Yesterday Scott and I took my cousins out to lunch. This is an annual event to celebrate their Birthdays. They were born on the same day. Later in the afternoon, we planned to meet our friends Marta and Larry for a soak in the hot springs about one hour south of Reno.
We had some time in between and found ourselves exploring the little towns of Gardnerville and Minden, which are essentially the same town. This is where my parents met when they were teenagers. We checked out the new Community and Senior Center in a beautiful building on the south end of town. We went to the cemetery where my family is buried and one of Scott’s Nona’s, Theresa. Then we decided a coffee sounded good and settled on a Starbucks on the north end of town. We pulled in and as we headed towards the door, who should pull in but our next door neighbors, Peggy and Bruce!
What magic in the Universe would have brought us all to the same Starbucks in a small town an hour from our neighborhood in Reno, at the same moment? If we had agreed to meet there, we could not have timed our arrival more perfectly. We all laughed and marveled at this amazing synchronicity. They had been gone for three days, celebrating New Years with friends in the South Tahoe area. We had been watching their cats and their home. They had also been wandering around exploring, slowly making their way back towards Reno. They decided, like us, to stop and have a coffee.
It reminded all of us of another magic meeting, the one that resulted in their becoming our next door neighbors. That’s a story worth telling. When you hear it, you’ll understand why we all shrugged as we sat down with our coffees, and agreed, “This is how it is with us.”
The story begins 27 years ago when Peggy, Scott and I all worked as computer consultants for the University of Nevada System Computing Services. This is how we met. Our working time together was brief, maybe only a few months. Peggy moved on to teach math. I went to graduate school in Florida. Only Scott remained, working there until he retired in 2013.
I eventually ended up in Colorado, moving back to Reno to be with my aging parents in 2012–20 years after I’d left. Scott and I had reconnected over email in 2008. When I moved, we started spending time together in late 2012 and fell in love. In the spring of 2013, he asked me to move in with him. He lives in a charming neighborhood near our city’s largest park and the University of Nevada where we both received our undergraduate degrees. I loved the neighborhood and was looking forward to living there.
I put my home, on the opposite side of town, on the market in March. It sold in one day! Talk about a green light from the Universe! I was drinking a glass of wine to celebrate when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a realtor who had two clients with her, a couple. I told them I’d already sold it and they were visibly disappointed. I asked them if they’d like to see the place, just to give them some ideas. I always figure every house you see is good information when you are looking for a home.
As we wandered through the house, I learned they had recently married and this would be their first home together. We were standing in the dining room area when the woman asked me where I was moving to and I described the neighborhood. She knew it well, including the street. “Who are you moving in with?”
When I told her Scott’s name, she cocked her head to the side and asked, “Rhonda?” In that moment it struck me why she seemed so familiar to me, but I couldn’t place her. After all, it had been 21 years since we had last seen each other. Suddenly, I knew! “Peggy?” We laughed–that same laugh. How could this have happened? The realtor didn’t have an appointment, didn’t know the home had sold, but decided to chance stopping by. In all reality, this magic meeting should never have occurred. But it did.
Turns out Peggy used to stay with Jana. Jana lives two doors down from us. Here’s another amazing coincidence: Jana and I were officemates for the 4 years I worked at the Computing Center! Now we are neighbors.
Anyhow, Peggy looked at me and said, “That’s where I really want to live.” She was still teaching math at the University and our house is within walking distance of UNR.
I said, “Well, this might be your lucky day. The next door neighbor just put a For Sale By Owner sign up in the front yard this week. I’d love to have you for a neighbor!”
The next minute the realtor was asking the address so she could look it up. The next day they were taking a tour of the home. The next month they moved in. And the rest is history. Peggy and I often connect with each other at just the right magic moments when we need to share something.
Even though we know this is how it is with us, we still marvel when it happens like it did yesterday and reminds us with such clarity, that there are mysterious, magic threads connecting us through space and time.
Tomorrow I’ll tell about the magic meeting that led to our friendship with Marta and Larry. That’s a good one too.