It has been a pleasure reading your blog for some time now, and also wonderful knowing you are a fellow Chestertonian! I am one of the initial members of the newly formed Central Florida Chesterton Society.
I need some advice, and perhaps a boost. I do have the time and opportunity to attend the 31st Annual Conference in Reno. My wife has given me the okay to go, but I am hesitant at spending so much on travel and lodging for myself- it seems a pretty big luxury, almost extravagance (about $1000 bucks all told, when it comes to flight from Orlando, lodgings, and food, etc.). We “can” afford it, but I am still on the fence. Time is fast approaching and…should I go for it? Please note: not asking for donation or anything, anything like that. This would be my first conference, and I just want to know if I should take the money and run, as it were, or wait until next year. Lord knows I want to see the Manalive movie, and enjoy the company of like-minded folks, and get a boost before I begin teaching the new school year, but I feel almost selfish for the indulgence.
I’ve been hemming and hawing about this for over a month now. Tip me one way or another sir! I know you don’t know me from Adam, but, well, heck, you’re Innocent Smith! Pull the gun out, man! And thanks!
Seriously, I don’t know what to tell you. I find the conference to be joyful and invigorating. On the other hand, the only times I’ve been able to go were when I could afford it (because it was in Seattle) or somebody paid my way because I was speaking. We are emphatically lower middle class and so have to budget carefully (there’s a reason our vacations tend toward camping trips locally and never toward things that require significant outlays of cash). So I’m not going to tell you that you should come because I don’t know you. If your wife is cool with it and you can afford it, then do as you please. If your conscience is bugging you and you are unsure what to do, why not ask God if he’s got some other use for the $$$ or if it’s okay to go? See what he says. Take it to Mass and ask for guidance. if you do come, be sure to come to the closing banquet, which is a delightfully Chestertonian affair where we make all our own entertainment. Joyous!