So, we've started geocaching. Don't know what that is?
Well, you should, as it is an extremely gratifying new hobby we have discovered individually and as a family. It's like a mini- treasure hunt with success almost guaranteed at the end. And often a little goodie to go along with it.

More than a year ago I discovered geocaching and thought it would be a f
un family act
ivity. However, at that time, Erwin wasn't all that interested, but still went on a hunt with me and the boys. Finding that first cache was a thrill, but we didn't log it as we didn't really look into all the possibilities of geocaching. We searched for a couple more, until this year when Erwin st
arted really looking into it. He was in awe of the global aspect of geocaching, as well as all the varying choices for searching. Suddenly, he was all "Let's go find a cache!" and came home with printouts for numerous caches on our trip during fall break. We even bought a handheld GPS to make for easier hiking.

We started seriously geocaching on November 1, and have already completed 27 searches. We have found three differing travel bugs (little bugs that are tracked via the website during their worldwide travels), the furthest starting out in Arizona. And all of us love the thrill of th
e hunt!

This weekend, we created our own cache. Erwin did most of the work picking out coordinates and creating questions. We made sure it was correct and then got it online today. It was exciting when we first saw it online, so you can imagine my thrill when I spotted the first geoca
cher logging into our book. I got all giggly like a schoolgirl and immediately sent Erwin a message. He left behind a new travel bug which will hopefully make its way into a geocachers hands and taken for future travels through Europe or the rest of the world.

In any case, if you like being outdoors and doing a little walking around, these caches are hidden all over the world and you become a part of a global community when you start logging
your finds. We are really enjoying it, and I can see it becoming a regular family routine to see who finds it first, what little surprise we can pull out, and keep track of all the travel bugs we've come in contact with. It's great fun. Check it out if you think it may be something for you. I simply could not imagine it wouldn't be!

Happy Geocaching from tank95!



I am not a clique person. Never have been. Even as a kid, I found myself wondering and questioning why "everyone" seemed to have to be a part of a group. And I never was. I didn't fit in, and as a teenager, it made for some difficult times for me. Everyone was going here or there, doing things with just those people in their circle of friends, failing to notice others around them. I didn't have a group, but was on friendly terms with many. I didn't care from which 'group' a person came, if I liked them for who they were, I liked them. Simple.

I was involved in sports during junior high and high school. I was also on the school newspaper and in art club. I diddled in Spanish club, DECA, and Junior Civitans. I hung out with some of the 'druggies' and spent many lunches with the 'techers'. I would guess that I would be one of those people that if I returned to a high school reunion, they would say, "Oh, I remember you. You were with me in ......". But none of them would have a flow-blown story to tell of our fun times together. I just was. I spent a lot of time with a lot of different people only because I was involved in such a diverse number of things. No one group seemed better to me than another. But because of that, I didn't get invited to a lot of parties, or head off for a concert with the kids, or have that best friend thing going on that lasts a lifetime. I did my stuff, and left it when I headed home at night.

I am still that way. I don't like big crowds. Too many people in one place stresses me out and I get cranky. I don't like to feel as if I must do this or that because others are. And what I find, is that even 25 years later, cliques are still the same. Whether kids or adults, there is always the "cool" group, the "sport" group, the "creative" group. And me, I still diddle about in all of them, still find myself a bit disconnected, still find myself wondering where and how I fit in.

When I go to soccer games, the parents always break off into groups after for a drink while we wait for the kids. The men stand at the bar, the women sit at a table next to their closest friend, and I take a seat where there is one open and listen in on all the conversations going on around me. When I am at women's club activities, I show up and sit down, the cliques of women gathering around me, and partake in conversation with whomever happens to sit next to me. When I attend parties, I join the group with whom I have come (most often the soccer moms), and make my way around saying hello to others I know not associated with the soccer mom group. And going to the bathroom? I am not one of those women who can't head to the toilet alone. In fact, I much prefer to go alone.

This quality of mine, I find it very interesting. It still often leaves me with a feeling of being an outsider, the one who just can't quite fit in. Sometimes it bothers me, most times it doesn't (not like when I was a kid and felt so dissociated from life). I have my family and my circle of my closest friends, interestingly enough also a group who seem to have no real clique. I am who I am. I enjoy a variety of activities and interests, and not one overpowers another. I think I have discovered that I am quite well-rounded this way.

People are interesting. The variety of people is intriguing. I'm just glad that although I may be the weird one, I can be who I am without trying to fit in to be someone I am not. I am kind and generous, and if you are also kind and generous, you will fall into my circle of 'friends'. This is a group that I am more than happy to be a part of.