The Writers’ Block meetup in Gatlinburg was a blur to me in many ways. One look at this photograph and you’ll see what I mean.
If you’re ever going to Gatlinburg, you might want to learn the back way in. We arrived late, expecting no traffic and were greeted by a literal throng of touristas milling their way through the main street. Not what we’d hoped for after a four-hour drive that turned into seven and a half hours (thank you NCDOT). Honestly, while we inched our way along the main drag there I admitted to myself that this trip was cursed. We finally grabbed a sub at Geno’s and gratefully hit the sack.
Saturday was a rush. Got to meet folks I felt I’d known all my life. We had a constructive meeting with @instructor2121, followed by a bit of socializing before most of us headed off to find the bears.
@trishlarimer and I are old and weak and we both felt like we needed a nap. We headed back to our room and took a nap before returning to the cabin that afternoon. The main group was still bear-hunting so we sat around the cabin with @instructor2121. Good guy, that one. I can’t wait for this new project to become public. You folks are gonna love it.
Later on, everyone gathered together and unbeknownst to some of us, @jayna ( @jayna-minime ) prepared an awesome chicken dinner. It was better than Sunday at Grandma’s house.
This was the best trip I’ve taken in more than a decade. I’m kinda sickly these past eleven years. I don’t travel well, so I don’t travel at all. I seldom leave my little town here that is one mile by three miles roughly, so a trip of a couple hundred miles was daunting for me. Frankly: it scared me.
But I was motivated. I wanted to meet @RhondaK. I wanted to meet @GMuxx. I wanted to meet @SirCork. I wanted to meet @Anarcho-Andrei. I wanted to meet @jayna. I didn’t know @enginewitty would be there but I am sure glad I got to meet him. And the others who were there as well. (I know I always seem to leave folks out. I’m sorry–it’s age. I shoulda took notes.)
The point is, I was motivated to be there. Because these people are some of the very best of what humanity has to offer the universe right now. Because at my age, it’d be so easy to become that angry old man screaming at everyone to leave him alone. ***Get off my lawn!*** I don’t want to be that guy. Ever.
Living with chronic illness it’s easy for me to forget that there could be a future worth my while. Then I see these people–these *steemians*–and my heart is lifted. My disposition mediated. My outlook brightened. My future, once more a possibility of possibilities.
And for them, and for what they’ve meant to my life so far, I am forever grateful. Thank you all.