Sunday, May 17, 2009
Are You a phD YET?
Geocaching has introduced me to a vast number of interesting, talented, and all-around wonderful people. Just over a year ago, while on the hunt for a cache, I ran into a friendly cache-hunter who went by the name UNCGBogTurtle (whose real name is Beth, but don't repeat this, as it's a dirty little secret). Turns out she was a friend of a friend—who, quite coincidentally, is also a cacher (Cupdaisy, a.k.a. Ermengarde). So the lot of us went on a big old nighttime cache outing, which proved to be just a wee bit on the fun side. Then we up and did it again...and again. Before I knew it, we were getting together regularly, along with another friend, Geodogg (whom I will call Climbacus, though his real name is Joe). During this period, Ms Bog Turtle was laboring diligently to earn her phD in geography.
Well, at last, she has done this thing. Yesterday at their place, Beth and her husband, Al, hosted a graduation party that included family, friends, and the caching cadre. (That's Ms Bog Turtle in the photo above, along with an old fart and Mrs Death, in case there's any ambiguity.) Nice affair, for sure. The sad part of all this is that Beth has accepted a position at an institution of higher learning far, far away, and she and Al will be leaving all too soon.
Over the past few months, Beth and Al have become such good friends to Peg and me that, despite our best hopes and wishes for her success, I fear we are going to be very glum cachers indeed. In the relatively short time we've known them, it feels like we've shared many years' worth of adventures—experiencing new places, sharing life stories, conquering fears, and re-energizing ourselves when life's burdens have grown heavy. I mean, wow. Among the many wonderful friends I've made over the years, there are few with whom I have experienced so much life in so brief a time.
Of course, we wish them every success in their new home, and particularly Beth as she embarks on a whole new stage of her career, in brand new, distant digs. But we're going to miss you peoples like we've missed few others. I hope that, somewhere down the line, we'll all be back together for the long haul, and we can take up our adventures right where we left off. Y'all do mean the world.
Here's looking till then.