Here's an "It's A Small World" story from last week.
When I walked into a seniors' home in Morinville, Alberta last Thursday, where I was going to be speaking about our books, a man was standing inside the front doors. He was waiting for whoever was coming to pick him up to take him to a day program outside the facility. He opened the door for me and then for Al when Al brought in our cart of books. Since we were just standing there, I decided to make conversation. I asked the fellow if they'd had much rain there.
"No, not much," he said. "Just last night."
I told him that I was glad it had rained. "We're heading to a family reunion in Athabasca, just north of here. A few weeks ago, my brother said they were spraying for grasshoppers."
The man kind of smiled, then pointed his index finger at me and said, "I KNOW who you are."
I stopped and took another look at him and my jaw dropped. "YOU'RE ________ ________," I yelled, saying his name.
I couldn't believe my eyes.
I had been the recipient of that pointed finger a few times when we were kids, and I had now recognized the man from that gesture I had seen many times as a kid. His family lives about a mile from our farm and we went on the same school bus every day! My brother has visited and worked with this friend of ours for years, but he'd lost track of where our friend had moved in retirement.
So now we know.
I grabbed our friend and asked Al to take a photo of the two of us.
How cool is that?
At a Thursday afternoon speaking event in my hometown, I reconnected with at least five seniors who played a role in my childhood as well. Some had been friends with my parents and some were neighbours. (When I was growing up on the farm, anyone who lived within a 50-mile radius was considered a neighbour.) One of the seniors was a former high school Industrial Arts teacher, whom I did not take classes from but whom I had always considered to be a respected teacher. Later that evening, I visited with three of my cousins and also reconnected with a friend from high school whom I had not seen for more than 40 years! I love how life throws such fascinating, fun curves at you every now and then.
We spent the rest of the weekend reconnecting with relatives on my father's side of our family. We visited, ate great food, played cards and other games, and genuinely had a great time.
Then Al and I, my three sisters and one brother, with most of our family members, spent Sunday afternoon at the lake near my brother's farm. It was a beautiful day weather-wise - hot and sunny with a slight breeze.
It was the perfect ending for a great weekend of visiting, reminding me of where I come from and who I am - a farm kid from Alberta who loves the Prairies and its people.