Turkey and Ham’s..2
With the smell of Turkey cooking in the oven and spruce wood in the fireplace, I walk down the hill to my neighbor Kara’s for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Since I moved out here Thanksgiving has always been a time for all of Rose’s children and grandchildren to gather for fellowship and good food. Yes they visit at other times but remembering it is a 130 mile round trip this and Christmas is the two times they all try to be here on the same day.
So what brings them all together out here on Thanksgiving? I am sure part of it is the food, Rose and Kara cook some of the best tasting food and baked pies that disappear in minutes, but that I know is only a small part of the reason. Most of them probably would say it was the food, but they are still young and with plenty of life ahead of them and never consider the emotional side of a family gathering. We who have a few more years on us give thanks for what we have and for what we have had.
Myself I give thanks for my children and grandchildren. I also give thanks for meeting a women many years ago who asked me for a little help and then opened her door and allowed me to become a part of her life and family. If it wasn’t for Rose I have no idea what my life would be like today.
Strangers as friends (a Ham radio story)
I belong to a community of people, (amateur radio operators), that stretches around the world. Our ethnicity, religion and financial status is as varied as the number of people on this earth. Our one common bond is that we spend hours communicating over the airways. Some of us use the older Morris code or digital means, some communicate by voice, sometimes bouncing signals off satellites or even the moon, to us it doesn’t matter it’s the act of reaching out and searching for a contact.
There are times when we connect with someone on a level above the normal conversation of what type of radio or antenna we have or what the weather is like at their station, and this to me is like finding that golden nugget in a stream. There is one other way this happens. My son Anthony also a ham told me of a story about when he was in visiting Denver and driving to a friends house he passed by another home with many ham antennas. He decided to stop, went to the door and rang the bell. Now if you live in a city you know what its like when someone you don’t know rings your door bell… well this time it was totally different. The gentleman opened the door and my son said his name was Anthony and his call sign was KB3DVS and that he noticed the antennas. The man immediately invited Anthony in for a tour of his shack, (that’s ham speak for his radio room). I believed him when he told me about this encounter but I figured it was a once in a million event.
Now living out here on the edge of nowhere you would think we don’t have many visitors but you have to remember the thousands of people each year that pass our driveway as they travel up the road to the Arctic circle. This past summer I have had three readers of this blog stop buy, one from as far away as Australia, one from Florida and the last from the mid-west. I have also however been blessed to have had one and a half visits like the one Anthony had. I say one and a half because I was not home for the first one, and found out about it when a lengthly letter came to me from a ham who said he was sorry I was not home when he stopped by.
The second visit was different. A ham from Germany saw my call-sign by the highway, turned in our driveway and asked Kara, who he met first, if she was the ham. She said no but brought him down to my cabin. His name was Stefan from Kassel Germany, he asked many questions about living and operating a ham station full time in this remote area. He took some pictures and then was on his way North to the Arctic circle. I thought nothing more about it until I received in the mail a German ham magazine called CQDL and inside was an article about me and my ham shack out here in the woods.
The moral of this story is there is none. Logically we might say that any member of any organization would open there house to a fellow member even if they were strangers. But when do you think was the last time a teamster, Democrat, teacher or Republican invited another of his group into his home when he never met them before. I can’t enplane why ‘hams’ are different in this respect, but I just wish more people were as open, honest and trusting.
Wouldn’t the world be a far better place?