I inherited my mother's curiosity and should have gotten my technician license years ago. I also inherited my father's inability to deal with Morse code, and only got my license after Morse code was no longer a requirement.
As a child I remember my mother sitting at the Hallicrafter, talking to people from around the world. A series of strange, mysterious, musical dits and dahs filled our dining room. I also remember times she made appointments to travel to Los Angeles from our rural California home to take an exam -- her biggest fear was not being able to interpret a schematic drawing.
Many, many, many years later our family was back in the Midwest. My mother learned that the Ensors lived just across the state line. Mother became a member of Loretta Ensor's Tuesday morning women's net, and Loretta soon invited my mother to come visit the farm. Afraid she would get lost, my mother asked me to come with her.
I'll never forget the look on my mother's face when she stood on the threshold of the Ensor's radio room, the magical place from which had emanated the melodic dits and dahs, she had listened to many decades earlier.
Still, everything beyond dah dit dah dit, dah dah dit dah eluded me. When I was finally staying mostly at home with an ailing husband, I bought a technician learning manual. I knew where to go, I had been at Associated Radio with my parents before. I also started studying some internet online courses. The protocol was easy, I memorized the rest.
When I thought I was ready I sought out a testing location in southern Jackson County, MO, where my parents had been club members. Had the good fortune to fall into the hands of the legendary, warm, welcoming, encouraging Norma Libby. Passed the test first time, perfect score.
ARRL provided me information about local clubs. New tech license in hand, one Saturday morning I wandered into Perkins. Was greeted by KC0TZX, K0DDS AND AC0KN. Felt right at home. I'd been hearing ham talk like this most of my life.