Three Strangers and a Friend

It’s time to share some insights I gleaned from interrogating asking better questions and listening to the answers. My last day in Texas I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend I have not seen in 38 years (except the hour I saw her in October).  I got to spend over 24 hours with her and we got to catch up on such a small portion of our lives since we spent time together so many years ago. On my way home, I had 2 flights and a bit of a layover in the airport giving me the opportunity to meet and listen to 3 lovely women. The underlying thing that makes the experiences (long lost friend vs strangers) different is history.

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Having lunch in Houston with my team members, the Houston police went by on their horses.  This one stopped for a pose. Not really related to the post but part of my Houston experience.

Meeting up with my friend FM was great.  She is still that funny, sweet friend I remember. Looking at her, she looked so different (as we all do after 38 years) and yet there was a familiarity too.  I got to meet her family (I had met her husband as many years ago) and visit with them.  FM and I haven’t been in contact all these years but I have had occasional contact with some of her family members so I did keep up with major milestones in her life. Still, life stands still in my memories of her. We both grew and matured and became different people but at the core we are the same.  I am still processing fine details but one conversation in particular, started to clarify in my mind one of the things that I am seeking information for in my quest to ask questions.

I met a quiet (my perception but perhaps she was just trying to ignore me haha) lady on the flight to Calgary.  I will call her Ann. She and her husband, who I also met, are missionaries in another province and run a camp.  She also home schools her kids as I did and their children are not much younger than ours.

When we got to the Calgary airport there was a couple hours layover.  I got off at my station (gates) in that huge airport and looked for food but at 7:30 everything was closed so I went to station A and found a Chili’s.  I pulled myself up to the bar near a lovely lady I will call Alex. She and I hit it off immediately. Her children are a bit older than mine.  It was such a chance meeting; one where it just feels like God has lined it up for great things in knowing each other.

The flight home was short but the lady (I will call Wanda), I sat beside grew up in the community I did, went to the same high school, knew the people who owned the property my son and his wife owns and had some great information to share on common interests.

At the end of each conversation including with my friend, I told each person about my project and asked them if there was anything I could help them with.  Still not sure how that will work out as that takes people by surprise and they don’t have an answer.  Perhaps they will contact me and have something.  Until then, I just offer.

Going into the better questions/listening project I did not have specific questions to ask, nor was there any specific information I was trying to glean.  Really, to be natural and not feel like I am interrogating someone, I need to keep the conversation flowing.  However over the couple days, I started to pin point something I want to know for my own growth, something that eludes me. And today, a fleeting thought popped into my head and I think it is related to that thing. And that’s all I am going to say about it, because I want to have a conversation with individuals and seek their answers in hopes to figuring out my own.  When I find it, I will share.

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