Thanks for the memories

I‘m so glad we had this time together, …      The Carol Burnett Show theme song

The second anniversary of my journey with Robby Robin is rapidly approaching. Time for reflection. And I think maybe it’s time to take my journey in new directions. Robby Robin’s original audience – my precious grandchildren – are older now – nearly 5 and 8 – and I’ve had to move my writing and my imagination to new genres, like early-reader chapter books.  When I started blogging my other main focus was long distance running for oldsters. We’re still doing that, although slowing down. But as much as I enjoy it, and as much as I miss it when I can’t be out there on our beautiful trails, chugging along with my own thoughts and my 50s and 60s playlist, I’ve probably shared as many of my learning experiences in running as are useful to others. So I have taken the surprisingly difficult decision to close ‘er down. To borrow the words of one of my heroes, Leonard Cohen, “it’s closing time” for Robby Robin’s Journey.

It was just two years ago that I took a workshop in blogging, spurred on by the dictum advocated repeatedly at an earlier writing workshop I had attended that “every writer needs to have a blog.” I had started writing Robby Robin stories for my grandchildren, was filled with enthusiasm, and figured I should get with the program. I knew nothing about blogging or the richness of the blogosphere. I had no idea that this “blogging thing” would include meeting new people from around the world, finding supportive kindred spirits, being exposed to new ideas, and learning new perspectives. This journey through the blogosphere has been an amazing ride and I would like to thank everyone who has shared it with me. I’ve gone off on many tangential topics since starting with running and writing for children; I am grateful for your indulgence.

In taking my leave, I would like to single out some of some of the bloggers who have made a difference to me. Thank you all for being there, for sharing your world, your wisdom, and your lessons in life. Don’t worry, I will continue to be a faithful follower!

And so, in no particular order, special appreciation goes to:

Roy McCarthy, indie author and runner from the Isle of Jersey off the coast of France, who blogs at Back on the Rock; I have thoroughly enjoyed all three of the books he has indie published to date.

Maurice Barry, from Canada’s own Rock, Newfoundland, who blogs at Not Banjaxed … Yet, providing excellent commentary on e-learning, plus tales of life and history in Newfoundland.

DM, from Iowa, who blogs at I also live on a farm. I love his contemplative tone.  DM, you offer much wisdom.

Francis Guenette, from Vancouver Island, who blogs at Disappearing in Plain Sight, which is also the name of her first – and excellent – novel. She has had some great adventures in getting her indie book out there. If you’re looking for advice in that area, check out her blog.

Jo Robinson, indie author and animal lover in South Africa, formerly in Zmbabwe, who blogs at

Jenny Pellett, from the south of England, who shares her travels and reflections on life at Characters from the Kitchen.

Hey Jude, also from England, who shares a wealth of travel stories at TRAVEL WORDS.

Jane Tims, from New Brunswick, who shares poetry, drawings, water colours, and her rambles, virtual and real, at Niche Poetry and Prose.

Rita Caldwell, from the beautiful hills near Blacksburg, Virginia, who shares her stories of country living with pride and love in Country Girl – Life on the Farm, and,

Alesia, from Seattle, who writes about “an ordinary life told in extraordinary fashion” at Alesia Blogs. Her “ordinary” life includes the special challenges of raising an autistic child.

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35 Responses to Thanks for the memories

  1. Hi Jane,

    I know I’m a year late here, but I wanted to stop by and say hi. I took a little blogging break myself (sort of). Maybe one day you’ll be back. Enjoy your grandchildren and your beautiful life! :0)

  2. Janet Lee Speed says:

    Hi Jane,
    Have so enjoyed Robby’s adventures, and the memories you created. Consider publishing them
    for other children and your great-grandchildren to enjoy?

  3. puravida says:

    Hi Jane,
    I’ve been away from blogging for some time, so I just discovered your departure and definitely understand your decision. Just dipped my toes back into the blogging waters, with some reluctance… I enjoyed reading about your adventures – you’re an inspiration!
    Take care,

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Hi Kim. It’s great to see you back. I appreciate your kind words. I feel the same way about your writing. It dawned on me that I was spending more time deciding what to write next than getting on with life, kind of like an addiction. I thought that I’d be better at making a real break if I made a “public announcement” to that effect. It worked! But I miss the discipline of thinking through a thought or theme and working through what I’m trying to convey. And I truly miss my interactions with the people I felt a kinship with in this space, including you. It’s a remarkably powerful medium, isn’t it? Best wishes, Kim. Jane

  4. alesiablogs says:

    Hi Jane,
    I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you today. I am doing very well. What have you been doing these days? I am helping my youngest son with his schooling and preparing for life without school in Luke’s life. I think the next few months will be very interesting as we prepare for Luke to possibly move into a supported living situation. Linus’ arthritis has been bad. He will not walk with me anymore…I hope the summer helps him to feel better. He is on pain meds. I guess in human years he is 100 years old!
    Hope to hear from you soon, Alesia

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Hi Alesia. It’s nice to hear from you. I have been reading your posts, but am trying to stay in the background in the blogosphere. It was taking too much time! I am overwhelmed by the list of challenges you keep meeting head-on. My thoughts are always with you. Here, the winter-that-never-ends has wreaked havoc on our house. Two weekends ago the ice sheet that had formed on our roof slid off and took out our entire deck. Worst, last weekend, the ice slid off the other side and took out our power mast, with catastrophic results. We’ve had electricians and carpenters in our house for 9 days now, replacing or removing every outlet, every switch, everything that was plugged in, all appliances, etc. But, it is what it is. Meanwhile, the warmer weather is finally here and the floods are likely to be at record levels, too. We still have at least 2′ on the lawns, not including the massive piles at roadsides and in parking lots. I hope spring has at least found you sooner than this! Take care, Alesia. Regards, Jane

  5. jane tims says:

    Hi Jane. I was sorry to see that you will be leaving your blog for a while (never say never). I think it was all your running that inspired me to think about regular exercise for myself. Also, I found your thoughts on various subjects made me reflect on my work years. I hope you return to your runs although this foolish weather is not making it easy! Thanks for mentioning me … I might be telling some of your Robby Robin stories to my little grand-niece! Jane

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Hi Jane. Thanks for the support and for showing me the way in blogging. You’re right that one should never say never. As an example, I never thought UNB would be on strike. Show’s what I know! I look forward to catching up at a writing event, if not sooner. Jane

  6. Roy McCarthy says:

    Jane you’ll be missed a great deal. You have me mesmerised with your travel posts in particular, meticulously detailed and wonderfully photographed.
    The blogosphere will be a poorer place without you. Should you decide to rejoin it in the future be sure to let us know.
    Au revoir, thanks for the memories.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Roy. I can’t help but think that it must not take much to mesmerise you, but I should just take that as a compliment! I will be following your blog with my usual interest, as well as looking for new book reading opportunities under your pen. I continue to be really impressed with your ability to develop “real” characters, including “real” women as your protagonists I’m thankful that we’ve met through this medium. Best wishes, Jane

  7. Two things. First, thank you for the mention. Your timing could not have been better. It arrived (yesterday evening) at a time when something good was especially welcome.
    Now the second: this news is just like the physical departure of a dear friend. I came late to Robby–less than a year ago, and at a time when you were well along in the transformation. I truly enjoyed not only the visits to your blog but also the visits you made to mine. In all contacts you have been witty, wise and gracious. I don’t “follow” many bloggers and those that I do are ones that are truly interesting people so it goes without saying that I’ll miss your writings.
    But I’ll say it anyway: I’ve enjoyed sharing part of the journey with you. I’ll miss you in this space. Above all, I wish you all the best.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you so much for these kind word, Maurice. I enjoy everything about your blogs and topics, and I enjoy the energy, knowledge, and affection with which you describe (in your impressive detail!) your world. I do hope you plan on turning all your writings about your e-learning journey into a book at some point. It’s needed, and NL as a case study is so compelling, given its obvious geographical challenges in providing quality education everywhere. At any rate, I’m not leaving the blogosphere as a follower, just as a “followed”. So you can expect to “see” me. And who knows, maybe I’ll miss it so much I have to start a new blog. Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to give my blog a more neutral URL like you did, so couldn’t just change the name – like you just did! Take care, Maurice. I’m not far away. Cheers, Jane

  8. Lisa says:

    Sad to see you go my NB friend. I have always loved to see your photos and read about you and your family’s running adventures. I wish you well.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much, Lisa. I will continue to watch for your writing ideas and to also see how your “promises” are coming along. I am looking at the same kind of challenges and I started thinking that blogging was getting in the way. We’ll see how this works out. Meanwhile, best wishes for lots of successfully completed goals! Best wishes, Jane

      • Lisa says:

        This I understand. With a family of young adults getting ready to move out in the world, working full time and working on an MBA; I too am questioning if blogging is really the best use of my time. My posts are random at best and as well written as 15 min permits. Best Wishes to you and good luck with your next challenge.

  9. jennypellett says:

    Jane – I’m truly sorry that you’ve taken the decision to wind up Robby Robin but can understand your sentiments. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the journey and always looked forward to reading your interesting and varied posts. Thank you so much for mentioning me in despatches – it means a lot. I shall miss you, Jane, but as I have come to know a little about you over the last year I know that you will be striking off down some other path. I wish you well with whichever direction you now decide to choose.
    All the very best… Jenny x

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks a lot, Jenny. You’re right, I’m going to try out some new paths, which just doesn’t seem to happen when I’m always thinking about what I’d like to blog about next! But we’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, I will still be reading and commenting. In fact, before long I need to write a long comment on your excellent and VERY important post about the state of education in the UK. Every jurisdiction I know about has serious frustrations; why does it have to be this way, decade after decade? But I’ll save that commiserating rant for your blog. Thank you for being there, Jenny. Best wishes, Jane

  10. Oh Jane – I’m so sad to see you and Robby Robin stop blogging. I really hope you change your mind. I really will miss your wonderful warm-hearted posts. You are one of the reasons I love the bloggerverse – a really lovely person and friend. XXX

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you very much, Jo. Happily for me, I won’t be missing anything because you’ll still be there, right?! And in a safer place than previously. I love reading your blogs; they transport me to the surroundings and the distinctive culture and climate of southern Africa. I have very fond feelings for your part of the world. One never knows, I may miss blogging so much that I have no choice but to start again. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I’ll be reading with my usual interest. Best wishes, Jo. Jane

  11. Emilia says:

    Although we live in the same town (well…at least part of the year…) I found myself learning more from you through your blog then all the times we spent talking, so I will miss it too! The fact is, whatever part of the cyberspace one is using you end up making amazing friends.Let me tell you my story: I am not a blogger, mainly because I don’t write very well in english, but last year my sister and I decided to rent the small apartment our parents left us in Ericeira, a really cute beach in Portugal. I decided to use VRBO, since I had some experience with it as a traveller, and to our surprise the place rented for the entire 5 month season! We had 11 groups from 9 countries all the way from Alaska to Austria and up to Norway. Well, that sounds good in itself but the bigger surprise came as I was dealing with the prospective renters on the internet; we started telling stories to each other and by the time most of them arrived at Ericeira we had became “internet pals”. As follow ups developed some of them became “friends”. The first renter was Annabelle from Alaska, with whom I correspond a lot so guess what, last week she calls and tells me that she is 1 day away from here…I got goosebumps and the next day we had a “real” reunion and what an amazing day it was! She is originally from New Jersey and now lives with her husband Stan in a very remote part of Alaska working with the Eskimo people! Then there is the couple from Les Isles des Madelaines that wants us to spend some time with them in their cottage, and the couple from Dublin,Ireland that can’t wait until we go and visit, and the funny couple from England that said they are coming back to see us and the couple from Switzerland, Marcel and Christine that are coming to visit us in Florida this April and then we will stay with them this June for 11 days in Interlaken…what an amazing world we live in and how much I have learned from all these people during the year! It definitely enriched my life.
    I know Jane, that one way or another, you are going to continue to communicate with the world and I look forward to see you out there somewhere. You did an amazing job over the past 2 years, but you already know that, don’t you?!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Gosh, Emilia, it’s a good thing we don’t plan on coming to visit you in Florida, because you’d be too busy to see us! Those are amazing stories you have shared, and important ones for us to remind ourselves of when considering how the Internet has changed our lives. Some of the changes have not been for the good at all, and we have yet to figure out how to take control of the Internet rather than it controlling our lives. However, what I have loved about it from the beginning (from using email in the early-90s when I was studying in the UK and my husband was in Canada) is that regardless of its original expectation of enhancing the sharing of research and military data, and then business, it has been embraced by every generation as a way of improving and increasing communication between people. People love to interact with other people above all else. And that, to my mind, is a powerful and positive reality. Now if it weren’t so addictive that would help, but …! BTW, your English is perfectly fine. You should start your own blog, Emilia. I mean, what else do you have to do down there where the weather never changes, no snow or ice to clean up; I mean, really?! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences of connecting with new people over the Internet. Take care until you’re brave enough to come back to the land of more adventurous weather. 🙂 Love, Jane

  12. I am so sad to lose you, Jane – all I can do is follow all the people you love (the ones I don’t follow already!). I’ll miss your refreshing take on so many topics and your beautiful travel photos. The only thing that slightly consoles me is that you promise to stay in touch.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much, Fran. I’ll keep following and commenting. I marvel at how you and few of my other blog friends can produce excellent blog posts while finding the time to turn out complete, engaging, accomplished works of literature. I’ve got to figure out how to do that! Meanwhile, I won’t be far away (well, actually, about 6000 kms, but who’s counting). Best wishes, Jane

  13. DM says:

    Last Summer when I was wrestling with writers block and second guessing my ability to communicate, You wrote a beautiful comment that I actually printed off and have hanging in front of my computer @ this very moment 😉 Thank you for interacting with me on the blog. DM

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you for sharing that with me, DM. I won’t be leaving your blog, just mine. Keep your reflections and words of wisdom coming and I’ll keep interacting. Best wishes, Jane

  14. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures. Thank you for sharing. You took me to places I’d never been and enriched my understanding of the art of running and grandchildren 🙂 Good luck in your future journeys!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you so much, Carol. Your posts are perfect for me, pretty well every one of them. I fail to understand how you can write succinct and relevant blog posts so frequently while doing serious writing and – oh, yes – working full time! But I’m glad you do because you are my main source of support for writing. Time for me to try working a little harder at it instead of deciding what I’ll blog about next, as much fun as that is. Thanks for being there. Jane

  15. alesiablogs says:

    I am saddened to hear you are going to stop blogging. I hope at some point you will possibly write an update and let us know how things are going in your “neck of the woods.” However, I do understand your thinking on this matter.
    I also want to thank you for adding me to your list of blogs to check out and more importantly sharing that my blog has made a difference in your life. That is the ultimate gift a writer could ask for. God Bless and stay in touch! Alesia

  16. Heyjude says:

    I love that Leonard Cohen song, but I am sad to see you go Jane. You were the first blog I ever ‘followed’ when I started this journey, almost a year ago, drawn by your reminiscing about South Africa and stayed to enjoy your diverse postings. As you quite rightly point out there is more to this blogging lark than just publishing posts – the friends you make in the blogosphere become so much a part of your life. Stay well and good luck with your future ventures wherever they may take you. And hopefully I will get to your part of the world one day soon 🙂
    Jude xx

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much, Jude. I didn’t know I was your “first”! I am stepping back from what can become a remarkably addictive – and time-consuming – pasttime, but I may find I miss it too much and “have” to start a new blog. Regardless, I will be reading and enjoying your posts. For sure let me know if you get close to eastern Canada. Meanwhile, best wishes. Jane

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