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  • Writer's pictureSue Bowles

A funny thing happened at the Ferret Show…

First, let me go on record…I do NOT own a ferret….nor do I desire to own one. Yes, they’re cute with their little twitchy noses looking up at you and I imagine there’s nothing like having them crawl all over you. Ah – I can just feel it – the claws digging in just a bit through a t-shirt. AHHHHHHHh……now THAT’S fun!

However, my sister and her roommate breed ferrets and show them. They have many champion ferrets and others on their way. It’s a whole different subculture, THAT’S for sure!

This past Saturday they were in town from PA for the big Buckeye Ferret Show. We started going a few years ago when they first came to it and now it’s an annual event in late August. It’s a great opp to see my sister and for Mom & my bro to see them, too. And they come over for dinner on Friday night when they hit town.

So here I was sitting at their table late in the day Friday as things were winding down. I’m just sitting there minding my own business when suddenly this woman sits down in the chair next to me. She put her arm around me which quickly gained my attention. Now this community is a fun-loving social group so it wasn’t out of the norm. She was a bit shorter than I was and full of energy. She had been the announcer all day.

“Sue Bowles?” she said with a curious look on her face as if to say ‘I know something you don’t know and I’m loving this.’

“Yes…” (I thought she was going to tell me I had won something – that someone had pointed me out to her).

“Do you know who I am?” (not really – only that this stranger is putting her arm around me and knows my name…..I’m wondering what’s coming next)

“No…”

She flashes her name tag which says Lara.

“Lara McElwee!’

‘NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I exclaim rather loudly as my family & friends look at me trying to figure out what on earth is going on.

We hugged and laughed and stood in amazement at meeting up after almost 15-16 years at a Ferret Show!

Lara was one of my RAs (Resident Assistants) at Ohio Wesleyan when I worked there in the early 90s. She was one of those staff members that you just really hit it off with. We’d sit & just talk – not about work or her floor or anything – but about life. We’d joke and laugh and she gave me much energy. She’s one of those people that you always ‘wonder what they’re doing now.’ Now I know!

It was a wonderful reunion and my family saw a small snapshot of a chapter of my life they perhaps hadn’t seen. And Lara shared with them how I influenced her which was very humbling…how she tried to model her first job as a Residence Hall Director from things she saw me doing. How humbling. How encouraging.

Turns out she just lives west of Columbus – about 45 minutes away – so we’re going to meet up in west Columbus for coffee & catching up sometime (hopefully soon).

It was a walk down memory lane and was so much fun! She gave me energy. I told her the pastel colored ‘jams’ (funny colored comfortable casual pants) she gave me as her ‘Senior Will’ are still worn & one of my favorite pairs of pants (her sorority had a Senior Will where they gave something away to someone – I was the recipient). She said she was glad to hear that.

So beware…you never know what surprises await you as you go about your day. You may just have a part of your past cross your path and God may give you a chance to actually see and hear how He’s used you in someone else’s life. He’s like that – He likes to surprise His kids and let them know He hears the secret questions of the heart.

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