Sorry - But I Just Had To Do This!

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Posted by Kate on July 08, 2000 at 23:01:48:

Haa, you'uns!

'Dowhat?' I hear you exclaim! 'DAMiiiiit! Is this gal trying to 'wind us up'? Mais non, y'all!! I'm just demonstrating my multi-lingual skills!!

Seriously, these little phrases were passed on to me via the various Gatherers who came from many different States and Countries and who have a diversity of accents, dialects and colloquialisms! Neat, huh (to coin another phrase I picked up!)?! And in my usual, long-winded way, I think I am trying to answer the question put to me by Gayle, when she phoned just as MMMM and I were getting in the door from the Gathering - 'What did I enjoy most about Gathering 2000'. Sheesh (to coin another 'little' Mohicanite's phrase!), what a question!!

I know! I know! You guys are past all that G2K talk and have moved on. I, on the other hand, have not!! As most of you who follow the Board will know, I have only lately returned home from Miss Marcia's, where (MUCHO THANKS, Miss!!!) I enjoyed an extended holiday. And because G2K seemed not quite over for me, I did not post earlier on when everyone else was. However, my holiday is well and truly over - and now my brain is trying to sift through memories, images and happy moments that I have enjoyed these last 3 weeks. And to be perfectly honest, I can't find adequate words to describe how I feel.

'What I loved most about Gathering 2000'. Well, without time to think about it, I told Gayle 'the people'. With time to reflect, do I still feel that way? Well, I now find myself using phrases I had never heard of before G2K. When I need someone to repeat what they said, I automatically think 'dowhat?' If something is good - or bad, I find myself saying 'DAMiiiit'!! Or talking in a cute little French Canadian accent!! And on it goes! Am I making fun of my fellow Gatherers? I AM NOT!! I am remembering all the good people I met, all the fun we had together and each little phrase is a gentle reminder of someone: Clabert, Martha, Eric, Ilse etc.!! Each phrase and accent reminds me that total strangers, from all parts of the world, came together and SHARED. Their lives, their hopes and dreams, their cultures, their senses of humour, their spirits of adventure, so many things!! (They EVEN shared their privacy, the bathrooms and beds!! :0)

Like Dana, the Gathering for me was hundreds of wonderful moments, shared with nearly 80 people and each moment reminding me, these previously unknown people are now precious friends. For instance? Well, there was the moment I first arrived in Bear Den and a perfect stranger smiled brightly, hugged me warmly and said 'I'd know you anywhere'!! On meeting my 'roomies', I knew instinctively that these gals were the warm, generous and tremendously funny people I knew from the Board and they would be loads of fun to be with!! (And I wasn't wrong!!! ;0) There was the moment of stunned silence - then absolute pleasure on hearing of the birth of another Federici Mohicanite!! There were the sweet, warm moments as various 'old' friends exclaimed 'so nice to see you again!' And the honest reply that 'the pleasure was MINE' - and the pleasure in meeting wonderful 'new' friends, giving and receiving hugs that were genuine and heartfelt!

Sitting passing the peace pipe round - Wow!!! In that setting, in the warm night, in front of the cabins with companions so comfortable and easy to be with, it just felt 'right' somehow. Thanks to those friends for that incredible memory!

Of course, another poignant memory has GOT TO BE 'the proposal'! It was such an honour to be allowed to share that very magical moment as two people 'plighted their troth'.

There was a day when I didn't feel too well, but even THAT has given me cause to find a silver linng. So many folks cared and sympathised and didn't make me feel a nuisance or that I was spoiling their precious Gathering time. A real measure of the worth of those people I am proud to call my friends.

There were, also, many moments that I recall with a great deal of mirth!! Miss MMMM and I shared MANY occasions, on the trail up to Bear Den, where we roared with laughter... till the tears near ran down our legs!! :0) And quite frankly, that set the tone for room-sharing in the 'honeymoon cabin', trailing up Table Rock with some wonderfully funny ladies, etc. Ilse, you do THE MOST wonderful impressions!! ;0) And who will EVER forget that 'big screen' moment as Magua makes that hand beckoning movement and a voice in the darkness, breathlessly responds, 'I'm coming, I'm coming'!! :0)

There were LOADS of little moments I remember - Marcia's inexhausible cheerfulness, generosity and sense of fun; Diana turning up trumps with all the things I needed for Ariel's Cabin - AND with gadgets galore (!! :0); coming down off Table Rock with Cecelia (:0); coming back down Chimney Rock in the rainstorm with Dana and not letting it bother us; Martha and Bertha's ever smiling faces; Darla, Dave, Gwen and Len agreeing to 'hold the fort (or Cabin, as it were!) without hesitation; the Sweetser sisters making me rock with laughter; the four long-hunters (magnifique!); the Clabert/Eric 'George Road Massacre'(tres bon!); talking to Kelli Evans (what a JOY that girl is!!); Penny, Alma and Sandy's kindness; Jenifer, it was SO nice to see you again, brief though it was (!); Jo 'mucking in' and helping at Ariel's Cabin 'without so much as a by-your-leave' - just knowing help would be appreciated and pitching in; sitting with Bill and Betty around the campfire in the evenings - what a pleasure(!); and I won't EVER forget holding that beautiful baby, Michael Andre...

I haven't been able to list ALL my special moments - there are just too many!!! Didn't list every person - but I think I met or was introduced to almost all 80 of you. I regret I did not get to socialise or have time with many of you, but - I DO remember you all and each of you were smiling and sharing yourselves with others!! And I think of you all with great fondness. After all, you're part of my 'family' now!!

Yes, I think I stand by what I said. It was definitely the people that were the best part of the Gathering!! Another successful Gathering? I should say so! Thanks to you all!! And 'merci' for bearing with me here as I got all that off my chest. DAMiiiit, I needed that!!

Take care, y'all! And - baa!

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