A to Z Challenge: Day Twenty-Six – “Z”

‘Z’ is for ‘Zero’. “Zip’, ‘Zilch’ and ‘Zat’s All Folks!’

If you followed my blog prior to the A to Z Challenge, you might already know that my husband and I completed over 700 kilometers on the Camino Trail this past summer.  Every part of that trip was incredible. The most invigorating moment was undoubtedly this one.

zero
The sign reading “Zero Kilometers to Go” was something that we had longed to reach — but it was also bittersweet when we got there.
The same went for Creighton when he finally reached this sign (which translated into ‘Zero Miles Left’ to a bitterly cold and wet race!)

The feeling is similar with the A to Z Challenge. This post concludes 26 days of non-stop blogging and continuous adventure. The experience has been exhilarating, exhausting, enriching, excruciating, exciting, and eye-opening. (Where is Day 5 when you need it most?)

Regardless of whether you read one or all twenty-six of my A to Z posts, I am honoured that you’ve followed along. Your supportive comments kept me going, especially on travel days when the challenge was the toughest. (There is a special award for those who miraculously  commented on all posts!)

Since my goal of this Challenge was to record my April adventures, here are a few adventures/photos that did not get highlighted. I didn’t want them to be forgotten.

In front of John F. Kennedy’s childhood home. Remembering the sadness of that tragic day.
Followed by a visit to the J. F. Kennedy Library.
zero
Just like old times. Rena and I caught in the act!
zero
Richard and I greatly appreciate our friends old and new. (By ‘old,’ we mean ‘long standing,’ of course!)
We are also appreciative of the natural beauty that is all around us.
“We’re ready for our Puppy Training Class…but first we must explore this Space Ship!”
zero
I was delighted to attend the Opening Reception of the Nanoose Bay Studio Showcase. This included the captivating paintings of Jude, aka Dr. Sock Writes Here!

Finally, I am honoured to present the “Perfect Attendance Award” to Leanne from Cresting the Hill. Leanne commented on all of my previous (25) A to Z posts. She also blogged daily for this challenge while working part-time. I need her secret on how she does all of this!

Commenting on all but one post were: Sue (Sizzling Toward 60), Jill (Jill Weatherholt Blog), Karen (Profound Journey) and Janis (Retirementally Challenged). Why not stop by their sites (as well as Leanne’s) and show them some love?

There were numerous other bloggers who showed similar support. I am truly humbled! Whether you read/commented upon 1, 26, or any number of posts in between, your encouragement has filled me with extra zip, zing, zest, and zeal which was definitely needed to get through this challenge.

Thank YOU!

99 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Twenty-Six – “Z””

  1. Congratulations, you made it! I am truly impressed by your achievement in this A-Z challenge. It’s amazing and zany and everything in between. I hope you enjoyed it. I know I enjoyed reading them.

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    1. Hi, Christie – Thank you so much for reading! Challenges are ‘zany.’ They are motivating, maddening and self-satisfying all at once. I have been very inspired (and greatly impressed) by reading about your challenges. I look forward to reading more.

      Like

  2. Congratulations on completing this task! I enjoyed following along. Due to some issues I had with my WP and computer, I was not able to respond every time, but I did enjoy reading and imaging what a challenge this must have been. Now go rest your weary typing fingers!

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  3. It was a fun journey! I read all 26… but not always left you with something interesting enough to put into a comment…..lol this would be why I could not be a blogger!! I commend you on your A-Z fortitude 😜 something I know I would not be doing any time soon! Keep up your creative side, 😍reading along!!

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    1. Hi, Georgia – Thank you so much for reading each and every post. You get the Perfect Attendance Award too! I always enjoy your comments and believe that, if you ever chose, you would make a very thoughtful and engaging blogger. Never say never! 🙂

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  4. And here I am for the lucky last post Donna! I am so impressed with what you did with the Challenge – I managed it because I prepared my posts in advance and didn’t reply to the comments people left – I did all my replying by commenting on their posts – I think I have blisters on my fingertips! I’m doing a wrap up post next Monday and putting together my first ever e-book (I like a challenge on top of a challenge!) I’m so glad you did the AtoZ with me and now back to normal life!

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    Z for Zero in on your target

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    1. Thank you so much, Leanne. Preparing posts ahead of time (and not trying to write and post on the same day as my adventures) would have made a huge difference. What’s that they say about hindsight?
      Congratulations on your ‘Perfect Attendance Award.’ Please wear it with pride! Your support is appreciated more than mere words can say.
      And congratulations on your successful completion of the Challenge. Your posts were engaging, thought-provoking and well-written. I greatly enjoyed reading them!

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    1. HI, Fran – Thank you so much for following along on this series. I have greatly appreciated reconnecting through our blogs. I look forward to following ‘Travels with Fran’ further. I hope that one of those travels includes an upcoming trip to Vancouver Island! 🙂

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    1. I’m feeling zapped indeed! So much so, I just may head back to bed (it’s 6 am here) and extend my sleep a little further. Thank you so much for following. And congratulations on your successful completion of the challenge. Your posts shoved me out of my comfort zone and helped me to peak through my comfortable blind folds. I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know you more through this series. I look forward to maintaining this friendship.

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  5. Hi Donna,
    Good news – we’re done! Better news – You ended strong. I love the variety in your Z post.
    Slightly not great news – I didn’t get notification of this post via email. Looks like I’ll have to wait until after your reflections post when you reactivate the ‘replies to just my comment’ plugin.
    But good news- you’re worth the wait.

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    1. Me again. I just realized that I can and certainly will resubscribe to your site since our comment problem yesterday took me off completely. And I also realized that we don’t know if the comment replies feature is working until you write your reply. So.. our slightly not great news may be even more slight than I’d thought. Sorry about the confusion.

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      1. Hi, Karen – I am sorry to hear that you were not feeling well on Saturday. Hopefully you are feeling better now. I have now enabled my Comment Notification Reply plug in. Fingers crossed that it is working, and you receive proper (i.e. not annoying) notification of this reply! 🙂

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  6. Congrats on completion! I loved your playing with words… and yes, I did read them all, as well as all of a few other folks, and found it challenging to comment on everyone everyday! I cannot image how folks posted and commented and responded… and still managed to live life. And no, I am not inspired to do it next year – Sorry. But I applaud your approach of creating in the moment. It was refreshing and so much fun to see what you came up with each day!

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    1. Hi, Pat – Your comment, and your daily following, has meant a great deal to me. It was fun playing with words — and I loved your appreciation of this. ‘Creating in the Moment’ (aka ‘by the seat of my pants’) was a bit misguided. I had misjudged how insane that idea was….until it was too late, and I just had to roll with it. I am behind on reading your latest post. I look forward to pouring myself a nice hot cup of coffee, and reading that leisurely now. See you there!

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    1. Hi, Janis. True confession: I cheated! There actually were no comments from you on two posts (B and Q). But, as you are the first blogger that I ever followed, and there were no others who only skipped two, I included you in the “only one” category. My blog, my rules! The Q post was on “Quake Preparation”. I would be interested in your thoughts on that if you ever have time. Or, we can chat about it together this October. Thank you for your continued support. I’ve learned a great deal about blogging, and commenting, from you!

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      1. Too funny (btw, I like your rules 😉). I can’t imagine how I missed two… I know I read both of them. I was traveling during Q so I probably figured I’d comment later… which never came. I have no idea what happened to B, but I’m sure it involved good intentions gone bad 😄.

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      2. Hi, Janis – You receive endless awards from me. One of your awards is “Post with Most Views on My Site.” Your Guest Article “Retirement Hours” (https://www.retirementreflections.com/sunday-guest-post-series-retirement-hours/) is currently the most read post on my site (531 views). Hopefully when my Guest Post appears on your site in June, your stats don’t go down. That would be very embarrassing! 🙂
        Thank you for so diligently reading all posts in this series. That totally rocks!

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    1. Congratulations to you too, Sue! It’s been a wild ride, with many twists and turns, but we made it! The post that does not show a comment from you is “U: Never Underestimate the Power of Your Slow Cooker.” That was one of the days that my WordPress comments were acting up the most, so that may have been why. You are the only remaining regular reader still ending up in my Spam Folder. I will write to WordPress today to see if they know why.

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      1. Oh I did actually comment on that one Donna because I remember I was doing a slow cook myself. Never mind must have been the gremlins at work again. Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed your approach and theme. Yes the spam folder is annoying and I hope it isn’t from my end. The people from Jetpack have supposedly fixed my WordPress.com problem but I won’t know for sure until my next post publishes this afternoon. Have a great week. xx

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      2. Hi, Sue – Thank you for reading, and commenting, on all posts. Your continued support means a great deal to me. I apologize for my Computer Gremlins. I have just finished cleaning up a few things on the back end of my site, and I have reinstalled “Comment Reply Notification Email”. If your comments continue to end up in my Spam Folder I will chat with the folks at WordPress/JetPack immediately. Fingers crossed!

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  7. Hi Donna! I am in awe! I can’t imagine doing this for 26 days straight AND traveling and doing all the things you normally do. I think I would have settled for just finding one quote a day instead…. But now that you are done I am certain that the sense of satisfaction is amazing. Congratulations and well done! ~Kathy

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    1. Hi, Jill – Ironically it was the “J” post where I didn’t see a comment from you. My word was “Jaunt”….I should have made it “Jill”! It is very likely that you did comment and my comment/spam folder were on the blink. If so, my sincere apologies. You deserve endless awards, especially being the author who first introduced me to Guest Posting. My site would not be the same without your influence!

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      1. Aw…that’s so sweet, Donna. I certainly didn’t invent the concept of Guest Posting, but I’m happy I made the introduction. 🙂 Your site is fabulous because it’s yours!

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      2. Well, since my brain can barely remember yesterday, I scrolled through my feeder for your April 11th post, but it wasn’t there. I did get to it directly on your site and commented. 🙂

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      3. Hi, Jill – Totally understandable about not remembering. I would not be able to remember back to a comment that I made on April 11 either. Happy belated birthday this month to Derek and the rest of your family. That’s a pile of April birthdays!

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  8. Heartiest congratulations on completing the challenge! Also, an extra dose of congratulations are in order for the 700 mile completion!

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  9. I wish I had time to read them all; you’re such an amazing writer and so interesting to read. Congrats on making it to the end, Donna! I just congratulated Sue L too for her completion and I’m so jealous of that writing time you seem to have! I’m back to blogging this weekend, but still quite a few papers to read and grade!

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    1. Woo hoo! I am so glad to hear that you will be back to blogging this weekend. I greatly look forward to reading your upcoming posts. Thank you for your kind words and ongoing support, Terri. I understand your crazy busy schedule and am grateful for any posts that you read/commented upon. Love the connection! I’ll see you on your site this coming weekend!

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    1. Hi, Donna – Thank you for hanging around to read other posts. That is very much appreciated, especially at the end of a long challenge yourself. I love your Flash Fiction that I’ve read so far, and look forward to reading more!

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  10. Congratulations and well done, Donna! I thought I had read and commented on all of your A to Z posts but it looks like I missed a few. Thank you for sharing your words and photos with us.

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    1. Hi, Natalie – K, L, M were the posts that were missing comments from you (Kilometers Traveled, Lasting Friendships and Massachusetts). Faithfully commenting on 23 posts in this series, plus all of my other posts that you have commented upon, in itself deserves a HUGE AWARD! Thank you so much for doing this. I have one more reflection post to complete for this series. Then the next post that I will write after that will be my Guest Post for you. I will definitely get it to you a week ahead of time as promised. Fingers crossed that you will like it!

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      1. Your K,L, and M posts are among my favourites. The K and L titles alone spoke to me 🙂 Thank you so much for agreeing to write a guest post for me, Donna. If you need a longer writing break, please feel free to let me know.

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      2. Thanks, Natalie – I am so happy that you enjoyed those post. Did you see them when they were published, or were you traveling at that time?
        I have just emailed you about the Guest Post. Thanks again for including me.

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  11. Congratulations on completing the challenge, Donna! That’s fantastic and no small feat! Love those puppies (and the “space ship”, especially after visiting Roswell, NM yesterday). I had to look up where JFK’s childhood home is, and am surprised it is so close to Boston. I should add that to my list of things to see whenever we head back into or near the city.

    And, I”m glad you made it to the studio where Jude showcased her art. I hope she’ll write a post about that. Now what are you going to do with your spare time every day in May? 🙂

    PS: I don’t see a box anymore to check in order to receive replies to the comments…

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  12. Hi, LIesbet –
    Thank you for your kind words, support and encouragement. I greatly value your feedback. You’re right – those puppies were adorable, and Jude’s Art Show was amazing.
    As my WordPress site has appeared to calm down, and readers quit being trapped in my Spam Folder, I have disabled the Jetpack Comment features, and enabled the Comment Notification Email Reply Plug In. If all is working well, you should receive an email notification that I have just replied to your comment. If you do not receive that, please let me know. If you do receive it, please share your feedback. Fingers crossed that this system is finally working. It’s been a long haul! 🙂

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  13. Hi, Debbie – Thank you so much for following this series. It is a good thing that I joined at short notice. If I had had more time to think it through I would like have come to my senses! 🙂 I have greatly appreciated your support. Good luck with your upcoming travel!

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    1. Hi, Hugh – Thank you so much for visiting my final Challenge post. The thrill of this Finish Line has been fantastic. So many wonderful people stopping by to cheer participants on, and to congratulate. It has reminded me of how grateful I am for our incredibly supportive blogging community. It has also been a wonderful snapshot of the incredible kindness that is all around us. You are correct about the exhaustion part…I am ready for a long nap!

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  14. Hi Donna, it sounds like your A-Z was a little more challenging than most. Well done for getting to the end. I’m stopping by, visiting the other 13 bloggers “no longer strangers” on Karen at Profound Journey’s blog.

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    1. Hi, AJ – Thank you so much for stopping by the posts that Karen highlighted. I greatly admire your energy, especially after a very time-consuming (but fun) challenge. Thank you also for this inspiration. I am off to visit your site now!

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  15. Oh wow! You did the Camino. I’ll want to talk to you some day about this, when it becomes closer to reality for me. Good for you, Donna – and congratulations on completing the challenge while similarly under a hectic schedule. Looking very much forward to getting to know you! (You also live on the Island and one of my kids is moving to the coast and imploring me to join her…someday. I don’t see this happening, but I do intend to investigate and am trying to keep an open mind. I know it’s beautiful there but I am quite settled here in Ontario…for now. I may be picking your brain on this one too.)

    Deb

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  16. Hi, Deb – It looks like we have lots in common. I did the last 100 K of the Camino in 2010, the first 100 K in 2016 and the full thing + Muxia and Finisterre (720 km) last summer. I am originally from Ontario (Windsor) and worked for the Durham Board of Education (Ajax/Pickering/Whitby). I also worked in Beijing, China for 14 yars. I loved it there but must admit that I adore Vancouver Island. I’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions about the Camino or Vancouver Island (or both). You can browse though my Camino posts here https://www.retirementreflections.com/category/camino-de-santiago.

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  17. Donna, thanks so much for attending the opening reception of the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour Spring Showcase with Richard and Sharon. It was great to see you there. Thanks also for the mention and for posting this photo of the two of us!

    Jude

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    1. Hi, Maheshwaran – Thank you so much for stopping by. You are my first official visitor from the #AtoZChallenge Road Trip. Greatly appreciated!
      I have been visiting 2-3 Road Trips sites each day to spend quality time reading and commenting. So far that has worked out well.

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  18. Hi, Donna! Returning your visit for the A to Z Road Trip. Thanks so much for your visit. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. That y’all completed the Camino Trail, getting to the Zero marker is amazing. Congratulations! Great post for letter Z. 🙂

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      1. Ronel Janse van Vuuren
        October 29, 2018 at 5:59 am Edit

        The puppies are so cute!

        Ronel from Ronel the Mythmaker A-Z road-tripping with Everything Writerly: Z is for Zooming
        Reply

        Retirement Reflections
        October 30, 2018 at 12:49 pm Edit

        Hi, Ronel – Thanks so much for stopping by. I did my Road Trip earlier and greatly enjoyed it. Enjoy the rest of your tour!

        Like

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