According to my homenode I've been here 2.5 years. It doesn't seem like it has been that long but then again there have been some stretches here and there that I wasn't around much. The first time I came here was a particularly boring day at work. I had recently discovered Slashdot and was starting to read it on a regular basis. As many users here have done before me and since, I clicked on the little link that promised to blow my mind. I was in for more than I ever expected.

Fast forward a year or so and you come upon the first time I met a noder. It was an odd situation but it happened and it wouldn't be the last time. I'm not going to keep rambling about all of my E2 firsts. I just think a little background was good for what I'm about to address.

I've made friends here. I know some of you are thinking, "Well so fucking what? You want a cookie?". No, I just never expected that I would make friends on the internet. Not just friends, but people that care about things in my life that only my closest of friends cared about before. I'm not going to make a list of the friends I've made. I'll forget someone or put the list in the wrong order or do something wrong. What I am going to do is relay a story of sorts that sums up what I'm talking about. If you want to call this an aftermath, go right ahead but it might be a little late. I think of it more as a thank you note.

This year was the first time in my life I wasn't with my parents and sister for Thanksgiving. It wasn't that I was too far away or that I had a fight with them that led me to Nashville for Thanksgiving. It was just a simple invitation. I had met Scott and Julia before on different occasions and counted them among my friends from E2. I found out they were having Thanksgiving in Nashville and I thought it sounded like fun.

I arrived in Nashville the morning of Thanksgiving and drove straight to Scott and Julia's house. When I got out of my car I noticed a ramp that led up to the door. It was built to fit over the concrete stairs. When I got closer to the ramp it became apparent that it was new. I could still see the pencil lines on the wood from where someone carefully measured each plank. I knew that this house had been in Scott's family for some time and I wondered if maybe the ramp was built for the benefit of an elderly grandmother that liked to visit or some similar situation.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Scott and Julia built the ramp for me. Let me emphasize that in case you missed part of it; RAMP BUILT FOR ME!?! Sure, upon questioning, Scott played it off saying that it was a good project because Julia got to learn to use the power tools and they had fun working on it together. None of his excuses changed the fact that they built a ramp for a visitor who was going to be in town for a couple of days. There is nothing I can say to properly thank them for what they did. The funny thing is that it really wasn't the convenience that made it touching. I can get up and down stairs. The house I grew up in had five steps up to the front door. I'm floored by the fact that the idea even crossed their minds. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for having me at your Thanksgiving. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you.