Remember a few newsletters ago when I said that sometimes, when you can't think of anything else to say, it can be a good thing to simply say "howdy?" Well, sometimes people won't know what to say to you and they will query with "whatcha doin'?" To answer is to open the door to conversations and lessons.
My youngest son and I had just come out of the woods while trying some simple geocaching using my iPhone as we killed time while waiting for the tinting job to be completed on my car. As we headed to his car, the voice of an old man in a Ford Crown Victoria called out, "whatcha doin?" For the next 45 minutes we received lessons on the history of Friendswood and stories about his friends over the past 60 years; we shared information and tips on geocaching and how he could join the fun; and, the three of us-ages 18, 54 and 80 (my best guess)-crossed divides of time and history as we shared stories.
The time for our chat to end arrived, and Cameron and I returned to his car.
"That was fun," I said. He agree. And we compared the experience to what used to happen on fishing piers when strangers met. The question then was "whatcha catchin'?"
"I hope that someday, when I'm an old man sitting in my car at the park, and I ask a father and son who are enjoying time together what they are doing...well, I hope they share with me like we shared with Mark."
We may never see Mark again, but what he did reminded us of the enjoyment and education that comes when the door opens with the question "whatcha doin'?" Whether the questioner is two or 102, take the time to answer.