Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sorry to Keep Bugging You With My Coincidences

Let the record show that I most often do my Walmart shopping on a Monday, and on the way, I stop by the cemetery to have a chat with my mom. She usually doesn't have much to say. In words, anyway. But it's for me, really, more than it is for her.

Last week, I made an extra trip to Walmart, and I stopped by again. Mom's on the way, you know, and conveniently located at the edge, where I don't even have to get out of T-Hoe. I talked about how we were making the long drive to meet The Pony and get him safely home for the holidays. How I was on my way to pick up Christmas supplies. How I miss her this time of year. Just a short visit. The radio was playing Christmas music, and I was in the holiday spirit.

I went over to Bill-Paying Town to get some stocking stuffers at the 24-hour Walgreens. Mom liked to go there with me, but she was most often hosting the boys at her house while I did that chore when they were young. In later years, we'd just drop in there for fun, to see what they might have on sale.

I hadn't been to this Walgreens since last Christmas, so I grabbed one of their tiny carts and started to the candy aisles. I made a wrong turn at the first one, because it was just regular candy, not holiday candy. I was going on down to the end, to loop around to the next aisle, when something on the right caught my eye.

I might have gasped. It was the perfect stocking stuffer for The Pony! Except I picked up the box, and saw that it was a Crumby mini vacuum. Um. No. Not something The Pony would use. But it was a ladybug! I vacillated, but ended up leaving it on the shelf. When I stepped into The Pony's car the next day in Oklahoma, I wished I had gotten it. He doesn't have floor mats [YET], and this little mini vac would have cleaned up his floor.

Anyhoo...I found just the candies I needed, including a couple of foil-wrapped chocolate pennies the size of a dessert plate. I don't care how old my kids are. They still like to receive stocking loot. With my shopping trip a success, I put my bags in the car and recorded my debit card purchase in the checkbook (you're WELCOME, any cranky people behind me in line). I buckled up and turned the key and it was 11:11 on the digital clock. Huh. One of you might find that interesting.

Later that evening, I was warming up a pot of chili in the kitchen, talking to Hick, who was in the living room. He had picked up the mail, and said there was a letter for The Pony from OU. I looked at it on the counter, and it was to the PARENTS OF The Pony. So I opened it. It was about the new Residential College that was just completed this year. The Pony had spoken highly of it since he enrolled, as it was a chance to live on campus his second year, and not fight for a parking space tooth-and-nail like prospective brides over frocks in Filene's basement.

Over Thanksgiving, The Pony said he might just get an apartment off campus, since the cost of the RC was almost double that of other housing. He knows how much money is in his college fund. Even his National Merit scholarship doesn't cover housing past the first year. We tabled the issue for further discussion before deadlines loom.

"Oh, this is about the Residential College. I've been thinking about that. The Pony REALLY was set on living there, until he compared the costs."

Hick came into the kitchen to look at the letter.

"Yeah. I'd feel better knowing that he was on campus, and not a mile away."

"Those apartments have that shuttle that runs every 20 minutes. But he said he was going to get a bicycle. I can't see him riding a bike to class every day. And what would he eat? I can't imagine him shopping for groceries. And Papa John's is over by campus!"

"I know. To me, he would be better off in the Residential College."

"I don't want to think that The Pony changed his mind to the apartment because of trying to save money and not make us feel bad. We can swing it. Ever since my mom left us that money, I knew we wouldn't have to worry about the boys' college."

The light over the sink blinked off, then on. The same light that went off for five minutes when I was standing in that exact same place, talking to Hick about Genius's college account at the credit union, which was down to the money my mom put in for him when he was a toddler.

I looked at the light and reached up my arms. "I know! The Pony can live there if he wants to. Got it, Mom."

On the other hand...maybe we just need an electrician.


  1. That is a lot of signs, I'd pay attention.

    1. There HAS been a high concentration of signs over the past few days. This morning, Hick called to make sure I was up around 6:50 a.m., since Genius was coming home for the day. As I put the phone back, I looked at my nightstand clock, which is always wonky, and the time on it was 11:11.

      The boys and I went to breakfast/lunch with my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel. While we were ribbing the boys about college, and waiting on the food, I looked at my phone to check the time, and it was 11:11.

    2. I read your response at 9:11...9+1+1? 11
      today is 12/10/2016 12+10/2 =11 throw away the 16 it doesn't belong. It's uncanny, I sign I tell ya.

  2. Val--Good grief! My boy wasn't ready to go rogue with his meal plan and living arrangements when he was a sophomore OR junior. The Pony won't be ready either. Make sure he takes advantage of the "scaffolding" next year. He'll make his mother, father and grandmother very happy.

  3. Nope, I'd say Mom is still making decisions for you.

    1. Now if we can only persuade The Pony to think that decision is his own...

  4. I lived in a college dorm for a year before moving into an apartment with my roommate so I can sympathize with The Pony.

    1. He is giving his reasons as wanting to COOK FOR HIMSELF! That is kind of a red flag. I've seen him in the kitchen.

      When an electric burner spouted a small flame, due to something spilled on it, his action was to climb up on a stool and take the battery out of the smoke detector. The pan still bears the scorch marks. He never thought of turning off the burner and removing the pan.

  5. I just saw a ladybug in my house; do you suppose your mom stopped by?

    1. Maybe. She LOVED to talk. Do you have some slaw in the house?