“Slow Your Roll!”


Happy Friday, All!

I have to let my Creator know that I am glad it’s Friday!  “That’s how we roll!”  T.G.I.F.!

Have you ever noticed the results of “speed” on your life?!?  No … no … not the kind of speed “we” use to take at college when a term paper was due and we were … let’s say … behind?!  This type of “speed” is one that we can and should control … the pace we live at!  Imagine if you ran your car … or your favorite pet … at 100 miles per hour every time you touched it?  Do you think it would become exhausted as “we” do when we run fast for a long time?!?  Check it sometimes … check yourself!

In my travels, I have found that people are pretty much the same … when you get to the basics … wherever I go!  Yet, yesterday, I sat with two young ladies from Toronto, Canada that I had met Wednesday on my way back from San Jose checking to see why it was taking so long to return my funds for a canceled flight with Spirit Airlines that I had paid for by putting cash on this “Readycard” scam company!  (The company claims that they can keep your cash that you placed on their card to pay for a flight that was later canceled as much as 30 days later!! Wt@!?) On the way into the airport, I had met a lovely young lady from Brussels who had spent 3 or 4 months camping and backpacking through Nicaragua, and, after a time in Costa Rica, was on her way back home!  This is why I love to travel.  On the way back from the airport in San Jose after meeting with a Spirit Airlines representative to expedite the return of my funds to this darn “Readycard”, I met two charming ladies – yes, half my age – at the bus terminal.  At each stop, we chatted up a bit and I told them that they would probably enjoy their time in Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica, as I have been enjoying it, if they like the rustic life style.  They mentioned that the only problem would be if it rained the whole time … like it is this morning!  Their names are “Susan” and “Mary” … both extremely charming and proud of being Canadians!  I mentioned that I have a good friend from boarding school, Gary Hodder, Esq., who is currently practicing with his own firm in Toronto.  They were pleasantly surprised, and our short term friendship grew.

So, yesterday, as I took my usual evening walk down the “main street” here in Puerto Viejo, I heard some angelic voices calling me, “John!  John!”  I looked over to a local restaurant called “Chile Rojo” and there sat Mary and Susan, calling me and beckoning me to come over and say hello.  Mary is taller than Susan and quite attractive in her early 30’s and Susan while a bit shorter is also rather lovely as she sported her baseball style cap over her sandy blond hair.  “Hi!  How are you?” they continued.  “We’re glad we saw you again!”  I am like, “Yeahhhh!”  “Come sit down, we want to treat you to a drink!”  Susan pulled the chair out at the table where she and Mary were seated and I joined them facing the waters of Puerto Viejo, which you can hear with every wave.

Susan started in, “We want to know what you do to stay so happy all the time!?”  So, as usual on these types of travels, we started to compare the policies of our countries regarding immigration, war, gun ownership, police and crime.  As in most places, they were surprised that many Americans are satisfied sitting “home” consuming every little thing that comes out “new” and live and die in the same city … or state … many never seeing another country or meeting people of other cultures!  Thus, the development of “American ethnocentrism” … at its worst!!  We chuckled, I got a rum shot with a glass of ginger ale and some limes, we toasted and I told them my “secrets”.  We talked about family drama and agreed that every family has its own unique “drama” that drives some people away … and others closer!!  I explained that I don’t like “drama” and I prefer to get as far away from it as I possibly can … within reason … and enjoy MYSELF doing what I like, rather than figuring out what everybody else needs and trying to get it for “them” while neglecting myself.  Mary said that before she left to come to Costa Rica, her mother, who is around retirement age, suggested that she “slow down a bit and enjoy life”.  What a concept!!  I emphasized that I am attempting the same thing.  I like the slow moving environment in Puerto Viejo and I can cruise the streets at my own pace and not feel rushed to speed up and “mark time”, as many of us do “stateside”, waiting for the next “new product” to come out and then go to the stores and wait in line from sundown to sunup when they open to slurp up your cash!  From the inside, the stores look so pretty and the sales people are so nice for a few minutes, you get your consumer goods, go home and play with “them”.  What a life!!  Now, some people like that … getting the latest gadget, fumbling and playing with it until “you” learn how to use it … then wait for the next “new” product to come out!  Don’t get me wrong, I used to do it!  I had to get the latest new style Chuck Taylor “Converse” sneaker in red suede so the whole basketball team at St. Paul’s could get a glimpse … and Coach Blake would tell us we could all wear the new “red suede Converse” sneakers that happen to match our varsity uniforms for St. Paul’s School Basketball Team!  Shucks, we almost won a championship that year, my last year, with me on the foul line … making the first one, but missing the second one that would have tied the game ….

“So that’s how I do it, I have learned to put ME first!”, I said to Mary and Susan who were about to get moving again on their bicycles as they got up to pay for everything!  That’s the other thing  that I like about traveling … I have been treated to drinks or a chat, share a seat or an e-mail by more women on the road than anywhere in my life!  Yes, yes and they are usually from another country.  So just in case you want to “go with the flow”, take some time for YOURSELF … and “slow your roll”!


John I. Cook, Director

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