This evening, between about 6:30PM and 9:30PM, including dinner and desserts, there was an exit meeting for the Northwest Weekend  to discuss what happened, what went well, and what could be done better or differently in the future. At the meeting I enjoyed good food, good fellowship with a bit of humor, and plenty of thoughtful discussion. I even had some thoughts to ponder and muse upon about my own life and my strange place at this particular meeting, where I was not originally invited (it should be noted) but where I had been invited by a guest and so I came and where my own odd place only served to make matters more intriguing and thought provoking.
The hardest part of tonight was simply getting to the meeting in the first place. Being a somewhat conscientious person, I had taken the physical address provided in the original e-mail and sought to find directions to the residence where the meeting was held online. I wrote down what I thought were reasonable looking directions and then gave them to the friend of mine who had invited me to the meeting in the first place. It was only after following those directions and arriving at the place that I realized something was wrong. Having never driven to the house before, but having visited there once before, I had a vague memory of what the place looked like, and so I sought to find a way around the neighborhood, knowing it was in a subdivision and not in either a row of apartments or an industrial park. When I found a likely subdivision a little south of 4th Plain, I drove trying to find the address provided, but the streets did not go up high enough. So, knowing I was lost, but possibly in the right general area, I found a quiet place to park the car and call for directions and figure out where I went wrong.
It took quite a while, and many phone calls, before I finally found the place I was looking for, which ended up being on an entirely different street with a slightly different address to what I had originally been given. Having found the place, which I might have given up on had it been just me without having a network of people who were also lost and looking for the address to help provide information and encouragement, I then proceeded to block someone’s access into their own driveway (which I had to move fairly quickly) and then I got to talking a bit while we waited for everyone else to arrive. Once everyone got there, we ate and had some amusing conversations. Aside from two of the three daughters of a couple there, I was the youngest person at the meeting, which struck me as both a bit odd as well as rather to be expected, since few people my age or younger are interested in meetings and planning and that sort of work.
As far as the meeting itself goes, I thought it was quite productive. It was full of a lot of comments, a fair amount of praise, and a lot of desire to encourage newer people to step into roles. That was, I assume, why I was accepted there without an original invitation, because I had worked in enough of the areas (music, setup of the adult dance, the preteen room, sports) that I had plenty to offer as far as comments and questions were concerned, as did everyone else. It was pleasing to see the different experience and insights provided by others, as well as an understanding of just how organized and methodical and serious everyone is about doing the best job possible. I managed to get volunteered, jokingly (I think), for a few other activities while I was there, including concessions for sports day. Other than that, I wouldn’t want to reveal any classified information, except to note that everyone wants things to be done a bit earlier in many areas, although I assume that’s what people want all the time until it gets around to actually doing it.
One thing I noticed about the meeting that I found worthy of note was that hearing some of the comments about the younger people reminded me that I am not too far removed from my own days when I would have been an ‘incident’ in a similar meeting. To wit, about a decade ago I was dating a lovely young lady and we happened to both be at the Winter Family Weekend in Lexington, KY (where it was held that year). Being a bit amorous, as couples tend to be (especially young ones), we found a quiet place in one of the halls of the hotel where we were staying, until we happened to be found by a deacon who was on security detail. I mention this story because this evening one of the comments involved a young people (I don’t know who it was, and it’s not really my business) who were in the exact same spot themselves, as was another couple who I saw at the last Winter Family Weekend I went to when it was in Louisville . Often I wonder what happened in the years between the last time I was engaged in a remotely successful courtship, and when I can enjoy those days again. That said, the only thing that was almost as hard as arriving at the party was leaving it in the midst of freezing and impenetrable fog, of the kind that tends to fill my life with mystery and adventure. I suppose I’m not too old for adventure, not by a long shot. One just needs the right kind of adventures to get involved in.
 See my previous posts on this subject: