The best thing I did in the last year and a bit was to join Ricochet.com.
By doing that, I opened up a whole new universe of erudition and wisdom (and humor, which is often lacking in today’s world). I have met, both on-line and in person, people who think like I do, admire what I admire, and fret about the things that make me anxious. Living in a deep blue state, it’s often difficult to find others who are conservative in their outlook. But my Ricochet membership opened up whole new avenues of friendship. Who would have thought there were so many wonderful, conservative people right in our area?
Shortly after my husband and I joined, we went to a meetup of members at a coffee shop in South Lake Union. We spent a very pleasant two hours in conversation with a dozen of the nicest people! They came from as far away as Portland to get acquainted with their fellow Ricochet members. After that, it just sort of snowballed. In January, I participated in my first “AMU”, or Audio Meetup (basically, a big conference-call). People literally called in from all over the world! The hosts are three members, one from Pennsylvania, one from Wisconsin, and one from Japan. Yep, Japan!! So I could place a voice, if not a face, with some of the names I’d seen on the site. And I discovered that there is more total “sense of humor” on Ricochet than anywhere else online or off. Even when we’re discussing how our country is going down the tubes, we can laugh. The member from Japan is especially funny, and I look forward to talking with him on almost a weekly basis now.
In May of 2013, Hillsdale College had scheduled a National Leadership Seminar in Seattle, so I decided to try to get together a Ricochet meet up around that seminar. My husband and I decided to stay at the convention hotel downtown for the seminar, so I reserved a room at the restaurant in the hotel for our get-together. Then I posted a notice on Ricochet, asking for potential attendees to get in touch with me if they were interested. Well, that meeting was a rousing success! We had about 20 people, including one of the contributors to the site, who is a long-haul truck driver, and an awesome writer. One of the Hillsdale professors came, as well as a Ricochet member who is one of the first class at the Hillsdale Graduate School of Statesmanship. You can see video of that here
In July, a member who lives in Whatcom County suggested a picnic, so I helped organize a nice outing at Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds on Puget Sound. That outing, too, was loads of fun, and members brought their families for a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
The best part of the year, though, was in October, when we drove to Las Vegas and back for a Ricochet National Meeting. Members, contributors, and even an Editor came from all across the country to meet and have fun with their fellow members. I actually found members in Idaho and Utah to get together with on the way down, too. On the trip home, we went to the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.
So, now it’s 2014, and we look forward to more audio and physical meetings with our new Ricochet friends. In February, we are going to Phoenix for another Hillsdale National Leadership Seminar, and we already have found one Editor and three fellow members to get together with. Truly, if you join Ricochet, you will never lack for friends to meet, wherever you travel. For any of you who are interested, just drop by Ricochet, and take a look. If you decide to join, you will not be disappointed!