6% fewer views in April than in March. Well, it’s no biggie. I’m not about to start bawling over it.

I certainly can’t blame the drop in traffic to people spending more time at the mall because, due to the pandemic, haven’t most malls closed? In fact, even though restrictions have eased up a bit since last year, my guess is that most of us are, like me, still spending more time inside of our own houses than we are being out and about. Right?

I did get a glimpse at a lot of other bloggers’ A to Z posts, but most of those bloggers whose A to Z posts I read were bloggers that I’m already following. Hey, there are only so many hours in a day. Right?

That said, I did enjoy this year’s challenge and this makes it four years in a row that I’ve participated. I enjoyed being a part of the A to Z Challenge and encourage others to do so in the future.

See you back here next April.


Written for the A to Z Reflections post and for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aspect), Word of the Day Challenge (traffic), Your Daily Word Prompt (bawl), The Daily Spur (mall), MMA Storytime (house), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (glimpse).

Memory Lane

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I was struggling when I first read Sandi’s Manic Monday challenge this week, which is to write a post using a song title, “Sentimental Journey.” I knew this would be a difficult prompt for me because I’m really not the sentimental type.

But then I read a post last night by Jerry Brotherton, aka, the Backyard Poet, and the synapses in my brain started firing. Jerry wrote about the past, saying that if he remembers it correctly, he wasn’t that fond of it at the time.

I commented on his post that when I think about the past, I tend to embellish the good memories and to diminish the not so good ones. It’s a mechanism that gives us a sense of nostalgia, a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life.

I think it’s common, when people think about the past, for it to become a sentimental journey of sorts. Well, it does for me, anyway.

When I think about my youth, recall my college days, remember how I first met the woman who eventually became my wife, or when my children were born, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They’re fond memories.

I remember how great I felt when I got accepted to college and how elated I was when I was offered my first job after I graduated.

Of course there are also bad memories, like when my first dog died or when my mother and father passed away. Or that time when I got nabbed for shoplifting, when I got cut from the high school varsity football team, or when I was fired from my second job.

Yet the stronger, more vivid memories are the good ones. It’s those that are evoked when I hear certain songs or smell certain aromas. The not so great memories have faded over the decades to the extent that they’re getting very difficult to recall.

So for me, as I amble down memory lane, my trips are, for the most part, sentimental journeys.

(Notice that at the last possible minute, I snuck in today’s one-word prompt, “amble.” Pretty slick, huh?)