First Steps: Anni 2010

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This article was originally published in the April 2010 Tar Valon Times. It was written by Nico Demus.

It has fallen to me to describe the events of Anni this year. Though I must admit I am not entirely sure what to say. Personally I arrived at the Easter Seals Respite Camp grounds sometime around 2:30 pm. I was tired and sore from the long drive and had no real desire to spend the next few hours glad handing a bunch of people that I had never met before. But the missus was excited about it so I trudged onward.

We unloaded the car and hauled our things to our room. It was a nice enough room as far as camps go; there was a closet which we immediately put to use and a four drawer dresser which we did not. Over the course of the weekend I heard many people complain about the beds either theirs was too hard or something poked at them as they slept. I however didn’t seem to have any problems, perhaps I was just lucky...or maybe I was just too tired at the end of the day to care.

Registration didn’t take very long at all; it was the part after that that took forever. You see this was my first time at an annual event and I felt very much out of place. There where all these people around me that seemed to know each other so well. It was more like watching the beginnings of a family reunion than a gathering of nerdlyness. So I didn’t really know what to do with myself. So I did what I feel a lot of people may have done in the same situation. I bought a couple packs of the Tar Valon CCG, plopped myself down at a table in the back and began to slowly flip through them to pass the time. Then something truly amazing happened.

A random young lady came and sat down in the seat next to me and asked how I was doing. She just smiled as I proceeded to briefly explain my current feelings, though I imagine that she knew what was going on well before she sat down. She then asked me what cards I got. So I began to flip through all the faces of people that I had and had not met on the forums and she began to tell me a little bit about each of them.

Just as we were finishing up she got called away to help with some other matter. But that was fine by me I had gained the courage necessary to stand up and walk around a bit, chit chatting with a few people here or there. I helped out in the kitchen for a little while and started to meet some very nice people. But I’ll never forget that one special lady that gave me the courage to stand up and take my first steps. Mother made everything all better.