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Photo: Last QSO from Courage Center marks end of an era - Avery Finn, K0HLA, is net control for the last Handiham net and made the last radio contact from the station at Courage Center in Golden Valley, MN.
The Handiham headquarters station was moved this week from Courage Center to Camp Courage, Maple Lake, Minnesota. The last day of operation was Monday, October 5, 2009, when Avery, K0HLA, ran the daily Handiham net. The stations who checked in will receive QSL cards from us, thanks to Avery's diligence in keeping a log and filling out the cards for today's mail. We did not make any official announcement ahead of time, so whether or not you were a member of this select group of stations simply depended upon your being there. So always show up for your nets - you never know when something special will happen.
This reminds me of when Jerry Kloss, N0VOE, and I were talking about our kids. At that time, my son Will was just a little guy - probably in Kindergarten.
Jerry told me, "Enjoy it while you can - all those wonderful experiences - they grow up before you know it."
That really did turn out to be true. Will, KC0LJL, is 20 now and studying in Tokyo. Over the years I have remembered Jerry's words, and I now think back to the times I carried my son up the stairs and put him to bed. I thought to myself each time, "I wonder if this will be the last time I carry Will upstairs."
Then, one time it was.
I don't remember exactly what day it was, but that last time did arrive and I'm sure I wondered if it would be the last time I held my son in my arms and climbed the stairs. There were plenty of other last times to remember, too. A last time I fed him while he sat in his high chair. A last time he played with his stuffed Big Bird toy. A last time he rode his tricycle. His last day of elementary school. That last day of high school.
The point is that last times happen all the time. Life is relentless that way. Oh, sure, we may plan to visit a relative we have not seen in years, but circumstances may change and instead we are attending a funeral. That trip you have always wanted to take, and could have when you had the chance, might be out of reach today because of the recession. That radio club meeting you didn't attend at the end of last season's meeting season... well, that might have been the last time you got to visit with your friends, some of whom have moved to other places and jobs.
Don't miss a chance to enjoy life, to stay in touch with your friends, to be a part of ham radio. There is an old joke reminding us that no one ever said on their deathbed, "Gee, I wish I had sat on the couch and watched more television."
Now, get out there and get on the air. Don't pass up an opportunity to talk with your friends. Go, go, go!
For Handiham World, I'm...
Patrick Tice, email@example.com