Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November to Remember: Friends We Haven't Met

There is a sign at an old coffee shop across the mountains that reads, "There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met." My mother and I had a rare dinner out last night and experienced this adage.

Married life keeps us happily occupied, but there's nothing quite as pleasurable as a leisurely girl-chat evening, complete with chocolate cake. While we were finishing our last morsels, a couple had come in across the dining room. My mother and they had been exchanging puzzling glances for a few moments. Not being shy, my mother finally says, rather loudly, "do you know me?!"

After a few, "where are you from, do you have family here?" questions, they made a connection. As is turned out, the lovely couple was from Alberta, Canada, and the husband had bumped into my mother in a fast food joint in Helena, MT last year. They had only a few pleasant exchanges then and nothing since. At the time, my mother had met their five lovely little girls, all cheery and well-behaved and under the age of ten (these traits often capture my mother's attention). The couple was in my small town on a "marriage retreat" for a few days, spending quality time apart from their little ones whom were busy with cousins.

What ensued was the joining of our tables. As we drank coffee, they ate their dinner. We had the most amazing conversations on life, family, values, schooling, love languages and faith. We all left the table with light and life, having spent an evening making friends and connections. It almost felt as if we had known each other for many years prior, so rich was the tone of our exchange.

I am thankful for opportunities to move outside of what we know to WHO we could know. As my mother says, "It never hurts to say hello!"


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