Skippack Blogger addresses the U.S. Congress (Well, kind of …)
There may come a day when the work of a lifetime crystallizes into a single, beautiful moment. It does not necessarily mean acquiring a large sum of money, a new job title, an award, or any recognition at all. To an outsider, your moment may seem ordinary and without any special meaning. But in your heart you sense a milestone, a step between the reality of your life and the distance to your most cherished dream.
For me, this moment was an hour long conversation occurred on a spring morning at Mal’s American Diner, in beautiful Skippack Village. We sat at the round table in the room just off the main dining hall; Mrs. Skippack Blogger, myself, some others. The focus is on the man across the table from me, a member of the House of Representatives of the United States of America, Congressman Patrick Meehan, who represents the seventh district of Pennsylvania, an oddly-shaped patch of land which encompasses Skippack.
And there is something even more awesome …
Why I am beaming
Something makes this moment extra special. Rep. Meehan asked to meet me. He is interested in the I Love Skippack website. and what the Skippack Blogger has to say (forgive me for crowing this one time). My breakfast hour is spent answering his questions about my favorite topics: Skippack Village, community blogging, and social media. I am telling him my story.
How did this meeting come about? My Skippack neighbor and friend CJ Santangelo, co owner of Edge Signs & Graphics, and a strong supporter of community blogging in Skippack, had introduced me to state representative Mike Vereb. My meeting with Mike became the subject of a blog post. Rep. Meehan had seen my website and asked Mike about it, and Mike told him about me. Now here we are. We went from local to state to federal, all levels of civic life converging as I bite into an egg and cheese bagel.
Rep. Meehan … I mean Pat … (as he instructed me to call him) … is poised, likeable, and gracious, with an understated confidence. He engages the people around him with ease. When he asks me questions, he is genuinely interested.
Recipe for an awesome town
We discuss the ingredients that blend to form Skippack’s unique character — locally-owned stores each with its special flavor, events such as Skippack Days and First Fridays, and a sense of community which is manifest in the remarkable karmic energy which seems almost tangible walking down our main street on a good day.
Pat’s schedule is tight. A staff member is careful to make sure that the meeting does not linger long past the assigned hour. That’s a short time to exchange ideas. Before Pat leaves, I ask him for his thoughts on Skippack.
“In many other places I visit,” he says, “I observe that people no longer feel a sense of connectedness to each other or a common sense of destiny. So when I come to a community like Skippack, it’s re-energizing to feel the sense of a common mission among neighbors.
“It doesn’t mean things are easy here. You see people working hard to make their small businesses succeed; they have the same pressures and challenges as everybody else.
“Skippack is not only about business,” adds Rep. Meehan (I mean Pat). “I see people coming here to participate in activities away from the workplace. Consider the volunteers at the community theater, Playcrafters of Skippack. In the village, people find a way to gather around an activity or project that draws them together.”
It is time for the congressman to leave so he can reach his next event. Our meeting is over, but I want to savor the moment. I walk to Euro Delights and tell Anette, owner and executive chef, I just met with a congressman. I add that Rep. Meehan had asked to meet me (I can’t seem to say “Pat”).
Anette is duly impressed. Skippack shop owners know their customers.
Thoughts on a great meeting
Now for a few more hours on a beautiful spring day, I can be the Skippack blogger, walking down our beautiful main street snapping pictures and stopping in shops to check out the new spring merchandise.
My thoughts go back to my breakfast with Pat Meehan. No successful experience in this life, however small, is to be taken for granted. Many souls wander this earth for their allotted time, never finding the path meant for them. Meeting the congressman reaffirms my choice to become a writer and blogger. I have, at least in a small way, answered to my destined purpose.
But at the same time this meeting reminds me of the responsibility which I have picked up, like an enchanted jewel found on the ground that turns out to grow heavier with time. Skippack has an important story to tell the world. I have taken on the task of telling it. More work, more self-discipline, more late late nights at the keyboard. But there will be awesome moments like today that make it all worthwhile.