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Posts Tagged ‘coincidence’

Today celebrates my first guest poster and I am honoured that it is my mother who, through this example shows us that this is not just a small town, or a small country, but a small world.  So, take it away mom!

Somewhere between 15 and 20 years ago, my daughter received a frozen turkey from her boss at Thanksgiving. That was the good news. The bad news was that it wasn’t Kosher and my home is.

After some consideration I decided to give it to my non-Jewish friend, Joni. She kept it frozen and made a scrumptious turkey dinner for Christmas and invited us. That bloomed into a tradition that still exists, even though she moved from Montreal to Kitchener Ontario.

Although we were friends prior to the turkey and often got together on a Saturday night, we always ate out.  Since that time, whenever a turkey was involved we were invited. We were not the only ones at the table. There was usually an assortment of interesting people there.

For instance, while still in Montreal, Joni and her husband, being skiers, shared a chalet in Stowe, Vermont for the winters with a bunch of other people from Canada and the U.S. who were skiers.

One day Joni called to invite us for turkey dinner as one of the people who shared the chalet, Ron from Washington, D.C, was in Montreal for the Tour de l’Ile, an annual bicycle race around the island of Montreal (I think it’s a race or marathon) and people come from all over to take part in it. Ron, Joni, her brother and the regular writer of this blog used to partake in the race. Anyhow, here we are all sitting around the table enjoying our dinner while Ron told us stories about his recent trip to Tibet. He went with a tour. They were at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and the guide asked if anyone was interested in climbing. He was. It turned out that only he and a couple from Montreal were fit enough to make the climb. He said the three of them became friendly being the only ones there and the fellow he befriended gave him his card and told him to call if he ever came to Montreal. I asked the person’s name.

“Oh, yah, right. How many people in Montreal, 2 million? I don’t think you know them.”

“You never know” I replied.

He took out the business card and handed it over to me.  I freaked. The person on the card was Irving, the son of my father’s close friend. My father and his friend were both custom tailors. They were part of a group that used to play gin rummy every week, often at our home. When I told Ron, he thought I was pulling his leg. But the best is yet to come. When my husband saw who it was, he said that the Irving’s father made his Bar Mitzvah  suit for him some fifty years ago, and he has a movie of his Bar Mitzvah* where at one point they are showing off the suit and show the label.

So before I even knew my husband we were connected. I did know that my father’s friend made his suit.

When my Dad was phoning the whole world to tell everyone his daughter was getting married and to who, his friend said, “What do mean, do I know them? I made his Bar Mitzvah suit for him!”

It’s a small world, after all!

*For those that may not know, a Bar Mitzvah is when a young Jewish boy (13yrs) is called upon the read from the Torah.  It is a right of passage where the boy becomes responsible for his  adherence to the laws, traditions and ethics of the religion. Before such time it is the responsibility of the parent.

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Yes my wife and I eat at Denny’s.  I’d be the first, okay the second to tell you that the track record with Denny’s has not been great. My father would be the first.  However even my father likes the Denny’s in State College.  The food is good, the location is perfect for us and I even know some of the wait staff by name, which for me is an incredible feat.  There is Dana who is so good at her job and is such a fun person to be around, that she got my father to admit that there is hope for Denny’s and is now willing to eat there when he visits, of course we have to make sure that Dana would be taking care of us.   We have also gotten to know Mark quite well, in fact my wife is talking to him on Facebook as I write this blog. Even when not sitting in Mark’s section he makes sure we are taken care of properly.   Carrie always makes sure she comes by our table to say hello and enquire about us and the dog and is joy to talk too.  We don’t see Marvin (one of the managers) much anymore, but when we do he always stops by to say hello. There are others I like who I will apologize to now seeing as I can’t remember their names off-hand, such as the young woman who is usually at the cash and always laughs at my corny jokes. 

The other night as a couple sat down at a table across from us the woman nodded and waved at my wife.  My wife asked if we knew them from somewhere.  The womans response was that she has seen us in the restaurant a few times now so she felt like she knew us.  I thought it a little odd, but my wife being who she is started up a conversation.  I don’t know how the conversation ended up where it did, but it turns out that this couple were also volunteers for Sparrow, the wild life rehabilitator. They help her transport the animals when transport is necessary.  I realize that Sparrow is the only wild life rehabilitator in the area, but how many people are involved in this endeavour.  How many of you release wild life? or transport wild life? or even know a wild life rehaber?  I’m not seeing many hands.  Yet I’m eating at Denny’s and my wife strikes up a conversation with a complete stranger and of course we know the same people and have the same interests. 

A family at another table was obviously listening to our conversation and they decided to chime in.  While they are not involved in animal rescue on any ‘formal’ level they do have six cats and like our six cats they rescued them all.  They also happened to be looking for a good vet, and seeing as we just found a good vet in the area we were able to help them out on that front. 

After all this time I’m not sure why I am still surprised over incidents like this, but I am.  What worries me is I’m getting used to it, what worries me more is I am starting to think that it is a good and positive way to live.  What pisses me off however is that now I learn that Sparrow has people to transport animals.  Where the heck was this information before the skunk incident?

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A few years ago my wife embarked on a quest to have some changes made at the local SPCA a quest which turned out to be successful.  But that is not what this post is about.   During operation, ‘improve the SPCA’ my wife met a few people of like minds one in particular we will call IB.  We maintained a friendship with IB and her husband for quite some time. Over the years that friendship has drifted, again that is not what this post is about.  

It turns out that IB, like me is not from central Pennsylvania.  It turns out that IB, like me is from Canada.  It turns out that IB, like me is from Montreal Quebec.  It turns out, like me IB went to Concordia University in Montreal, not only did we both attend Concordia, we attended Concordia at the same time.  As far as we know we never ran into each other.  We certainly were never friends and never travelled in the same circles.  Yet there we were a good 13 years after our university days eating at a Chinese buffet discussing our shared experiences with animals, home, small towns and no matter how big the world can be, it can also be really small.

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In the early 2000’s I was standing at my teller window when one of our regulars came in to make a deposit. She showed me a picture of the cutest little Siberian Husky puppies one could ever imagine.  Except for the fact that they were adorable and that for once somebody wasn’t showing me baby pictures,  I didn’t think too much about it.  Time passed, another litter of puppies came and went and life continued on its merry way as it tends to do.

Two years later my wife and I are standing in the parking lot of a grocery store in the tiny town of Phillipsburg when my wife tells me she is ready for a kitten, we already had four cats.  “I’m ready for a dog” came my reply.  She told me to start building a dog house.  Building a dog house sounded like fun so why not?  We thought about what kind of dog we would like, we both agreed it had to be big, no drooling, no barking, good both indoors and out, had to like cats and have some guarding instincts.   The doghouse had just gotten underway so we were not quite ready for a dog but we decided to check out the SPCA,  upon entering the dog room the first thing that struck me was the unimaginable amount of noise, it was truly an assault on my ears.  I made my announcement in the middle of the chaos.  “The first one of you who is not barking has a shot at coming home with me.” In a corner kennel was a massive black dog.  It wasn’t barking, it wasn’t paying the least bit of attention to me, the dogs or anything really just lost in his own world.   My wife and I looked at his information.  Shadow was the dog’s name, he was surrendered by the owner with no explanation and it came from our little town.  We asked if Shadow had any issues with cats.  Shadow was then taken to the cat room where a staff member shoved a cat right up into Shadows face.  Shadow could have swallowed the cat whole but he didn’t so much as bat an eyelash, the cat was too stunned to do anything, so far so good.  We put Shadow on a leash and took him outside. The minute he hit the fresh air he came alive and took me for a drag.  He probably knew his name but certainly didn’t care.  He didn’t stop, he didn’t sit, he didn’t even acknowledge our existence and he was amazingly strong, stopping him was quite the issue. My wife would not have been able to walk this dog. There was a mountain of issues involved with adopting Shadow, he had no manners making him difficult to control, he had some health issues as he was loosing hair, but there was something about him that touched both my wife and I so he became a possibility but we were not about to rush into anything, the responsible thing to do was wait, we were not at the point of dog ownership and Shadow was a large handful.

At the end of our road across the highway there is a travel trailer and a dog house which was home to a large black dog.  (At this point we have to travel back about a year from the above story) while driving to work one day we noticed that the travel trailer had disappeared but the dog  was still there, worried that somebody had abandoned the dog we knocked on the closest door we could find.  Turns out the people who owned the house also owned the dog.  That dog was Shadow. (Another jump in time, to our current story) Earlier in the week my wife had commented that we don’t see the dog anymore and we figured the owners schedule had changed (he was a security officer for Penn State) and we didn’t give it another thought until driving home from the SPCA when my wife put it all together.  Once again life in a small town rears its head.

We never saw Shadow again but I think about Shadow often, I feel I let him down. I know Shadow was never meant to be ours, life has a way of telling us what is and what isn’t, all you have to do is listen and in this case there were just too many obstacles being thrown between us and Shadow.  In the end we wound up with the right dog.  Still when I think of Shadow I can’t help but feel a little heaviness in my heart.  I can only hope he found a good home.

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This is not a work related post. The story however begins at work.  I called a local golf center to narrow down an issue they were having and schedule a time for a technician to go and resolve the problem, we made all the necessary arrangements and I went on with my day.

That evening my wife and I were meeting Sparrow, the director of the wild life rehab center and some of her volunteers for dinner.   There was one couple we had never met but we seemed to have a lot in common.  Imagine our surprise when we realized that he was the person I had spoken to earlier that day to arrange for a technician to come out and fix the problem he was having at work.  Such a small world and it was getting smaller.  Later my wife was talking about her work in the agricultural dept.  It turns out the very same day he had spoken to my wife about some soil samples he wanted analyzed!  What are the odds that we were eating dinner with somebody we had never met before yet we had both spoken to during the day on totally unrelated issues?    It is a small world, and it is about to get smaller.  It turns out that they were interested in purchasing a house just two doors away from ours, unfortunately somebody else beat them to it and the house sold before they even put in a bid.  But we had fun imagining how we could have set up a release site for the animals between the two properties.  But wait, the world was yet to get smaller.  Two years later the house came up for sale again.  We contacted our friends and they were still interested in the propery and are now our new neighbors.  Yes the same one featured in hospital and yes the very same who became attached to the raccoons in Magical moments.  Guess what? the world continues to get even smaller.  At the neighbours house-warming party we met the realtor, the realtor’s husband is an aerospace engineer who teaches at the university, (we didn’t know such a program even existed at the university).  He was from Spain so we got to exchange war stories about immigration and had a lot of fun.  Months later my wife and I went through a lot of time and effort trying to purchase two laptop computers from a company who’s online department  messed up the order in more ways than I thought was possible.  Our saviour was a sales rep at the local branch of the store who along with his manager managed to fix everything.  The day we were able to pick up the computers we were chatting with the sales rep and found out he was studying aerospace at the university and surprise, surprise one of his professors was our next door neighbours real estate agents husband.  Yes, the wold keeps getting smaller.  This week I found out that the new hire at my work previously worked with my neighbor. Why am I not surprised?

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