After that last post on Saturday, right after I clicked send on the last of three papers, I was charged with energy. SOOOOO excited. SOOOOO grateful. Just pumped.
I had two things on the calendar for the afternoon- pick up the local, organic, grass-fed (when I told my mom this she thought I said “breast-fed”) turkey at the neighborhood drop-off point between 4 and 6. And attend an open house for a colleague from school (who also has lots to celebrate) anytime after 4. I originally I thought I’d go to the open house from 4- just before 6 and then pick up the turkey and go home and start getting ready for my sister’s arrival.
But then when I realized I have A LOT to celebrate, I thought, “Hey, why not pick up the turkey at 4, run it home and get it in the fridge, and then go to the party and hang out as long as my heart desires?” Sounded brilliant to me. So from 1-4 I talked to my mom on the phone. I prepared a bed for my sister. I cleaned my office. I went to the hardware store and bought an electric screwdriver to facilitate the hanging of pictures. And then, right on schedule, I made my way to the turkey pick-up point.
Problem was… the cooler that was supposed to be in a visible place filled with turkeys labelled for pre-paid customers… well… it was nowhere in sight. Cars were lining up and eventually we got out and started chatting with each other. Everyone was colorful and fascinating… gotta love organic shoppers (if not, so much, flaky organic merchants).
Two of the women waiting were wondering if they were at the right house. One declared that she has a photographic memory for numbers, so she couldn’t believe she was wrong. I pulled out the receipt on which I had written the house number (not the turkey receipt, just some random scrap paper lying around!) and then pointed at my belly saying “I just spent a week writing three papers for my Ph.D. program and my baby is due in two weeks, so I’m not trusting my memory at the moment. I wrote it down, and yes, we’re at the right house. And I have the seller’s cell number, shall I call her?” The women were delighted “Oh yes, please. We want our turkeys.” Of course she didn’t answer.
But, in any case, the disclosure of the nearness of the due date and the Ph.D. tidbit sparked the interest of one of the women and she started asking all sorts of questions about me. When she learned that the state and region from whence we recently moved she said “Where in that part of the state?” I told her the name of the county seat of the county with more cows than people and was about to do my standard explanation of where it is, but noticed her eyes widen and it seemed she even staggered back a bit. “NO WAY!” She said. “You know it???!” I asked incredulously. “Why, I’ve had dinner there!” She said. “Really? Where?” She didn’t answer with a culinary detail, but declared “My daughter lives in [the small city 20 minutes north of our old small town]!” “You’ve got to be kidding! Tell me her name. I won’t know her, but tell me her name.” And so she did, and, indeed, I recognized her name, but couldn’t properly say I knew her. We chatted a bit. I learned that her daughter is a teacher in that small city and suspected that that is how I had heard of her. I knew some teachers from that district. She learned that I had been pastor of a church she at least had a visual of in her mind. Anyone who has been to “Morecowsville” has a visual of the church building that houses the congregation I served in their mind. It is sort of a visual symbol of the town. Eventually she said “They must really miss you in [Morecowsville]!” I chuckled and said “Some people do.” And just as I did my cell phone started ringing and it was WORKOUT BUDDY, whom I now have permission to call by name, so, it was KELLY! Who… worked at a bank based in this small city for a LONG time and who now is a teacher, working on her masters degree in literacy. I looked at who the call was coming from and said “THIS is someone who misses me!”
So then I told Kelly about the uncanny exchange.
“Where are you?” she queried.
“Waiting for a turkey, but that’s hard to explain, let me just tell you about this and ask you if you know this woman.”
I told her the name of this woman’s daughter and she immediately said, “Of course I know her. She’s in the same masters program as me!” And the she proceeded to characterize her for me- mostly positively.
So, I paused in the phone conversation to say, “This friend who is calling, she’s in classes with your daughter.” The woman, whom I now knew to be named April, said “GET OUT!” She was floored. I walked away to continue my conversation with Kelly, but would periodically hear her telling other customers about our uncanny connection.
We ended up waiting for over an hour and a half for our turkeys. Eventually I explained to Kelly what was going on and she said “That sounds like a set up or a punch-line for a joke, pregnant woman waiting for turkey…” Indeed.
After hanging up with Kelly I got to know April a bit better. And there was some expression she was trying to remember to be able to tell me and she couldn’t so she asked for my e-mail so to be able to share it later. And sure enough, yesterday I received a lovely e-mail from her. I think I’ve made a new friend. She invited us to join her household on Friday night for a leftover gathering, everyone bringing what they want to unload! What a clever idea! But we have company that will be leaving VERY early Saturday morning so I had to pass… but I have a feeling I’ll be seeing April again.
Pregnant woman waiting on street for turkey… and making friends.