One of the first uses I made of the Internet was to search for other people with the last name of "Nale".
In all my years of hunting through telephone directories, I had never found anyone with that last name and it came as a considerable surprise to find that there were quite a few out there. I took comfort in this, because it had occurred to me that the family name might die out with my demise.
The first Nale to whom I ventured to send an e-mail was Robert Nale of Sandpoint, Idaho. I was concerned when several days went by and he did not answer. Then I discovered that I had made a mistake in my e-mail address so that delivery was impossible.
I tried again and almost immediately a letter came back from him saying that he had been trying to respond.
Now, being realistic, I knew that the chances were very slight that I would find a long-lost relative the first try. WRONG!
It turned out that his grandfather was my great-grandfather. So, that made us cousins --- well, technically: first cousins, once removed. (For more on this go to Bob's page.)
That was 30 March 1996 and we started exchanging daily e-mail letters and have continued to do so ever since, seldom missing a day. Our wives have also been caught up in this and "The Reading of the Letter" has become an important daily ritual in both households... eight time zones apart.
The relatives that I didn't know I had, Bob and Sharon Nale, came to visit with us in Scotland for two weeks during the summer of 1997.
We visited them at their home in Sandpoint, Idaho for a few days the summer of 1998.
In 2001 the four of us met in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and spent a week together there. During this visit we met Bob's sons and their families.
In 2002, Bob and Sharon returned to Scotland, this time to see the Highlands.
Thus the Internet has brought us family ties and close friendship and love...
For which I am grateful...