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    « Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Morning | Main | On The Road Again ... »

    March 24, 2005



    Last year was my first year of university away from home. All year there was a girl in a couple of my classes that looked so familiar it drove me crazy. I figured it was because when you looked quickly she was the spitting image of one of my best friends at home, so I never said anything to her. Plus, you know, it's Ottawa, and I don't know anyone, so why would I know her?

    Fast forward to last spring, I'm home again and out with some friends. We go to Myron's to see a friend's band, and I spot the girl who looked so familiar all year. I walk up to her and ask if she goes to U of Ottawa, and she did. Was she in poli sci? Yup. Me too! What was she doing at Myron's in Charlottetown? She's from Ch'town too, graduated the same year as I did from the Grey.

    That alone was funny enough, but didn't necessarily explain why she looked so familiar all year. I could still have easily not met this person since we went to different high schools. We kept chatting and I found out she was a guide at the confed centre for the previous couple summers (while I was starting my third summer in front of house there) and had dated a good friend for about a year before she left for school.

    Makes you wonder how I was thick enough to not be able to figure out how I knew her the entire year.


    Oh wow! Great stories - could read stories like yours and be happy for some time. Thanks for posting.


    I just love getting a cup of tea and sitting down to read well written stories such as this one, and I throughly enjoyed this post!
    You should write a book, Nils. :))))))) (g)


    Tag - you're it! See my blog for the questions. (Please don't hate me.)


    Two. First classic. Practiced in a town with a Crown attorney that was in Grade 1 with me but neither of us were from that town and we needed to check with our parents and their store of school photos.

    Second. I was at law school playing soccer in my first year on a team witrh Graeme Steele (now in the NS legislature). He asks why I want to go to law school and I say I'd like a job I can move with. He says that is odd but as his family moved he understood. Moved from where I say. Soctland. Mine too - from where. West coast. Mine too - from where. Ayrshire. Mine too - from where. Names the village. OK how old - same age as my mother. We go to the side by side pay phone calling our respective moms and my mother says you eat that family's recipe for date squares which was an American thing they picked up at some point in the generations going back and forth. The village was small enough that we figure we are cousins. I say so where are you from now. Winnipeg he says. I say to mom still on the line that it is Winnipeg and she says, does she see your godparents who moved there? We ask the WInnipeg mom and she says "she does?" Apparently they had lived a couple of blocks from each other in Winnipeg for twenty years and, despite also going to the same small school in that same small village in Scotland had not run into each other either.


    I remember the day as if it was yesterday…November 7, 1987. We had taken our two teenage children on a holiday to the south of France. Everyone who wasn’t in the water was taking advantage of the warm Mediterranean sunshine. I don’t do sunbathing very well, so I decided after about half an hour it was time to go lay down under the canopy with all the other fair skinned tourists. Six or seven others were taking refuge from the sun and I introduced myself and one person said to me “Sounds like a maritime accent to me.” I said yes that I lived on PEI. “No, it’s more of a Nova Scotia twang,” he insisted.
    Okay, I was born in N.S. “Where?” he inquired. Because very few people have ever heard of Malagash, I assumed when I told him the place of my childhood that would be the last query from him. “Malagash, uh…I once dated a girl from Malagash called Jean but she was living in Truro. Oh frigg…my mind was racing and thinking “Who in hell are you?” While not wanting to tip my hand, I did want to know who he was as I wasn’t paying particular attention when I introduced myself.
    You have to understand that Malagash had, at that time, the population of about 45 people and I had indeed migrated to the metropolis of Truro when I was 17. After a bit of small talk about Malagash, I said to him “Sorry, I missed your name”. When he said Dale W., I was totally gobsmacked! We chatted a bit more and I asked him if he remembered what Jean’s last name was. He did. I confessed it was I who he had dated and I also told him that it was only two dates and as I recall it was a movie one time and bowling the second. He seemed impressed that I had remembered where we had gone. As I recall, he was a nice enough young fellow, but he was shorter than me and a little stout. Now…when you are 17 and want to be cool, dating a short stout guy didn’t cut it. He had to be at least as tall if not taller. And on Nov. 17, 1987, Dale W. was still short and stout.
    Our conversation moved on to our marriages and family. We both had been married to the same spouse for many years and each had two children – a boy and girl.
    When our son, Dale, was born, as god is my witness, his father picked out his name. I never even gave Dale W., my old two- date boyfriend, a thought. When Dale W.’s daughter was born, his wife picked out her name and called her Jeannie.
    We then spoke about the kids going to school, etc. here on the Island and the school they attended. Our son and his daughter both attended the same junior high for two years as Jeannie W. had come to PEI to live with her grandparents when her father was posted out west with the army.
    I called our son out of the water and asked him if he knew Jeannie W. from junior high school. He said yes he did as she was in most of his classes.
    On the flight home, I asked Dale if Jeannie W. was girlfriend material. “No,” he answered very matter of fact, “She was short and stout!”
    The apple really didn’t fall very far from the tree.


    On behalf of short, stout people everywhere, I officially admonish you and your son for your prejudices. But it's still a great story.

    I have a less story, although beach-related like yours:

    I was in Clearwater Beach once with my family - we had a hotel right on the beach (I think the street was "Executive Drive" or something). Anyway, as we were sitting there, some well-tanned Floridians walked past. Buddy looks over at me and says "From the Maritimes, are ya?"

    Well, I was wearing a baseball cap with "HMCS Halifax" on it, so he got no points for his guess. But I said "Yes ... and you?"

    He said "I live here now, but originally I'm from Antigonish (Nova Scotia, just across the Northumberland Strait from the Island)."

    I said - almost in jest: "Well, you must know the Nunn family." (No points for that guess, either. The Nunns are well-known in Antigonish - there are nine kids, for one thing, and at least three or four of them ended up in radio and television)

    He said "Wow ... the Nunns were our next-door neighbours when I was growing up!"

    I said "How about that. Jennifer Nunn is house-sitting for me even as we have this conversation."

    Kinda cool.


    After I graduated from college, I spent the summer in L.A. in training to teach English in China. My roommate there came a day later than me, and as she unpacked, we got chatting.

    "You're from Indiana?" she asks, "I went to college there; just graduated."

    "Oh, really? What school?"

    "Taylor University."

    "Oh, a good friend of mine from high school went there. He just graduated too, I think."

    "Really? What's his name?"

    "Jim Palmer. Do you know him?"

    Shock on her face. "That's my best friend Ellen's boyfriend."

    We both left for China at the end of the summer and though we had different teammates that first year, my second year in China we decided to teach together. Not as personal as some small world stories...and it might have been even better if I hadn't met her until I was actually in China :)


    Sorry about the short and stout, Nils. I have to admit I did think about the "old you" when I was writing. ;-) You have to remember I was only 17 at the time. Having aged considerably since then,characteristics such as short, stout, balding and being cool don't seem to be quite so important anymore.


    Re: The Nunn family...I remember a Jim Nunn on TV years ago...


    I am originally from Moose Jaw. Where? everyone I say close to Regina, which brings giggles to EVERY ONE I say it to, as we in Canada say Regina as we do, not in the regal old English way of Re-geena. Yeah, ok, hah ha ha. It sounds like a female body part. Get it, got it, now get over it.

    My first story happened while in Canada. I went to a French camp in Quebec and the girl beside me was also from Saskatchewan. We got talking one night and I mentioned that I was from Moose Jaw - as it turned out - so was she. We went to different schools, but she had dated one of my best friends from when I was growing up. Odd that I had to go to Quebec to meet a girl from my hometown.

    Now, in Hong Kong, I met 2 lovely girls from Nova Scotia. Aside from their strange affliction of saying words oddly (tour, hockey) they are simply lovely. The one girl is from Larry's River - which she says in a very odd little acadian way. I mentioned that during the same French camp that I met my friend at, I met a guy from Larry's River. She asked me who. I mentioned the 1 I recalled for certain and it turns out that he is the best friend of her brother, who was the one whose name I could not recall.

    Now, I have the song "It's a small world" in my head right before bed time. Crap.


    I love that story, Nilbo.

    I have a small world story, too. Not as good as yours, but I still stop and wonder about it sometimes.

    In my first year of college, I fell completely in love with a young man who liked me, but didn't feel as passionate about me as I did about him. He was my first love. About three months into our relationship, he met a young woman with whom he fell head over heels in love. She felt the same way about him. I was heartbroken for a long time. So it goes.

    I went on with my life. I graduated from college, moved to a different city, fell in love and was married. My new husband's twin sister was shaken up by the marriage. She liked me, but she had a terrible weight problem and was very lonely. I felt bad for her, so one day in church I prayed hard for her to find happiness and hopefully, a husband. That was really the first time I'd ever prayed like that for another person(how selfish of me!). She began to lose weight, and a man at our church became interested in her. They fell in love and were married about six months later.

    Who was the man she married? He was the cousin of the girl who had "stolen" my first love. They were at the wedding.

    I felt like God was winking at me.

    Circus Kelli

    Whoa... Good stories. I have chills now.

    My two cents:
    I was put up for adoption when I was just a few days old. There have been many times when Bio-Mom and I (now back together for the last 15 years) were in the same town at the same time.

    Hubby used to work at a restaurant near Fontana Beach, Wisconsin. I bought some food from him at this restaurant a couple of years before we ended up working at the same company an hour's drive (or more) way in Illinois.


    Is it too late to post? I have 2 too:
    I have a cousin who went on a jaunt to Thailand. He was lounging around on the beach there, not a care in the world, when he sees this familiar guy running past. Guess who it was? Our other cousin- well, second cousin. The two of them had been really close when they were kids but, you know how it goes, you can lose track of exactly where your relatives are all the time. Neither of them had the slightest recollection that the other was going to be in Thailand, though their mothers (first cousins) had both told them. They traveled together for a week.

    Then, I'm completely all alone in India. No traveling companions, no friends. Pune (east of Mumbai). I go to the local tourist hangout, a "German Bakery" (for those who have not been to India, that's a Westerner hippie restaurant, usually run by Dutch ex-pats, serving little to no actual German Baked goods), and I can't find a seat, so I end up sharing a table with a group of people. One of those people has a NYC accent (the ONLY person I met in 2 months of backpacking through india who was from NY), we start talking, and in about 5 minutes it's established that his grad school advisor is a friend of mine, adn that he has met my mom (at conferences), on several occasions. We're still friends, three years later.


    Never too late to post ... thanks ... those are great stories. Imagine the level of serendipity ...

    suburban misfit

    I have two; one involves me directly and one involves me indirectly.

    Story one (it's long and circular but I love it): Just before my first semester of college began, I attended a freshman orientation program at the school. Each orientation group was small, about 10-15 freshmen per group. The whole thing lasted 3 days, I think. In my group was a boy I developed a massive crush on during the first hour. I was way too shy to say anything to him.

    Fast-forward 3 years. Three friends and I have moved off-campus and are starting Junior year. One of my friends had (has? I've lost touch with her) a magnificent singing voice and decides to audition for a local band. They love her, of course, and she starts meeting all these music people. She started dating one of them, Mike. One night after a date, she brings Mike in to meet us. We looked at each other and said, almost in unison, "I know you from somewhere!" It took a few minutes of, "Where did you grow up?" and "What's your major?" before I realized he was the boy I had a crush on at freshman orientation (mind you, this is NOT a small school. It's a rather large University)! Wait,it gets better. Amy, my friend, tells me one day that the guitar player in her band wants them to record a demo tape. He knows a guy who is in the Recording Engineering program at the college, and the guy needs to record something for a project. Free demo tape. Anyway, she asks me to drive her to the studio to meet her band. While we're there, I see this really cute boy. Turns out he's the one doing the recording. We weren't introduced that day, much to my disappointment. Fast foward a few months. This is all happening while the First Gulf War was brewing, and my brother was aboard one of the Navy ships in the Gulf. I was very against that war. Some local groups on campus decide to put together a protest. Mike (the freshman orientation guy) and I have been hanging out lately (turns out he wanted to date me, even though I had a boyfriend) and we decide to go to the protest together. We get there, and he sees someone he knows, the guy who plays drums in *his* band. As we get closer, I realize it's the recording studio guy, and my heart just pounds! Mike introduces us, and the minute I look into Pete's eyes, I know that he's the man I'm going to marry. I'm so sure of this, as a matter of fact, I go home and break up with my boyfriend of three years. No joke! We all (Mike, me, Amy, Pete, other friends) start doing everything together. About two months go by and Amy finally convices Pete to ask me out. Three years later, we got married. Ten years after that, we've got two amazing kids and we're happier now than ever!

    Story two: Our good friend Eric is walking down the street in Chicago. None of us live in Chicago; I was born near there but moved away when I was 6. None of our friends from college grew up there. We had a friend named Giles who was a very free spirit. Born in Hong Kong, lived in England, came to the states and started college at 16, finished in 3 years with 3 majors. Brilliant. After graduation, he left to travel the world. Guess who Eric runs into? Giles. This is at least 6 years after graduation!

    I love stories like these!

    Rebecca Huston

    This is my first visit to your blog, and I am loving these stories!

    My sisters lived in the same NH town when their kids were little and often planned weekend outings together with their kids. One late Saturday morning Katie's kids begged to go to Mt. Washington and take the cog railroad to the top. It was a trip they had often talked about taking with their cousins, but had never made it up there. Since it was so late, Katie didn't call Sally and just packed up the kids and drove to the railroad.
    They take the long ride up the side of the mountain to the oberservation station and get out to look out over the Presidential Range. Who do they see getting out of their car after driving up the auto road on the other side of the mountain? Who else- Sally and her kids! So they spent the day and went back down their respective sides of the mountain!
    The amount of time they both missed running into me and my boyfriend on the mountain- 15 minutes. We were in line to get back on the train when they were getting off, just never saw each other.


    Great Small World Story: The connections between me & a coworker in Stoon goes far too deep. Scary. I find out that she also lived in North Wales near where I had a few years back, grew up in Stoon, etc. Anyways, her husband had known my husband, worked for the same co. in North Wales. I was working in the Colwyn Bay Library, North Wales when a blind woman & her husband are signing out books. She says "You sound just like someone from the Stoon Public Library. My jaw drops open. They visit son once a year, is what they tell me, lived past 20 years in Stoon. My dad tells me he knew her husband who used to work at UofS. It turns out my coworker also graduated with my sister from H.S. in Stoon. I later realized she had been in my skating lessons when I was 13 (complete change in appearance)and each of us had a daughter & son of the same ages! Can't get any more coincidental than that!


    cool!! thnxs for posting these cool writings.

    I like it . Infact i loved reading these.
    thank you!!

    Karin Kreuzkamp

    When I was about 28 and lived in New Westminster, I went to Hawaii with my boyfriend one Christmas. The first day I strolled to the beach with my towel and sunglasses and sun-hat. I found a good spot and lay down for to sunbathe and snooze. After a while I cracked open my eyes a bit and saw this blurry figure of a tall slim dude passing by. There was something about him though.... I sat up and took a good look. Holy cow! It was my coustin Steve Crum from Campbell River! Who'd a thought?


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    Happy New Year! Happiness and success in 2011.


    Тази година ми се ще да подаря нещо малко по-запомнящо се като подарък за празника на жената. Естествено - цветя обаче неизвестното е какво да е другото. Обеци, пръстени, парфюми и други подобни категорично минават ама това си е единствено отбиване на номера. Исках нещо значително по- оригинално.

    До тук отхвърлих:

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    They had driven from Winnipeg (for the geographically challenged, it's in the centre of Canada) (despite what people from Toronto would have you believe) to visit another sister of mine, who was living at the time in Sacramento, California.

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