Field Day 2013? Not really…

ARRL Field Day 2013

I'd be working on a (cool) setup for this year’s Field Day by now… but I won’t be participating in the ARRL-sponsored Field Day this year. (Please don’t tell Hiram!). It’s not because I’m boycotting or anything. Amateur radio is an important hobby and public service in my life. BUT, having a first grandchild is more important!

Our son and his wife are having a girl scheduled over this year’s Field Day period. We will be at the hospital waiting out her first birth, eager to meet our grand daughter, Sadie Elizabeth Howell, when she chooses to make her entrance into this world and into our lives!

We love being aunt and uncle (and, ahem, great aunt and great uncle) to several younger ones in our large family. But being grandpop will be a new experience, I’m sure.

Like not making it to Dayton, I’ll have to plead «next year» for Field Day too. But this brings up a type of soap-box point.


I used to play golf in a Faculty League at Mississippi State University. There were Tuesday afternoon sessions and alternate Saturday tournaments during the season. Retired faculty (such as me now) always wanted to play earlier than the officially scheduled 4:30pm time on Tuesday. This was especially the case once the hot sun is a constant and the humidity levels reduced ex-Marines to sitting on the benches at each water stop. We faculty and staff who were still working and had meetings or classes scheduled until late hours would always be either late or absent. The common mantra among those who left work, family, or students «early» to attend an «employer sponsored health maintenance program» was:

You’ve Got to Get Your Priorities Straight!

As we hams see others dropping out of the hobby, taking a siesta, or dropping their podcasts, blogs, or other intensive activities, should we think that they do not have their «priorities straight»? I think not. Hobbies, especially for men, tend to occupy more of a front-and-center place in the daily calendar than for women, who tend to do more of the work at home whether they’re employed or not. (OK, no citation here but I can come up with a reference list that would choke a horse if need be!) Family life can be very stressful--- even for one party--- if the other has long-term absences from key activities that keep family bonds strong. Think SWR here --- you can operate with a high degree of it but the transmissions are losing something which can eventually lead to a component failure. Family ties are not a lot different from this. Not everyone has a ham activity competing with the birth of a first grandchild but hopefully readers get my point. If you’re in amateur radio for the long haul, balance is important. Just ask your family! From this perspective, I believe that I have my priorities straight.

Have a great 2013 Field Day! I’ll be at the hospital, hopefully holding my newborn granddaughter, Sadie. Now how can I get her a baby-sized set of headphones…

73 de GrandPops

Updated: November 4, 2014 — 5:52 pm

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