Thursday, October 30, 2008

New friends, New family

Its true, I'm a bit of a loaner. Maybe it comes from a childhood that was less than secure. Maybe it springs from a decade of strictly trad climbing in the sport climbing paradise of Red River Gorge. Or more likely, it comes from having to disown every friend I knew at 19, so that I could stay out of jail, or worse. Probably much worse.

Recently I've forced myself to be more social in situations when I'd normally find my own space. I actually wrote it into my training program. Silly, but it worked. I've gained a number of friends and connections I never would have realized otherwise. Like switching from slab to steep, I'm happy to be versatile enough to feel comfortable at the party, or listening to it from my sleeping bag.

Last weekend I was in New River Gorge for the Deadpoint Magazine launch party. Someone asked me how I got hooked up with the event, and with the crew from the New. I'm not even sure what my answer was... something long and drawn out, fueled by PBR, I'm sure. That question though, has gotten me thinking.

I've only seen these people once or twice a year... and only for three short years. Why does it seem like I've known them forever?

The answer is simple. It's just them.

I have my daughter, and I have my grandparents, and that's all the family I have. But maybe not...

It didn't really occur to me until my lovely friend Lydia pointed out, while gesturing toward super woman Maura Kistler, "...and there's the denmother."

Since day one, everyone of these people has gone out of their way to make me feel at home. Maura and Gene Kistler. Kurt and Elaina Smith. Kenny Parker. Matt and Megan Stark.

I'm indebted to all of you for the hospitality. Thanks for making me feel like family. In turn, I plan on making myself a nuisance. The New might never get old...

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