There comes a time when ya just gotta say thanks….

Me and my daughter recently embarked on a little journey to meet some other noders, get some exercise and take and all too brief tour of our nations capital. To say that we had a good time would be quite the understatement.

There are certain moments that will stay with me for a long, long time. Naturally, the memories of hiking the trail and hauling my sorry rear end up a mountain will be one of them but there are certain others that maybe one might catch out of the corner of ones eye that are more important and more lasting. They depict what we, not only here at E2, should be, but all of us should aspire to…

I’ll try and give a couple of examples to help illustrate my point…

Episode I – The Tears Flow Freely

A bunch of us had wandered down to an area of the campground known as “Big Meadows”. As the name implies, it’s a large field where the deer come out to graze almost every evening around sunset. Since we got there a little early and no deer were in sight, we took a football with us. After while, a game of catch sorta ensued. There was no rhythm or pattern to it, just a bunch of nice folks romping through an open field on a cool summer night tossing the football around and shooting the breeze. All was good…That was until…

My kid is athletic in nature. She plays soccer and softball, can run like the wind, jumps rope, ride bikes and so on and so on. It appears the one thing she can’t do is throw (or for that matter, catch) a football. After a couple of attempts it became apparent that she was getting frustrated. I think it was a combination of a long day of hiking, not enough sleep, and her inability to do as well as everybody else that led up to some tears welling up in her eyes. I tried to explain to her that it was ok, that she had never really practiced enough to be good and that throwing a football isn’t the easiest thing the world to do, especially when your nine. No dice, the tears kept coming and her frustration grew.

Normally, in a situation such as this, I would show a little more patience than I did. I think I was sorta beat too. The hike, the trek into town to pick up supplies and such, the consumption said supplies all combined to make me one tired camper. I decided that we (me and her) would turn back and walk to the campground.

Along the way, we bumped into another noder and I explained the goings on. I told said noder that I didn’t know what to do and asked if they could help. I was feeling pretty bad about myself since this little episode had the potential to put a damper on what had been an otherwise perfect day. I don’t remember the exact words said noder relayed but they went something like this.

”You knew what to do, you asked for help.”

I was then shooed away and my daughter and said noder spent a couple of moments together just talking. A couple of hugs were exchanged and the storm soon passed and our spirits were lifted.

Thank you said noder, those simple words will live with me for a long time to come. You took a grown man who was feeling down on himself and made him feel better – what can be better than that?

Episode II – Patience My Friends

We got back to the campsite and everybody was getting hungry. For some God unknown reason, I decided to display my outdoor cooking skills and set about building a fire in order to grill slabs of meat. Now, my cooking skill are ok but my fire building skills could best be described as lacking. After a few feeble attempts at getting a fire going, I guess my frustration began to show. In stepped another noder and it wasn’t long before we had flames blazing that could cook an elephant. Our repast had been saved. (I take no responsibility for the troubled tummies that certain people felt the next day.)

Thank you said noder, your actions fed many bellies and brought contented smiles upon our faces - what can be better than that?

Episode III – Live and Learn

While the fire was blazing I set about marinating the meat products and getting them on the fire. During this time, I guess my kid was still fretting about her inability to toss a football. In the grand scheme of things, I guess this isn’t too important but in the mind of a somewhat competitive nine year old it I guess it looms pretty large. Since watching Dad cook dinner probably wasn’t the most exciting thing on her mind, she asked me if I could toss the ball back and forth with her. I tried to explain that I was in the midst of cooking for eight or so people and that we might be able to get to it later.

I’m guessing that yet another noder took notice of my plight and it wasn’t long before they wandered off a ways to toss the ball around. I was free to burn dinner without having the excuse of my kid being around. I guess their little catch went ok because when they returned, there were no tears, only smiles…

Thank you said noder, you made a certain little girl smile and forget what was bothering her - what could be better than that?

Episode IV – Mi Casa Es Su Casa

The next morning we were breaking camp. Our itinerary has us going to Washington DC to take in the sights that the city had to offer. After doing a walking tour of the city, our original plans included getting cheap hotel somewhere on the outskirts of town so that we might be close enough to get an early departure for the shores of home the next day. Upon hearing this, yet another noder stepped to the plate and said they lived about 35 minutes from DC and that we would be more than welcome to stay. When we got there, hot meals and comfortable beds were provided. After spending two or three days outdoors, I can’t tell you what a relief it was to relax inside the comforts of ones home and not be burdened with both the expense of finding a hotel and the logistics involved in getting meals and such.

Thank you said noder, your generosity and hospitality went way above the call of duty. We went home refreshed and I hope that I can repay your kindness in due time –what can be better than that?

Epilogue

I’m sure there are many other moments of kindness that occurred on our little excursion that I’ve either already forgotten or omitted. I’m sure they’ll spring to mind every now and then as time marches on and memories are stirred.

It’s been said many times in the past and hopefully it will continue to be said in the future that Everything is a community. Those four little instances that I’ve relayed go a long way to bolstering my belief that we are, indeed, a community of caring and generous people. I for one, am a better person for knowing all of you, whether it be in the real world or over cyberspace – what can better than that?

Thank you to one and all….

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