Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

George Burns’ quote was meant to be sarcastic. In my case, it described exactly what I experienced last weekend—busy people who made time to be with me in another city.

A loving whirlwind of friends whisked me away to New York City to celebrate my birthday.  We are a family of sorts, though as Armistead Maupin would say, a “logical”—not a biological—one. I could go on for days about the warmth, humor, good grace and consideration that were the hallmarks of our three-day adventure. I could also rave about the marvelous choices of venue, theatre, dining, and cabaret that took hours and hours to arrange. But the point I really hope to convey is the miracle that occurs when like-minded folk make a concerted effort to share their time and joy. This fabulous adventure gave me much to consider. How could it be that so many individuals—so very different in so many ways—would suddenly vibrate on exactly the same frequency? Where did the petty annoyances of everyday living disappear to? Something wonderful yet astoundingly simple occurred: these folks met on the common ground of affection and respect, made a tacit commitment to enjoy themselves, and succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Trust was at the core of that commitment. Trust in the decency and consideration of their fellow travelers, and most importantly, trust that any potential obstacle could be overcome by patience, humor, and flexibility. Perhaps this all sounds too good to be true, but that’s the way it was; one marvelous experience quickly followed by another even more delightful outcome. The trip certainly was a milestone in my life, but I would venture to speculate it is merely indicative of what can happen when well-intentioned people are willing to just plain be themselves.

This is the world I imagined in The HomePort Journals—a place where the “logical” family has the power (and legitimacy) to triumph over all obstacles. A place where the inequities of the past are rendered powerless by the sheer joy of the present…. A place where love is what matters most of all.

To these dear friends I say two things: First, a humble thank-you for making my imaginings a reality. And second, when’s our next trip?

A. C. Burch
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