Life in the slow lane

Living in Los Angeles, I rarely feel a sense of or ability to simply slow down. Life just feels fast, and most days I find myself scrambling and rushing, in spirit if not in body. Today, negotiating life in the coastal town of Tillamook, Oregon (home of the cheese factory and not much else!), I sensed a fairly seismic shift in my being. It was sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting for our appointment, and feeling no sense of hurry or impatience; it was driving through town behind slow cars and not resenting the delay; it was waiting for our lukewarm lattes to be remade at the little Safeway Starbucks stand, and not feeling any irritation.

I feel like I work hard to guard my heart against the things that are toxic about where I live. But coming to Tillamook has shown me that much more of the L.A. mindset has crept in and taken up residence than I realized or would like to admit.

We went to Safeway to pick up a prescription for Aaron (I am afraid this Family Leave has so far had way more to do with doctors and hospitals than we could have imagined, and I am so ready for that to change), and after turning in the prescription we were told it would be a thirty minute wait for it to be filled. So we meandered through the store, picked up a few groceries, sipped our second round of lattes, and entertained Aaron in the shopping cart. I am pretty sure that every person we passed or who passed us inside that store had a smile for the baby and time to stop and chat, make faces, or play.

I realize that Tillamook is about as far removed from L.A. as can be imagined, but today felt like we occupied an alternate universe. And it felt great.


  1. Hey Erika –
    It’s James McMillan up in Pasadena. I stumbled onto your blog a couple weeks ago, while looking around for examples as I have been working on putting a blog together myself. I have really enjoyed your writing. I get the official news about what is going on at Redeemer, but it is nice to get a personal perspective on what is going on in the neighborhood we lived in all too briefly.
    I completely get where you are coming from in this post. We spent a week in Idaho over thankgiving, and couldn’t get enough of the smog free air, and patient, friendly people.

  2. Hey James!
    Glad you found me here. Thanks for taking the time to comment.I am sure parts of Idaho and Tillamook are likely very similar. It is SO refreshing.
    I look forward to checking out your blog!

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