Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Reflections on Family Gatherings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,172

    Reflections on Family Gatherings

    Reflections on Family Gatherings.

    I have met many new friends as a result of gatherings and personal visits. I have been blessed to put a live face to the name and learned ever so much more about really great people. Family Woodworking Family Gatherings are no exceptions. In fact, they are downright over the top!

    The long weekend at Sharon and Brent’s was entirely memorable. I hope I didn’t wear out my welcome. <grin> What a hoot!

    Yes, we all enjoyed it very much and did more than our share of ‘neener, neener, neener, you should have been here.’ But we don’t intend to rub anyone’s nose in it. It is so much fun, it is hard to not gloat.

    So, two things. If (and when) there is another, make plans to come. The more, the merrier. There are a wide variety of ways to make that happen. Even hitchhiking works!

    Second, if you think you might like to host one, we have some ideas.

    First, plan at least six months out so folks have plenty of time to plan and make arrangements. Second, consider making it a potluck so meals, their cost, the work and the cleanup can be shared. Consider accepting donations or even set a suggested donation to help cover it. Also, consider asking people to handle one meal, other meal people for another meal, someone for appetizers, etc. You get the idea.

    Plan door prizes for a little more fun. If you can’t be there, maybe send or offer to send a lucky winner a bonus from your shop - a no longer needed tool, wood, books, etc. You can be there vicariously! Even bean recipes work!

    Maybe plan other activities as well. I DID get to drive Bob! Even with a full bucket! And more than a little lead went flying with a variety of pistolas. I even hit a bullseye! And today there is ammo for the chariot’s armory. Not to mention a certain dining table has gotten past an impasse and the creator learned a few things. Those who could help were more than happy to do so. And then there was the jam sessions. There is no end of talent among our family members. Enjoy all the fun.

    How about planning activities in the area for the non-woodworking spouse or SO? Even demos for them would be interesting. How about collaborative projects? These events are not so much about woodworking as they are about camaraderie. Volunteer for a demo. Be the designated photographer and poster of pix and vids. Remember, we are having a blast and its hard to take time to take pix and post them. At least it is for the not-so-great geeks among us.

    There was much conversation, about more topics than imaginable. Even confidences were exchanged, for we are friends and it is safe to share. I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.

    Now, having put myself out there, and having no place to host one of these, I would be more than happy to help plan one. Call it payback or selfish, ‘cause this really was a blast! And I wanna come to another!

    Just thinking out loud. Certainly not everything that could be said has been said about this. I think it is worthy of conversation.

    Thoughts?
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Well said, Carol.

    I've participated in several Family Woodworking meet-ups, ranging from a quick meetings to multi-day gatherings, and each and every one of them has been a pleasure. And after each one, I had gained new friends or reinforced old friendships. I highly recommend them to any of our members, regardless of how active you may or may not be here on the forum.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    13,361
    Well said Carol.

    When I first volunteered, I thought there might be 1 or 2 that would make it. I never expected to have 10 people travel from far and farther to get here.

    All I have to add is to say 'If you plan it, they will come'.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    Posts
    485
    While I haven't had the opportunity to be a part of any meet and greets in a few years now, I must say every one I've been a part of have left me with new friends and a wealth of memories that will be with me forever.

    The La Crosse, WI meet at Piggy's will never be forgotten.

    To those members who have not participated in one of these meet and greets, take advantage the next time one presents itself. You'll never regret the experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    Posts
    5,533
    I was honored to 'host' the central NY stop when Rennie did his one lap of america. I'm definitely going to any meet up I can get to. Now that my new job is finally getting 'normalized', I might actually be able to plan out a month or two in advance. (not to mention afford the trip).
    -Ned

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,260
    I have so many reflections to post on this whole concept but first I have to recover in more ways than one.

    What I would like to share might speak to those who at some point in their lives got bitten by whatever and decided to pull back from human interaction and avoid it completely.

    When and where I grew up, for me life was strange. I found myself having to constantly adapt to the desires whims etc of all and sundry in the neighborhood or country and never getting to meet people I had something in common with until very late in high school. Even then it was mostly with people outside of my own school.

    I guess due to weather and funds SPORT governed the day in particular sports played with a single item like a ball that involved either having the tenacity to go home and mindlessly develop the skill to manipulate said ball or item or the natural brute force to be able to carry or hit the item.

    Therefore if either of these aspects evaded you or you had no interest in them you were very much on the edge or outside. I participated but did so under a degree of duress, suffice to say me and sports of any kind have not been the best of friends as a result in my entire life thus far.

    It took until the internet came around and even longer before an event happened that changed my outlook.

    I was browsing the internet one day after having come to Canada and came across a guys website. This guy is an optician and his family is from Pakistan or India I would have to go back and check to make sure which, anyhow I could not believe that here was a guy posting on his own site really helpful tips and stories of the things he was doing. BOOM it hit me. There were other people in this world that were as crazy as I saw myself. There was something on his site that I wanted to understand about some item and I decided to take the plunge and ask him and at the same time ask him where he had been all my life and that I wished he had been in my neighborhood growing up with me cause then I would have had a friend that was interested in things that I was interested in and had similar outlook.

    WOW he wrote back. Now I was blown away and Linda had to deal with days of me blabbering like a young excited kid.

    This guy was delighted to converse with me and we corresponded. What intrigued me most is he helped me break down so many layers to my onion shell I had created in one swoop of a reply.

    It was uncanny that I could be successful in business on a global basis but so incompetent on a social basis. I realized my youth had to have been so full of painful experiences that I had simply built a thick protective skin that involved mostly sticking to myself.

    This guy made me realise I could participate in a hobby without having to have every item in the world. He was doing things on his dining room table and often through lack of knowledge using the incorrect tools but learning rapidly and was not afraid to share every bit of the experience. Man he is a bright guy well above what I consider to be my intellectual level. He was into flying hobby planes and although being an optician by day had a definite desire to design and build his own (not for commercial purposes although me being me wanted him to do so (lol)) . He bought a milling machine to make parts but as each layer of knowledge and skill built up realised more and more what he needed was a cnc and so built his own from scratch. There was no CNC forum at the time. The connection I felt was incredible.

    Today society has labeled (yup we aint happy until we can put a label on someone and put them in a category) guys like him a MAKER. Heck I think I am one too.

    But breaking the ice with this guy and his response changed me forever.

    Then I took the plunge one day to join this forum and connected with Larry another special human being. That's not to say there aint many more here but I am referring to a timeline here and what many may not know until they experience it, is that Larry does an incredible amount of behind the scenes reaching out to folks. That Ambassador title goes way further than what is apparent. I have often thought the real State Dept could do with Larry as a consultant imho he could teach them folks a few things they lacking.

    Then came a moment when a local shop was closing down and had some kit for sale and me being me got quiet upset after meeting the owner and hearing his story and decided I would do what I could to help him out with sale of his machines. Well Larry bit on one and I offered to buy it for him and store it till he could pick it up.

    Now this is where this whole "meet someone on the web" and "meet them in person or have them come to your home" issue comes up.

    By the time this event occurred I figured I had a pretty good knowledge of the person from the many many posts that Larry participates in and from our interaction.

    However we have inmho allowed the media and society to foster a fear of each other and of strangers to such an extent that we have in fear of something happening passed this on to our kids without taking time to expand the subject.

    So....when I offered Larry to stay over when he came to pick up the machine, my sons turned on me and said do you know this guy, have you met this guy before. Are you going to allow a complete stranger into our house and have him sleep with us. What if he wakes in the night and robs us or kills us etc etc etc and all that poured out was all that had been put in by Linda and I as parents. Turned out they had been listening.

    I was on thin ice to try explain why it was going to be ok. Larry also did not know what to expect and brought Tom along for backup and friendly face. He also brought a load of chocolate that I still would like to know how he got it across the border without any issues.
    I had no clue this wood was for me. Until he asked where we put it when it came time to load the machine.

    I could go on and on about this initial contact, suffice to say my family took to Larry immediately and we had a meal I am sure they will remember all their life. Who serves a new friend Oxtail on the first get together.

    Well after that ice breaker there was no question for me as to whether I wanted more. I had found a treasure trove of "my kinda people".

    The rest as they say is history.

    But for those out there that may trapped by the fears etc that proliferate in our world about the negatives of the internet, I ask you to consider the fact that there has to be more good being done each day in the world than there is bad or we certainly not be living the way we are.

    So if ever the opportunity presents itself consider jumping in and taking the plunge and reaching out and shaking a hand. You will change your life for the better and discover your humanity again and be able to leave a ton of mental baggage behind. The feeling is liberating.

    One last thought connected to this topic came to me when I was in the plane at Reno airport lifting off. I thought of the conditioning my mother had always used to keep me "stoic" in line with the English phrase of retaining a stiff upper lip.

    "Cowboys don't cry" Yeah she used every thing in the book I am sad to say. She knew I was a cowboy nut and took my world and used it against me.

    Well it meant you grew up where men don't cry period. You grew up where a firm distant handshake defined you.

    Well let me tell you I have never seen so many grown men giving each other a bear hug as I did at Brents place and that is a tribute to the kind of people and relationships that have developed on this forum and the value each felt in the meeting face to face and the time shared together.

    I left Reno delighted overwhelmed tired full of all sorts of thoughts and more determined to meet as many of "my people" as possible.

    Thanks to all that participated even if all you did was lurk and read a post or two. Hopefully in time you will recognise as I did that its ok to get into the water.

    Ok back to work I got loads to catch up before I go away again. Burning daylight....man how I wish that man was still alive making movies.
    cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    13,361
    Attaboy Rob. Great post!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Posts
    4,552
    GREAT Posts Carol and Rob......
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
    Posts
    3,798
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Caughron View Post
    GREAT Posts Carol and Rob......
    ^^^Ditto and after reading Robs post, looks like I'm going to have to book a sit-in on a particular hill in a special chair in the middle of no-where
    Great food for thought!
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,260
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cook View Post
    ^^^Ditto and after reading Robs post, looks like I'm going to have to book a sit-in on a particular hill in a special chair in the middle of no-where
    Great food for thought!
    Hey Ken if you a good boy, Larry will even carry your chair up the hill for you. That sitting together was a memory making moment and we did not even need Kodak. Were I you Brent and Sharon I would be up there every day to watch the sunset, it would be good exercise but also I would do it every day while I still could. Its an awesome spot. Brent you should think on putting down some permanent tripod points where you could set the camera and get exactly the same view of the valley.
    Then each time or as seasons pass take a decent wide angle pic. Would make for a good set of pics.
    cheers

Similar Threads

  1. Reflections on Family woodworking
    By Don Baer in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-31-2009, 07:29 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •