Last night, I took a new step on the Road to Normal.
I went to my ham radio clubhouse, and just hung around for a while.
I’d originally had some purpose in going – I needed to pick up a couple of coax cables, and also to run my Fundraising Committee monthly meeting. But, rather than quickly scooting out, I hung around for a while, just chatting.
It was – nice. Informal. And, very much of a comfortable return to Normal LIfe.
What is Normal Life?
Well, it’s not just gathering in public spaces – we’ve been doing that for a while in SC. It’s not just foregoing the mask – again, it’s been optional for quite a few weeks.
It has more to do with not feeling the need to cut contacts short, and only get together for An Important Reason That Would Justify the Incredible Risk!
Nah. This was just a matter of enjoying the company of friends. Catching up on their lives. Finding out what their plans for the near future were. And, of course, discussing various aspects of Ham Radio.
I came home more relaxed than I have been in a long time. When I woke this morning, I felt refreshed. It was a good feeling, and one that I had missed.
So, let’s do what we can to make room for more of those experiences in our lives.
Oh, and I had a neat experience, too. I took the time to wander into the back room we call the Ham Shack. It’s where we have permanently set up our club radios and peripherals, and can link to the various antennas that are installed. For those of us with limited access to the HF radios (I still haven’t put up the 40-meter antenna at my house), it’s an opportunity to practice long-distance operation with others around to assist us.
On the 20-meter band, I made my FIRST contact – in Brazil!
What a rush! I went on to make a second contact, in FL, before I looked at the clock and realized that I needed to get back home. I will definitely be using the club’s facilities as often as I can manage. But, it’s not the hardware that was most important, it was the connections with other members, and the tremendous kindliness of them to help acclimate a newb to the hobby.