Living Out Loud volume 26: Tempting fate

My father moved to Virginia from North Carolina in 1964 with only a cardboard box worth of belongings and looked for a place to rent here in Ocean View. There was a man renting apartments in the neighborhood. Daddy met him at his house and rode over to the apartment. In the short drive, it came out that Daddy worked construction and it was obvious the guy considered him unreliable and didn't want to rent to him. Daddy didn't even look inside but just told the man to drive him back. The next day he ended up renting a small upstairs apartment in a house on the corner that was cheaper and closer to work. It was while living in that little apartment that he noticed a single mother living in the house across the street with her five year old son. That single mother was my mom.

Mom's sister (Sissy) pestered her that she needed to go to officer's clubs to meet men. Sissy insisted Mom's next husband wasn't just going to walk up and knock on her door. As fate would have it, Daddy wandered over and knocked on her door to introduce himself. After a few years of doing whatever carpentry work in her house he could invent as an excuse to come over, they were married and haven't left that corner. Eventually, in 1981 the whole family (all five of us at that point) moved across the street to get that extra land and bigger house. It's that same house I went to visit this evening with their grandson.

What would have happened if Daddy rented that apartment a few miles away? I pass that little box of a building several times a week. Would he have noticed Mom at the grocery store? I don't think he would have worked up the courage to talk to her then. Dad is many things but he is no Casanova.

Is there such a thing as destiny? How large of a role does fate play in our lives or is it just the name we give for the magic of how things come about? If we were to hop into a DeLorean and keep my father from moving in, would we offspring just have some other cute story about how our parents met? Have you ever looked back and realized how close you came to not getting where you are now? I keep mentioning my old boss Harry, but he once said that if his friend hadn't lost his leg in the Wheel of Death, Harry would never have become a librarian (it makes sense if you hear the story, really).

I'm so pleased to be organized enough to have our Living Out Loud topic already! Tell us about how strong a part fate has played in your life. Have you dodged any bullets (actual or metaphorical)? I'm not a big Robert Frost fan, but what was the road you took that was less traveled by?

Details include:

  • Write something personal about yourself using the previous paragraphs as a guideline. Do not feel that you have to address each prompt above. The spirit of this project is to share something about yourself; I'm just throwing out ideas.
  • Once you have completed your entry and posted it, please email me the link at genie [at] inabottle [dot] org. Remember, if you don't email me, I'm likely to forget to include you in the recap!
  • If you do not have a blog to host your story, you can email me the story directly and I will add it here as a guest post giving you credit. The more the merrier!
  • The due date for entries is Sunday, March 6th (the first Sunday of the month) at 5pm Eastern.
  • Once I have collected all the entries, I will post a wrap-up to list them all and announce a winner. The winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card but all participants will receive fame and glory and a link on our Living Out Loud blogroll.

We're back on schedule for the first Sunday of the month so that gives you a solid three weeks to ponder your destiny, past, present and future.