Two day before Christmas we were doing some renovations to the kitchen. I know…. sounds like an odd time to be renovating but we had just purchased a new stove for Christmas and the renovations were necessary.
The home we live in has a lot of history behind it. Not only was it built about ninety years ago, there was also a small room off the kitchen that served as the Dale Post Office. Yup, the same “Dale Post Office” mentioned in Bitter, Sweet.
Miraculously, while in the midst of all the renovations, we discovered a letter hidden in between the walls. The letter was in perfect shape, still in the original envelope with a 2 cent stamp affixed to it, and addressed to the previous owner. It had been written by one of her sons while he was a patient at a hospital in the United States eighty years ago.
I decided not to post the letter for privacy reasons but am adding some photos my daughter took the day the letter was discovered.
The gentleman we bought our house from, when we were first married, will be turning 100 this month and lived in the house as a boy. From time to time we drop in to visit him at the nursing home where he now lives. At 100 his mind is as sharp as a tack and he has many wonderful stories to tell. As you can imagine he has seen many changes in our community over the years and I swear he can recall each and every one. I love local history. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. I could sit for hours and listen to him. He’s a wonderful story-teller and our visits with him are always so pleasant.
During the holidays we dropped in to visit with him. He had company from the city that day and, although we didn’t want to interrupt their visit since they’d come from such a distance, they insisted we come in. We knew these people— since they had once lived in the community— all but the one lady whom we’d never met before. Awhile into our visit my husband told them about the letter we had found. To our surprise the lady spoke up and said it had been written by her father when he was a young man!
To make a long story short, I got her address that day and sent her the letter. She was so pleased to get it. In a little thank you note she wrote me later, she said that it was like getting a letter from the dead. He father had been very sick while a patient in that hospital and the doctors weren’t at all sure he would survive.
When I stop and think how odd it was that we’d find this letter a week before meeting the daughter of the man who had written it eighty years ago, I’m reminded that the world is filled with magical moments such as these. It was exciting to be able to send the letter back where it belonged and somehow it just feels right.
I love the way life throws these little “coincidences” our way. Although I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that life is not just a bunch of haphazard events, I’m always amazed when something like this happens.
So what’s your story? What odd thing has happened that made you sit up and notice? Do you believe in “coincidences” and “chance meetings”, or do you think life unfolds the way it is supposed to? I’m very curious, you know……