I’m not a fatalist. I don’t believe that whatever will be will be and that I have absolutely no control over my life.
At the same time, I certainly don’t believe I’m completely in control.
Take, for example, my first job out of college.
I’d spent all of my life saying that I liked almost any type of music but country. Then, the day after I graduated, I received a phone call from the news director at, you guessed it, a country music station. I hadn’t submitted my resume or applied for a job. An acquaintance had mentioned I was graduating and might be interested.The job wasn’t at all what I had planned for myself, but I took it.
That was at the same time Garth Brooks was storming onto the music scene. And yes, I admit, I become a closet country music fan.
I never would have asked that my career began in country music, but I can’t complain about where that job led. Or where it is still taking me. Nor can I say that I listen to much country music these days, but I definitely don’t turn it off when my daughter is listening. And I still love Garth Brooks.
His song Unanswered Prayers says it all: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xohixl_garth-brooks-unanswered-prayers_music
It always makes me smile.
Day 87: Unanswered Prayers Day 86: Apples Fresh from the Orchard Day 85: Being Human Day 84: Captain Underpants Day 83: The Diary of Anne Frank Day 82: In Cold Blood Day 81: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Day 80: The Outsiders Day 79: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Day 78: The First Amendment Day 77: People Who Touch Our Lives Day 76: The Rewards of Parenting Day 75: Improvements Day 74: Family Traditions Day 73: Learning From Our Mistakes Day 72: Live Music Day 71: Sleeping In Day 70: Grover Day 69: A Good Hair Day Day 68: A Sense of Community Day 67: Kindness Day 66: Living in a Place You Love Day 65: Gifts from the Heart Day 64: The Arrival of Fall Day 63: To Kill a Mockingbird Day 62: Green Lights Day 61: My Canine Friends Day 60: Differences Day 59: A New Box of Crayons Day 58: Bookworms Day 57: Being Oblivious Day 56: Three-day Weekends Day 55: A Cat Purring Day 54: Being a Unique Individual Day 53: Children’s Artwork Day 52: Lefties Day 51: The Neighborhood Deer Day 50: Campfires Day 49: Childhood Crushes Day 48: The Words “Miss You” Day 47: Birthday Stories Day 46: Nature’s Hold on Us Day 45: Play-Doh Day 44: First Day of School Pictures Day 43: Calvin and Hobbes Day 42: Appreciative Readers Day 41: Marilyn Monroe’s Best Quote Day 40: Being Silly Day 39: Being Happy Exactly Where You Are Day 38: Proud Grandparents Day 37: Chocolate Chip Cookies Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories Day 35: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Day 34: Accepting the Fog Day 33: I See the Moon Day 32: The Stonehenge Scene from This is Spinal Tap Day 31: Perspective Day 30: Unlikely Friendships Day 29: Good Samaritans Day 28: Am I a Man or Am I a Muppet? Day 27: Shadows Day 26: Bike Riding on Country Roads Day 25: When Harry Met Sally Day 24: Hibiscus Day 23: The Ice Cream Truck Day 22: The Wonderful World of Disney Day 21: Puppy love Day 20 Personal Theme Songs Day 19: Summer Clouds Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of Hay Day 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
If popular culture is to be believed, all of our questions will ultimately be answered when we die.
I may be a bit impatient, but I’m not ready to find out if that’s true. I’m not even all that eager to have all my questions answered.
For the moment, I’m quite content to muddle along and think that wondering is the essence of living.
And wonder I do.
I know there are people who believe there is a master plan or that we just have to trust fate. But, in reality, there are more seven billion people on earth. If even one percent of those people are similar to me, they are constantly doing something random and unplanned that could change everything.
There are just no easy answers about how the universe works.
I first learned that during a summer in the late 1970’s.
My family was spending our summer vacation exploring Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area.
Knowing my parents, the trip was well-planned. But even the best planning doesn’t take into account when little girls have to go to the bathroom.
My dad grumbled as he pulled our Oldsmobile 98 sedan into a parking spot at a visitors’ information center. As my mother and I headed to the women’s room, we paid little attention to the car with Michigan license place that nosed in next to us.
But my dad was paying attention.
Which is why he chose to watch a slide presentation about some geological event that had occurred at some point in history at our current location. I have no recollection of what the event was or when it occurred. All I know is that when my mom and I sought out my dad and brother, they were watching the presentation.
Or they were at least pretending to watch.
My dad was sitting in a metal folding chair wearing a foolish grin and pointing to the people in front of him.
Those people were my great-uncle Vilas and his new girlfriend, Betty.
Uncle Vilas, who was from the Detroit Michigan area, had visited us once in Oregon, but I really didn’t remember him. My parents didn’t even know he had a girlfriend, even though his wife had passed away years before.
After the slide show ended, my mom tapped him on the shoulder. When he recognized her, he was initially shocked then broke into a wide grin. We spent time in that visitors’ center catching up. Then we went our separate ways.
That was the last time we saw my Uncle Vilas. He died a few years later in 1986, but my family always talked about the coincidence.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I was asked to judge a Boys and Girls Club state scholarship competition, and the national coordinator was from Adrian Michigan, where my mother was born. As we talked about the coincidence, I discovered that her parents had graduated from high school where and when my Uncle Vilas was principal.
My immediate reaction was “it’s a small world.” But sometimes, that’s just hard to believe,
I began to a do a little more family research and discovered that Uncle Vilas, like my son, played a brass instrument in a band. I also discovered that he, like I have, spent his career in service to others rather than in the business world.
I’m still not sure if that means anything more than he seems to pop into my life at the most unexpected moments.
But I’m willing to wait for the answer.