I know we have lots of cold months ahead, but I want to at least start you thinking about getting toger by region as members strive to meet each other again this year. Last year, many members in different sections of the country and even from around the globe met with each other and as each year goes by I hope we are more and more organized and plan well ahead.
The on gathering I was honored to attend was the meeting of PDMattox, CWBees, the whole Buzzbee Family and my wife Tracey and I got together in Philadelphia, PA for an afternoon. This year, I hope we DOUBLE the number of people who meet during that period.
In two other meetings, I had the pleasure of Geoff from Australia stay for 4 wonderful days and TWT from Georgia (state not Country) stay here 2 days on the way to MAine's Lobster Fest and 1 night on the return trip.
The point is, these people are all Ventrilo Friends, people I talked to nightly for months and months (in most of these cases for several years) before we met. We all knew each other like family and we were all comfortable from the very first second. I wish everyone has similar gatherings to people they communicate with through the forum, putting a living breathing person to the text or voice we share in the forum is wonderful.
Here in New Jersey I know of 5 or more members that I have posted with for a long time, KonasDad by far the closest, yet we haven't met. I really hope that changes. So if we start batting around times that are good for everyone, I know we can work out (at the very least) a short meet and greet. Relaxing over a nice meal and a few drinks really opens up conversation and that would help me break free of my shyness shell
So if nothing else, start thinking about who you can meet even if a few hours drive on each side is needed. Creating a list of WHO should be easy, we all have friends here which we would love to meet and distance may make it near impossible, but dreaming it is so, is often the first step toward creating reality. Setting goals is a great way to start too - I hope to add at least 5 new people in face to face meetings and reaquaint myself with all those I have met so far. Seeing Geoff again this year could be a toughy, but we'll get setup with cams and do the next best thing
PDMattox (Dallas) from Florida will be coming up here in the Spring or sometime when warmer weather allows that southern boy to thaw and not go dormat on me - lol. This visit I hope will be a few days longer and I've already promised we will make it to NYC which we didn't get to last time. After being to NYC so many times, it doesn't thrill me as much, but who knows, I might talk him into a 2 or 3 day trip to Washington, DC while only 4.5 hours away from here!!!!
Meet and Greet 2009, put that on your list. And to finish, if he is reading this and I'd bet a paycheck he is BUD1 (I call him Uncle Bud) is right there at the top of my list of meeting. We were robbed this past Summer, I and Dallas were ready to visit Bud when I had my car accident and was laid up for 8 weeks. It was almost carved in stone and fell apart when I passed out and plowed into a tree, finding out I was suffering from seizures and now am medically treated to prevent reoccurances (hopefully).
The trip above means I'll be flying down to Dallas, meeting up again with his wonderful family and then taking the drive toward Bud to meet up with him, his daughter and Grandson "Sprout!" Meeting with Bud after enjoying him all this time in chat will be the highlight of my 2009 year. Bud is a true Gentleman who minces no words and always lets you know where he stands - I love that about him. And yes, calling him uncle Bud is not just an honorary title, it is how I feel about Bud, to me he is family.
If you have people here you feel the same about, make the effort, work out the details and get together, it completes the full circle of our forum and it creates a memory you will never forget.