Life Is A Mystery!

Saturday, February 16 was a day that just kept taking so many interesting and wonderful unplanned directions.

The events of the day were really kicked off by something that happened (or didn’t happen) on Valentine’s Day. I had been scheduled to drive out to Morris to attend my son’s College Choir concert. The weather was so sketchy, especially out in West Central Minnesota – that I decided not to drive out (much to my dismay).

So, because I had some items to deliver to Gunnar and his girlfriend that I wasn’t able to deliver on Thursday, we made arrangements Friday night to meet them in Alexandria on Saturday morning.

That brings us to what turned out to be an amazing Saturday, one for the books….and the kind of day that you just can’t plan and have it play out the way it did! I woke up Saturday morning and took a look at my Instagram feed to see what the latest was. This is what was on my page:

This was quite unexpected. Glyn is a recently made friend who is from England. I listen regularly to the Podcast that he does with Dave Clayton, called ‘He Shoots He Draws’ – a Photography and Graphic Design Podcast. After their Friday episode, I posted a positive message about this particular episode, and then woke up Saturday to this post. I should have known this Saturday was going to be interesting!

We made arrangements to meet our son and his girlfriend in Alexandria mid-morning for brunch at Perkins. That went well, and it was wonderful seeing them, even for such a brief time. After the items we had brought were transferred to their car and good-byes were said – we were in our way NW.

At some point a short while later, we received a message from our friend Trina saying that she had seen Gunnar and Kaitlyn at Wal Mart. We also received a message from Gunnar saying that they had seen Trina. Apparently Gunnar had mentioned our plans to go Cross Country Skiing at Glendalough State Park. Trina told us that she was actually driving up to that same area to visit another mutual friend, Jody and that we should get together that evening. We were planning to meet our Sister-In-Law and her three kids at Glendalough, and had been invited to go back to Fergus Falls afterwards for Chili. We had declined because it would be going in a different direction than where our hotel was for the night.

In the meantime, Trina and Jody had talked and must have talked about where we were headed. It turned out that Jody and her husband and two of their kids were already on their way to a ski area, that was much hillier than where we were going – so they decided to come to Glendalough as well! So now our group of three had grown to seven, and finally to 11!

Carrie on the left, with her friend Jodi at Glendalough S.P.

When we arrived at the Trail Head parking lot (which was surprisingly full), we got out of the truck, started walking to the building to see where we could rent skis for others in our group. Carrie turned to me and said, “look who’s here.” She was referring to a van that had signage on its side for “Minnesota Trails and Rides”….a paper for which I was the Editor for once upon a time….a job that I was, let’s say, “let go” from once upon a time.

There has always been some level of disappointment for me, with the way that job ended, and so now suddenly, I was thinking that my boss and publisher, Dave would be there. What was I going to say when we inevitably came face to face at this small trail head, some 15 years later? We got inside the building and discovered that there was a ski event going on. There was a women at a desk signing people in….”are you here for the race?” She asked. We were somewhat confused about what to do and to what was going on at this point! It was then that I saw a poster for the event on the wall that featured a headshot of Dave, my former boss/publisher. My first thought was it was an event that he was organizing. Well, as it turned out….I read closer and discovered that it was a Memorial Race for Dave! He had died suddenly last year at this time. Wow! I had NO idea. And here we were “randomly” at this park, on this day, there to ski.

We finally got all organized and were fortunate that the Sons Of Norway were there for the event, and were loaning ski equipment at no charge. We had a great time on a nice flat trail.

Shortly after I created this image, my phone pinged with a message. I had “checked-in” on Facebook before we hit the trail and our friend Linda had seen the image. Her message said that I should call Paul. I waited until I got back as I was almost done with the trail.

Paul and I became friends back in 1987 when we were both students at Fergus Falls Community College. I got back to the truck, and before we got going, I gave Paul a call. It turned out that he lives nearby, and was wondering if we had time to meet. He mentioned that maybe we could meet at a certain place in the nearby town, called the Shoreline. I told him that is exactly where we were already going as we had just made plans to go there for hot chocolate. Now, I haven’t seen Paul and Linda for just over 12 years! Yet another great unexpected occurrence on this day. We enjoyed a great talk over appetizers and hot chocolate….talked a lot about ancestry, and it turns out that his wife and our sister-in-law are related! Paul told me that when he heard that we were at Glendalough SP; he assumed it was because of Dave’s memorial (knowing that I had worked for him). It also turns out that Linda was also related to Dave. I hope we can meet again soon!

So in one last interesting turn, we were invited to meet with Jody and Trina at Jody’s house for supper…Sister-in-Law, Leisha and her kids were also invited and so we all went there for a great spaghetti meal. There we were….friends and family enjoying each other’s company. Five of the kids roughly the same age hanging out; High School friends catching up; spending time with family…..what a day!

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