The head unit of an IC-7100 radio tuned to 14.074 MHz.

Right. Wrong blog again.

When I first got into the ham radio hobby, I was living in PA. My dad talked me into joining PCARS which was the club where he was a member. I regularly attended nets put on by local clubs, but when I went to meetings, I felt really out of place. I would join the PCARS net using EchoLink which is a way for hams to use the internet to reach distant repeaters. The club was always welcoming and very friendly.

When we decided to move, I figured I would get to enjoy some of the events in person. We were never able to make it out to an event when we were out of state, but it should have been easy after the move. But, of course, nothing worked out that way.

Every year, the radio guys get their mobile rigs together and head out to an A&W. They park in an adjacent lot and mill around talking about mobile radio. I have a radio in my Jeep! I want to talk too! Because it was outdoors and the prevailing demographic in the club is older, I asked my dad if he wanted to go. He was definitely on board. We talked my son into going by promising a root beer float.

The three of us drove out to the A&W. We got our floats. Masked, we stood around at a respectful distance from one another and talked about EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) transmissions on 40m (a radio “joke” thing) and the tower work that was starting up for various members as fall enters the collective consciousness. It was my first club event. Just a bunch of people standing around a parking lot talking about radios. Not much. But it felt “Normal”? It was good.

I know that I won’t go to an indoor event – that’s just out of the question. But for something like the cruise in, it was definitely worth getting out of the house. It was something I didn’t know that I needed until I was there. Being mindful and conscious of emotional needs is a difficult thing.

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