Promoted from the diaries
It's funny how I always used to laugh at the phrase "Home is where the heart is". It always seemed a bit silly to me. It wasn't all that long ago that I started to learn that this really was true. One could always feel like they were at "home" even though they may not be sleeping in their bed, or sitting on their couch or eating in their kitchen.
Jacksonville was home this weekend.
I have long considered many of the Contributors and long time commentors and diarists at RedState to be an extension of my family. Instead of just being a political convention to attend, this was much more a family gathering for me. It has always seemed strange to me that this is the case, but I think this weekend solidified it for me. Most of the people that I saw this weekend I was meeting for the first time (several I did get to spend some significant time with in Charleston last year). None of that mattered. We all came together with a purpose. We all came together as if we had known each other our whole lives. I'm forever grateful to the RedState community for the friendships that I have developed. I am a richer person for it. This weekend, I got to experience all of that first hand.
I think it was Friday, when I was doing yet another task that I was asked to do by Caleb Howe, that Erick Erickson asked me why he hadn't seen me inside the room for any of the speakers. Call me crazy, but I don't attend the Gathering for politicians. I attend to see my family. Don't get me wrong, I still am a political junkie like the rest of you. I just felt that it was more important to do everything I could to help in any way that I could. For two of my best friends, Caleb and his wonderful wife Donna, that meant making myself 100% available to them. You see, those two work like crazy to make sure that the Gathering is a success. It's very stressful on them and I wanted to make sure that they could enjoy the time with everyone else too.
Now, I did "geek out" when I found out that Dana Loesch was going to be speaking. I made time for that one. I'm a big fan of Dana. I'm fortunate to live in her home town of St. Louis. She is quite the spokesman for the cause and she was a much needed boost to my commitment to the cause (some of you are noticing that I have not written publicly since December 16th, 2010). Thank you Dana for the inspiration to get off my rear.
I'm excited for the direction that RedState is taking. Partnering with many of the sponsors at the Gathering is only going to make our movement better. There is a new look to RedState coming soon that I believe many will very much enjoy (I'm told it's even easier to create content). The future for this movement and this family is looking very bright.
So, while I may be writing this while I am waiting to travel back to St. Louis, I really can't wait to come back "home" next year. See you all there.