Wednesday, March 01, 2006



Last post I told you about a stranger that came to my door. And much of what took place didn’t make good sense, so today I am going to give you the best I can offer by way of explanation.

The thing that struck me most in my conversation with the stranger was how lonely she was. I know what that feels like cause that’s the thing I had difficulty with when I first moved to this neighborhood.

Now some would call this a Closed Society and I certainly thought it was when I first moved here. It was difficult being alone here with the kids, Hub at work for weeks on end, and me with no vehicle and no introduction to any of the neighbors.

But when I got wind that the closest neighbor sold fresh eggs, I decided to use that for an excuse for a short visit. Coffee perhaps and a sit-down chit-chat. But I was sorely disappointed. Although I was invited in, that was the extent of it. A bit of doorway chit-chat about the weather, eggs quickly stashed in cartons, good to go, and that was the end of that.

So then I tried attending some community functions. That was less than encouraging as well. People seemed to clump into groups and although they would nod and smile and occasionally speak a passing ‘hello’, none would say, “Would you like to eat with us, sit with us, chat with us?’ It took an eternity to break into the mold of this neighborhood.

But Hub and I are well-entrenched now. And despite all those early difficulties, my neighbors are the best. We still seldom visit but they are mostly farmers and farmers are busy people. Nevertheless, over the years, I’ve come to adore them with all my heart and soul.

But, despite all this, I still remember with some pain how difficult it was initially. Back then I made the observation to Hub that “In this neighborhood, you don’t ask or expect to be invited in, you just watch for a crack and when no one is looking, you slip in.” Hub agreed that was pretty much the case. And somewhere along the way, that is exactly what we did.

So now could these experiences of my own past hold clues to today’s mysteries? I have no other rational explanation so I’m wondering if there is the slightest possibility that the woman who came to my door came because she was as lonely as I once was.

Is it possible that she drove in the ditch deliberately? That all these convoluted circumstances were a ploy to make a friend or meet a neighbor? Could be, but then there is the other question I must resolve. “Why did she choose us? Why didn’t she make the shortest walk by going to the closest house?

Well, truth is, we didn’t plan or intend it to be that way, but after all these years in this neighborhood, we are renowned for our easy congeniality when it comes to unexpected and unscheduled visitors. We might not have been that way but Hub’s dear Mom was such a gracious lady. She always made everyone who came to her door feel welcome and appreciated. In good times and bad, during an entire lifetime, she always shared what she had and found such joy in doing it that we could not but hope to emulate her joyful approach to living. We always knew, in our hearts, that she would be crushed and disappointed, if we didn’t carry on this silently willed and entrusted legacy. So it is family tradition – this readiness to share a meal and the coffee pot always on.

So it is possible, plausible even, that this stranger got wind of all this in the same way I got wind when we first moved here that my closest neighbor sold eggs? But that part remains a puzzle because I can’t remember how that knowledge came to me.

Anyway that is the full extent of this tale of mystery. I believe that the stranger’s actions were deliberate. Nevertheless, I still take into account that in reading this, you may have reason to believe otherwise. Or perhaps you think that if this is the case it is a sleazy way to operate. But, assuming it is true, maybe it isn’t something we should frown on with such disdain. With such critical disapproval.

You know the distance we are willing to go to get revenge on the person who treated us unfairly. We are even willing to engage in utterly contemptible behavior. So should we condemn those who would go that same distance to make a friend?

We are seldom surprised at how far a vindictive person will go to get revenge, so why should we be so dumbfounded at how far a lonely person might go to make a friend? So dumbfounded, that for most of us, that kind of twist, makes the story seem impossible.

But impossible or plausible, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The events are factually true, so what other conclusion could I come to?

But in the meantime, if I have another encounter with the stranger, I will let you know. She would probably be quite shocked to know what a fascinating celebrity she has become.


Anonymous Aurora said...

Very strange indeed. Sadly, I have been jaded from many bad experiences over my lifetime and have to wonder if you later found anything missing. :( However, when I try to think about your experience with a more positive light, I do wonder what really happened. That DOES seem downright strange... but, you know, I have seen things in their final stages, like a car accident, and have not been able to figure out just by looking at where the flying metal bodies finally landed just exactly what happened and how they came to end up that way.

Maybe some things are better left unexplained.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Nothing missing, aurora. I understand how one can sustain what you refer to as 'jaded' damage, that was the thing that probably made Hub and I so suspicious initially. But add to that a need to be too logical and expecting all things to have a deeper meaning and this is what you end up with. I think ultimately you are probably right - some things are better left unexplained. Unless, of course, the stranger and I have further interactions which I would then be obliged to tell you about. The analogy you made about the car accident was certainly an appropriate analogy for this situation.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

Have you checked your phone bill? I'm not normally suspicious but there is this tale of a scam where the fraudster sets up an incredibly highly priced premium line and then finds a plausible reason to use your phone...

2:52 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

julie, I think that is a very remote possibility. Mostly because my number is not recorded anywhere on my phone, I do know the call was local, and I heard the extent of the conversation. Nah, my instinct and intuition tells me this can't be the case.

11:07 PM  

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