5 Minute Friendships UPDATE

I talked about 5 minute Friendships in a recent post on my blog  IAmGray . Sometimes something more happens. We had a few extra moments recently, and decided to do a little wine tasting at our favorite local winery, Dynasty Cellars. The tasting room was getting crowded, as a group of wine writers were in town to cover an annual nearby wine tasting event. There were two open spots at our table, so we welcomed Rob and Lynn to our table. Hailing from Woodinville, where there are over 90 tasting rooms for Washington wineries, they were in Bellingham for the weekend. 

The conversation was easy and relaxed, in a convivial setting, and we each shared a bit here and there, getting to know each other better. They both went to Seattle Pacific University by Queen Anne in Seattle – only blocks away from one of Terri’s sisters home! We shared memories of growing up back when the world seemed a much safer place, and places where we’ve gone wine tasting.

Turns out we have some very similar tastes in wine, and wineries, and before we knew it, they volunteered to do the driving on our next trip down to that area! Our time at the tasting room was running out, and we mentioned that we were going to be headed out to church soon. That sparked a whole new turn in the conversation, and we ended up inviting them to our church – and they accepted! Faith is a critical part of our journey, and it is always a joy to share it when appropriate (not here to shove it down anyone’s throat 🙂 

And so, just another affirmation of our desire to connect – as much as possible – with other people on this journey, and at this time. We love our 5 Minute Friendships, and the possibilities they offer!

Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Many people agree that my middle name should be ‘Trouble,” although it was often “Mud” when I was growing up, but I’m thinking it should have been “Faster.” I always tried to walk faster to school, and even faster on my way home (it was only uphill one way, and most often in the rain, not snow). I always wanted to be the fastest reader in class, but Candy always was able to beat me. When I finally got a bike, I needed to be faster than all my friends, especially racing down Rocky  Butte in Portland. Once I started driving, I went through cars the way most people go through a box of Kleenex. Then I got a job working for Western Electric in Vancouver, and getting to work was always a race against the clock. I swear to this day that eventually other commuters recognized my big old Chrysler, and pulled into the slow lane when they saw me coming. I actually used to track my time hiking trails in the North Cascades, and tried to beat my previous time the next time I was on the same trail. And I never thought I talked too fast, but that other people listened too slow.

I’m not sure when the change actually took place, but I recently realized things have changed. Sure, I’m still over the speed limit a bit on the freeway, but I pull into the slow lane when I see someone behind me who wants to set a new land speed record coming up behind. And I rarely even use bad words as they barrel past. I find myself timing trips into the megalopolis to avoid traffic stress, and even intentionally take back roads that will take longer so I don’t have to deal with the speeders and crazies on the freeway. I slow my steps when I’m walking to take in more of my surroundings. I stop for a photo op of some leaves dappled by sun and shade beside a trail. I definitely get passed on the trail more than I pass people these days.

I’m consciously slowing down to take the time to check in with my friends and family, and trying to talk less and listen more. I stand in a much longer line at the grocery store (*cough* Kroeger/Fred Meyer) to be helped by a real person, rather than trying to speed through a self-checkout line. I shelved my dreams for a fast sports car, and am more than content with my little four cylinder basic small Toyota SUV. We took the time to engage tablemates at a Yelp dinner event in good conversation, and came away enriched by the experience. 

Nearing age 70, maybe it’s that I’m almost able to see the final grains of sand running out in the hourglass of my life that makes me want to savor each and every one as they pass by. After rushing through my life, I look back and sense how much I missed with my focus on speed. Speed is always about Self, almost always at the expense of relationships. Now that I’ve identified the Speed Demon, I can call him out, put him behind me, and focus on living life to the full. (Warning – cliche’ ahead) “Better late than never” to learn to savor each precious passing moment. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch some sloth videos for inspiration.