OK So my last blog like 14 months ago, where I told you all what was going on in my life kinda fell flat on it's face. A few months after I wrote that - our time in EM27 came to an end. Exactly why and how is way outside the scope of this blog or what I really even want to talk about... but in general my wife's work didn't quite work out the way she'd had hoped, we really kinda missed the mountains of the Ozarks, and even Joplin, MO (population 50k) felt too big in the context of a global pandemic. So, we looked back south again - not quite as far as EM34 this time though - for the things we wanted. Good Schools, Small community, a view of the mountains, and of course, a QTH with a good Height above average Terrain :)
After some interviews, my wife found a new position in EM36 in Harrison, Arkansas. We'd driven thru Harrison many times going up and down the famous US65 thru the Boston Mountains, and liked the area. The schools had top ratings, land and homes were plentiful and cheap and I was still within 90 minute's drive of 2 major airports. There are of course some negative connotations about Harrison in the media, and while we have seen some of the stereotypes since we've been here - it's the exception rather than the rule. I'm a pretty well traveled person, and everywhere I've been I've managed to find dirtbags if I look hard enough, my new hometown is not unique. All I can say is the attitudes that have gained Harrison some notoriety aren't me, and I don't tolerate them from the people I associate with. I believe I'm where I am to make the world a better place, and I'm happy to start with my community. But seriously though, how you can hate a place that has a view like this from your front yard?
Yup - those are mountains (real mountains, especially when you try to run up them with a SOTA pack on) that are right across the valley from me. The new QTH is about 1400' MSL and it's up on a high knob just north of town. We got 10 acres, fenced in pasture, trees, a house big enough for nuclear family to spread out, and the extended family to come visit, and a dedicated office and shop for me to do my radio tinkering and still keep the internet running for the world, which is now more important than ever. It's everything we've really ever wanted... I just have a lot more maintenance to do that I did with a rental house.
Oh yea, I also bought a tower trailer. Since I have some land now, I figure the first thing I do is put up a nice tower. Wife had precisely zero intention of letting me do that to our beautiful mountain views though, so when a tower on wheels that I can hide back in the timber between operating weekends came up for sale, that seemed to be a good compromise. The fact we can take it roving on expeditions was just an added bonus. Expect to see many more blogs about that in the future.
The world right now is a whacky weird place. I had no idea I'd be where I am now 12 months ago. So much has changed with my life, my job, and my family - but I still like radio. If anything, radio has been the one constant in my life the past year. I don't do as much satellite operating as I used too, but I have gotten really addicted to 6m, even more than I was now that I have a real QTH and can put up some real antennae.
That's all I really wanted to say for now. I'm still alive, we're all OK, and I will try to blog more often than every 14 months now.
I promise :)