About 8 years ago, I moved from the city (Chicago) to a small town in Southern California. How small? Well, altho my friend Suzanne tells me it’s not on the small scale, compared to where I used to live, it’s an eyeblink big. It’s only twice the population of my high school. Two-horse town small.
I adore it!
Anyway, you’d think that living in a metropolis like Chicago, you’d always be running into folks you know, kids you grew up with, people from work. And that just never happens.
Here, in SoCal, where I am a complete transplant, I bump into people I know all the time. My mother has a saying about this– she tells me that sooner or later, everyone I’ve ever known will pass thru Ojai. It is, as she says, the center of my universe.
Examples, you ask? (Clever readers– I do tend to exaggerate. Just a wee bit.) Well, one of my (now)dearest friends (who I re-met by stalking her Illinois-plated car in the school parking lot), went to high school with me. We didn’t know each other back then, except by sight, but our high school boyfriends were on the swim team together, so we all used to go to parties together. And now, she lives here!
And another friend? I was eyeing her at the park a few years ago– she just looked so familiar. I’d only been in town for a year, so I knew I didn’t know her from CA. Nope! We worked together at Glamour magazine in New York City, in the early ’80’s.
See! The center of my universe.
This is all on my mind this morning as I peruse my email. Yesterday, I was dragging DS1 and DS2 around on errands. Taking pity on them at the end of the day, I stopped into an ice cream store. Actually, I was driving out of the grocery parking lot, when the store caught my eye, and I returned to the parking lot and did the nice mommy thing. As we walked around the side of the store to eat our ice cream in the shade, I noticed a lovely woman with a girl about DS2’s age. The woman had the most beautiful felted bag, and altho I don’t as a rule talk to strangers (oh, yes, I know, you don’t believe that), I had just blogged about opening the door to opportunity. So I complimented her on her bag, we started talking…and now I have a new friend!
And just so you are convinced that this is all relevant– her SIL grew up 2 blocks away from me. See. The center of my universe.