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I’ve been a member of Ricochet for ten years, nine months, and twelve days. (But who’s counting?) I joined only seven months after the site went live, and after lurking for a few months on the advice of Powerline’s John Hinderaker, from his August 9, 2010 post, Moonlighting at Ricochet. While I enjoyed my first few months on the down-low, I was galvanized into activity by the following post, which appeared on November 9 of that year:
Yes, that’s right. For the first few months of the site, there was no “Member Feed.” And it took a while longer for things like Personal Messaging (PMs), “Likes,” “Groups” and many of the other
nuisances splendid features we’ve come to know and love, to matriculate downfield. (Rare sports analogy; h/t Hank Stram.)***
But when I discovered I could write my heart out and–with a single mouse click–publish the results before–if not quite the world, at least the Ricochet membership–I was sold. Nothing was going to stand in my way. Not the Romney Wars. Not the SSM Wars. Not the Social Conservative Wars (some overlap on the foregoing, it’s true.)
And especially not the Trump Wars.
So here I still am. A survivor, if you will. And mightily grateful for the friendship I’ve found here, and the privilege of calling a few of you among the best friends I have. To borrow from, and slightly misquote, Her Majesty’s marvelously understated recap of her own annus horribilis, “the last decade is not one on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.”
Except for my friendships with some of you.
Last night, I met, for the first time IRL, two new friends: @somecallmetim, and Mrs. Tim. They are processing across the country to participate in a number of family events on both sides, and found themselves passing through my neck of the woods. (I suspect they went somewhat out of their way to do so, but they were gracious enough to pretend otherwise.)
And so we gathered at Angelos, a local watering hole at which I’ve also had the privilege of dining with Mr. and Mrs. Skipsul, as well as with @gdliii and the lovely Missus over the past few years. (TBPC, I remember it in its previous, hole-in-the-wall incarnation. It’s a little more upscale now, but the food is just as good, and the people just as friendly.)
I knew that Tim was a career USMC officer (it’s in his profile), but was delighted to find that Mrs. Tim is as well, and was thrilled to listen to their stories of service and kindness, as well as learning more about their family, talking about our shared interests in technology, our common experiences, and discussing our affection for this odd little site on which we invest so much of ourselves. Is it worth it? We concluded it probably is. (Working on getting Mrs. Tim more involved. You’ll like her, I promise.)
Along the way, we acknowledged the passing of a much-loved member, the late, great, Boss Mongo, and with it, the realization that we should never pass up an opportunity for friendship, kindness, and grace, whenever such is proffered, and no matter how annoying or bizarre, on occasion, a particular member might seem. Way to go, Boss! Doing the Lord’s work, even now. Miss you much.
Gosh, it was fun. And I hope there’ll be opportunities for return visits, and more visits, and continued fellowship across the years.
This, dear friends, is what makes Ricochet worth it to me. As brilliant as some of you are, as sure as I am I can’t go toe-to-toe with you in some areas, as diverse (in the best sense of the word) our expertise is (and yeah, I bow to many of you in many areas on that front, but am also pretty sure that no-one here has built a better chicken coop than me in the last twelve months), there is nothing–absolutely nothing–more meaningful and important than the personal relationships we establish.
God bless you all. And thank you, Tim, Mrs. Tim, and everyone else who’s touched my life in the last eleven years.
***If, for some inexplicable reason, you’re interested in the early days, here’s a post I wrote on my sixth Ricoversary, in which I looked at, and commented on, every post that appeared on my first day on the site, December 12, 2010. I have, indeed, written my heart out here in the last eleven years. Thank you all, those who’ve responded, kept me going, propped me up, and seen me through. And thank you Tim and Mrs. Tim, for coming along for the ride. Excelsior! And–from the late Mr. She (I know)–an enduring Semper Fi.Published in