When Coincidence and Serendipity Collide

It's been a crazy couple weeks for a couple of reasons.

First of all, the old mailbox got nailed by the snow plow...again. When I first moved into this house I remember noting, as I drove up the road, that a lot of people seemed to have some pretty 'creative' mailboxes. Old buckets tied on with rope, big plastic pipes with makeshift end pieces swinging from chains, boxes and all manner of things. I remember thinking how odd that was and now I'm beginning to understand why. I had previously straightened out the twisted metal that was my mailbox, made a new flag out of wood and then affixed it again to the pole. Within a week I was wandering out in the snow and wind, a letter in the driveway, another inside the mailbox which was also full of snow and 30 feet from it's post lying in the front yard, and a small parcel in what was the ditch, half buried in the snow. The mail was soaked and mushy, the mailbox once again looked like something having a seizure, and heaven knows what happened to the screws that once held it onto the post. I don't think it can take another beating like that. I'm now understanding why hanging from chains might be a better idea. I'm already thinking of a creative solution in the event that the mailbox gets nailed to death and finally heaves it's last sigh and drops it's mouth open for the last time. I'll be ready with an idea for a replacement. I've been scouring the basement and garage for some inspiration.

The other bit of excitement was an amazing and incredible tale of coincidences. I had a friend named Roberta in Grade 6 that I used to have lunch with in school. Her and I used to play Donny Osmond records and swoon dreamily in a way that pre-teens do. About 12 yrs ago I connected with her online and we exchanged a few emails about how our lives had turned out. She was married to a fisherman in the Maritimes. Fast forward to 2 yrs ago when we made the decision to move to PEI. I reconnected with her again and found out that when she said Maritimes, specifically she meant PEI. So we agreed to meet up for coffee one day. Upon arriving on the island we talked on the phone once but with me busy house hunting we just never got the chance. I then changed my cell phone number and somewhere during the move to the house I had lost her number. Meanwhile I was working nights and trying to settle so the plan sort of fell off the radar. Until a few weeks ago when I remembered that and decided I would have to find a way to track her down.

Now, 6 months ago I met a woman named Janet on Facebook and when I bought the house, she came to see me as it turned out she lived around the corner. We have become fast friends and she started working for a dog training outfit. One day a couple of weeks ago she tells me the sad story of a woman on my road. She is suffering through a terribly debilitating disease called MSA (Multiple System Atrophy). She had a dog and a cat. Her husband left her right after the diagnosis and now she is awaiting a bed in a nursing home. So she enlisted the help of the dog training outfit to find a new home for her beloved canine friend, someone who'd be willing to bring him to visit her in the nursing home. Janet was asked to visit this woman and see what sort of training the dog might need to qualify to be able to visit nursing homes and asked if I could come with her in case she needed some help. This woman lived only 5 houses down the road and on the same side of the road. When we arrived I thought there was something familiar about her but couldn't quite place it. Until she asked me where I moved from. That's when she realized who I was, and I realized she was the Roberta I knew in Grade 6. We nearly fainted and there was hugs and stories, laughs and smiles, while poor Janet sat there mouth open in stunned silence trying to figure out what the heck just happened. So after all the failed attempts to get together and meet up, it seems that we ended up just living a few houses away from each other. And just at a time when she was struggling and needed a friend. When I think of all the years our lives went in different directions only to ultimately end up so close and in a whole other province, the coincidences required for all this to take place are mind boggling. Even just the fact that how we ultimately find each other is coincidentally through someone neither of us knew 6 months ago. It brings a whole new meaning to the concept of serendipity. And so, for the past week or so I have been trotting over and helping her out with different things, and we've been reminiscing about lunches with Donny Osmond. Life sure can surprise you sometimes.

We've also had a few thaws here. The sun coming out and shining so warmly that snow is melting everywhere and we are able to get to the back end of the property again. We did spot two fox frolicking in the back acreage a few weeks ago and the other day we found an area where the snow had been trampled in a huge semi circle with big paw prints (probably coyote) and it looks as though they were playing or fighting. Even found a body print where one was lying down....maybe he wanted to make a snow angel. <smirk> Eagles have been flying up and down the river hunting and we even had a run in one night with a skunk. We came home in the dark after watching a little concert around the corner and there he was on the step in front of the back door. And neither one of us had a key on us for the front door. Well, we did a little dance with him for awhile, with him slipping under the step and me trying to sneak up and get the door open. I'd have my hand on the door and he'd come half out looking at me and I'd dash back. He'd duck in under the stair again and I'd try to sneak up again. This went on a few times before I was able to get into the door once and for all. Needless to say, now every time we go out the door we are looking carefully through the window to make sure we aren't in for a surprise shower by Mr. Stinky. But the fact is, that Pepe LePew is residing under the stoop and sooner or later we have to find a way to get rid of him. For now he's gone back into hibernation with the snowfalls and drop in temperature.

And of course life just isn't life without a few mishaps. In addition to the mailbox fiasco, my lovely Kitchen Aid mixer had an accident. There I was making bread with the dough hook which makes it bounce and vibrate. I usually keep an eye on it but I turned my attention away for a moment to peel some apples only to hear what sounded like a lead cannon hitting the floor. My poor mixer had 'walked' off the counter to commit suicide. There it lay, whirring noisily, the back had fallen off exposing the motor, and the bread dough spilling out of the bowl like entrails. Thank goodness for the sturdiness of this mixer it still works! Well...it functions despite the fact that two of the screw catches broke off so now the back is held on with lots of...you guessed it, every man's favourite tool...duck tape. Fortunately the duck tape matches the same colour as my mixer. As Red Green would say, 'if they can't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy'.

And so ends another week.


  1. I laugh as I read your mailbox saga. We finally nailed ours onto a wooden sawhorse. We pull it to safety before each snow, and move it back out to the road when the plow has finished.

    Incredible story about Roberta. I just dropped off a donation to her in Montague (at the church). Such a sad story. I'm so glad you reconnected at such a time - she must have been so happy.

    I hope my comments will go through. I never thought to switch over to explorer to leave them (won't work on my google settings for some reason).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I absolutely love my KitchenAid mixer ... solid.

  3. Coincidence and serendipity - I had to use a dictionary to understand the heading!
    It touched my heart reading you incredible story about finding your school friend again in your close surrounding. As you pointed out: Life sure can surprise you sometimes.


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