This weekend has been about victories and defeats. It has been about all of the things, good and bad, that distract us from letterboxing. It has been about why we letterbox in the first place.
One year ago, we found our first letterbox and we were hopelessly and completely transfixed by this grand and glorious passion. We came, we carved, we searched. We spent way too much time on the computer and way too much money at the post office. We saw places that we never knew existed and met extremely interesting people. We ticked a few people off and hopefully encouraged many more. It was a good year.
This past weekend was a condensed version of our year. We found boxes and searched for boxes that were missing. We walked what seemed like an eternity and have the blisters to prove it. We found thorns and the bugs found us. We spent a wonderful time together away from all of the things that constantly demand our attention (like the laundry). We saw amazing things in God's Creation. We communicated with friends and received a couple of very special PLBs in the mail. We deciphered clues and studied maps. We read the message boards, sometimes laughing, sometimes not. We looked through our journal and shared favorite memories.
If there is one thing that we have learned this past year, it is that all of the negative things about this hobby cannot take away from the wonderful things that we gain. The disappointment of failing to find a box is softened by the excitement of being in a fabulous park. An incredible stamp image is more than worth the risk of poison ivy, ticks and mosquitoes. Coming face to face with breathtaking wildlife makes up for having to search in a pestifilent slough earlier in the day. And paying the bill at the post office seems trivial when a package arrives from someone who works magic with a Speedball.
We haven't learned everything there is to know about letterboxing. But we do know more than when we first started. And we know we are not going to stop here!