There is something that no one wants you to know about what happened at the RedState 2009 Gathering. The few exhausted bloggers that have come in wearily dragging their luggage are tight-lipped. The ones who are already home have stilled fingers. Those of us that have successfully napped (twice!) today, are carefully considering how much to share with you, but there is a common theme that I haven’t seen and I don’t know that I will…
And I can’t just NOT tell you about this one… because I think it is by far the most important aspect of RS ’09 and the one that you NEED, nay REQUIRE knowledge regarding in order to truly understand what happened there.
Let me give you the backstory to both build anticipation and make me giggle while I realize that you are mentally groaning and saying “get on with it!” If you look at my profile, you’ll see that I’ve been a member here for 3 years and 7 months. I’ve been lurking for a while longer than that, as is true for people who eventually joined most sites around the time.
Unlike the Facebooks, Twitters and Myspaces of the now, 3-4 years ago, you lurked a site until you realized that you might want to tie yourself to it in any way. The potential that the extension of the site to yourself connection was strong and could be found favorable/unfavorable, depending on who viewed it, was a strong deterrent those days. But I digress. As you knew I would. (See above anticipation)
I came around here for a man.
Yep. I’m one of those. I’m not generally politically inclined, but my husband was fascinated with this new site he’d found and he would write things in a way that I’d never heard him speak. If I wanted to hear that, well, and keep an eye on him, I needed to see what was going on here. So, here I am.
Nowadays, I’m rarely here. I work part-time at a job I love. I’m a doctoral student and full-time mom. I blog on my own (NOT about politics, because that’s his gig and frankly, I’m sick of arguing with the dude), and there are other life things that happen as well.
But I want to tell you the little secret from this weekend, as well as the reason that I come back to stir the pot every now and then. The reason why my husband’s been on Redstate for 4 1/2 years and loves this site and it’s people so much. It’s the reason why I know most of the contributors and many of the readers on a personal level. It’s why this weekend was a true success, beyond amazing speakers, and an awesome hotel (well done, CH).
Redstate.com went beyond just being a website. For the people who have been here a long time or a short time and are growing on us and us on them, it’s become a *gasp* family.
Yep, I said it.
This weekend was amazing because people who genuinely care about one another and are passionate about a topic met and it was pure fireworks. Chemistry of the best kind. People I’ve known for years attempted to give me a handshake. For that, they got glared at and pulled into a full-body hug. Sorry to those that are uncomfortable with touching. In my family, we’re down with contact.
I finally met people that I’ve laughed with, cried with, prayed for, thought about through pregnancies, births, sicknesses and deaths. I mourned the loss of my friend, Mark Kilmer, with a pierced heart this weekend. Don’t for one minute fool yourself into believing that people you meet on a website aren’t real.
This is all very, very real. Your connections here are real. For those of us that attended RS ’09, they are now forged, cemented and faces are put to names. I watched avatars come to life in a surreal way.
The secret of the weekend was in the people and it was pure magic. I’m exhausted in the best of ways. I think it’s time for another nap.