Unusual things happen to me. They really do. And that’s the bottom line. Sometimes I laugh writing about them here, sometimes cry. But this is where I record the unusual things so they won’t be lost forever from what’s left of these remaining gray cells.
(If you’re new here, I post recipes during the week, muse on the weekends. I’ve posted a lot of serious weekend posts lately. Permission, This Way to Holland and Life as a Secretly Lucid Vegetable. This is not one of those posts.)
When I was a teenager in eleventh grade, I was “given” a car from my now husband Jon. I believe he charged me $1 for tax purposes. A bargain. It was a sky blue Chrysler Cordoba, minus the Corinthian leather. With an after-market stereo that slid off the floor hump at every turn. A big ‘ole boat from the late 70’s that guzzled oil nearly as fast as gasoline. At 5’2″, I perched on two phone books so I could see above, and not through, the steering wheel arc. Besides the exorbitant fuel and oil costs, all went well with that car. Until that icy winter day when I was 17, and the power steering went out as I rounded the bend of the beaver pond in Jaffrey, NH with a carload of teenagers. But that’s another story.
Affixed to the chrome bumper of my gargantuan blue tank was a sticker that said:
“If you love something, let it go. If it doesn’t come back, Hunt It Down and kill it.”
I believe a buzzard was pictured. Yeah, that’s what it said. (Thanks Jon.) And tho’ I worked long and hard to remove the bumper sticker, it’d been there for some time and wouldn’t budge. So I came across a bumper sticker in a drawer at home that said “Praise the Lord!” in baby blue and pink letters. Stuck that over the first one. I’m not sure which is worse: a bumper sticker that says “If you love something let it go. If it doesn’t come back, Hunt It Down and kill it,” with a black buzzard. Or a white “Praise the Lord” bumper sticker with a black buzzard showing through. Yeah. It probably wasn’t the safest idea to put Jesus on the bumper anyway: a dirty, dangerous place prone to fender benders….
Which brings me to what happened this past week. We were headed in to have lunch at the lovely Black Forest Cafe in Amherst, when we spied a Jesus statue in the backseat of the car parked next to us. It was a large statue, probably three feet tall. Arms outstretched. Of great interest to me, was that it was seat belted in. I mean, does Jesus need a seat belt? He was also in the back seat. It seems like he should be in the front. Or even at the wheel.
Another unusual thing happened this past week that reminded of the statement: “If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” So this really blew my mind and I thought I’d tell you about it here. Last spring I wore my black leather jacket to church. Also a very unusual woven cream-colored scarf given me by a friend for my birthday. I bought the jacket many years ago from J. Jill just before we moved back to New Hampshire from the south. It has a lot of sentimental value for many reasons, one of which is it was a reward for losing twenty pounds. Unfortunately they’ve found me again. (The pounds.)
I hung both the scarf and leather jacket in the coat closet during the church service. It was a warm spring day and I forgot to grab the jacket and scarf on my way out. I asked Jon to get it for me later during the week. But when he checked, it was gone. Honestly, I was heartbroken. Had the jacket for years, loved it, fit like a glove. And if nothing else, it was mine. The church is rented out to several other congregations, so I hoped perhaps someone had accidentally picked it up and would return it to the coat rack. Not so. That was nearly a year ago. I’d all but given up hope, but still wondered about the jacket and one-of-a-kind scarf every once in a while.
So last Saturday a dear friend comes to Charlie’s basket ball game. We’ll call her Cathy. She returns a cloth grocery bag she’d borrowed earlier in the week. Cathy mentions there’s also scarf inside the bag she can’t wear. She’s bequeathing it to me if I want it. A friend of hers gave it to her along with several jackets when she was moving out of state last summer. Didn’t have room to take them along. The scarf wasn’t her color, and she wondered if I might like it. I open the bag, and there’s a scarf. Woven, unusual, cream-colored scarf nearly identical to the unique one I’ve been missing. My mind somersaults. I’ve never seen another scarf like it. Was it mine, or a different one? Crazy.
It gets crazier. The next day Cathy shows up at church with another bag. She pulls out a black leather jacket. “Is this the jacket you’ve been missing?” she says. I freak out, because it’s my J JILL jacket. I pick up my jaw off the floor, and Cathy explains that the friend of hers that she taught with for years gave her the scarf and two coats last summer when she was cleaning out her closet before moving to NC. At first Cathy said no thanks, they’re not my color. Which is very true. Cathy never wears cream or black. But her friend INSISTS she take them. So as a favor, she does. And both the black leather jacket, the scarf and another long black coat have been hanging in her closet since last summer. She’s no longer in touch with the friend that gave her the items who relocated to North Carolina.
So here’s the question. How did my jacket and scarf get from the church to my friend Cathy’s friend, in another town thirty minutes south of us? And then to Cathy. It blows my mind. If only there was a tracker. Did it go to a pawn shop? A second hand shop? Get stolen, bought, given? The thing is I’ll probably never know what happened and it may just drive me to the brink of insanity. If you have an epiphany about the journey of my scarf and black leather jacket ….DO TELL! Because I’m all ears.
I loved that jacket. I didn’t exactly set it free. It was “freed.” From me. The important thing is, it came back. So it must’ve been mine to begin with. Ha. It’s been a long year without that jacket. And trust me, I won’t be testing the love hanging it back in that coat closet any time soon.
Another chuckle. (Perhaps.): Little Experiment
I look forward to your weekend musings. You are such a good writer! That is so crazy about your jacket and scarf & Jesus definitely should be at the wheel 😉
Hey Kellie – many thanks friend! (Can’t you just hear Carrie singing?)
Marilyn Sylvester says
You know Allie, this returning jacket/scarf scenario would seem completely implausible for anyone else, but for you it strangely makes perfect sense.
I get to be the exception to the rule. Ha ha. Thanks Marilyn!
You know for some reason, I’m not so surprised that this boomerang jacket story happened to you! You are right, crazy things just happen to you all the time. Enjoyed the read!
I like that, boomerang. Wish I’d thought of that for the title Ellen. XO
I love your weekend posts, Allie. <3 Stuff like that happens to me all the time… I tend to chalk it up to being God's Favorite. You must be God's Favorite, too. Have a great weekend.
Many thanks Marye, and I never thought of it that way. God’s Favorite…. I’ll take it! 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend too!
Crazy, crazy story Allie! Think of the different people who may have worn it and all of the places that jacket may have gone in its absence! Or….. Maybe not! Anyway, your jacket and scarf had quite a journey. I’m so glad you told that story. I’m so glad they found their way back. They ARE definitely yours!!
The crazier the better, huh? But you know, you have some pretty crazy stories too. One that involves a fire engine in Burlington. Ha ha. I have not forgotten that one and hope to write it up soon. xo
Linda Jenkins says
I love all the stories you post; in fact, I look forward to the weekend posts. So much to think about after reading them. Can’t believe that the person who took the coat didn’t realize it was taken in error. I choose to believe that the person was in need of the coat. God knew you loved the coat and scarf, but he also knew you could survive without either. Isn’t it amazing the miracles God allows us to witness. Enjoy your time in Birmingham! Blessings.
Thank you Linda! You are so right, I did not NEED that coat. Still glad it came back though, I missed it. Had a nice trip in Bham, the weather was gorgeous. Now I’m glad to be home. XOXO
nancy mcmahan says
Got me giggling not once but twice this morning. Not sure how long I can stand it before the beaver pond muse.
I love it when I get you giggling Nan! Makes my day. Hope you and your mom had a great weekend! xo
Barbara Child says
What an unbelievable story! I hope someone comes up with an explanation of how the jacket and scarf disappeared –and the trail it went on before coming back to you! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Barbara, me too! I still have no idea. Glad you are home safe!
Aunt Pinkie says
What story! So glad both the scarf and jacket found their way back home to you!
Thanks Aunt Pinkie, me too! xo
Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says
Wow, weird how it happened. Apparently, you are supposed to have that jacket.
So, were you and Jon high school sweet hearts?
Great story. Sounds like a bumper sticker my guys would have.
Enjoy the weekend,
Yup, high school sweethearts, you guessed it. Thanks Karen, happy February! Hugs.
Susie Mandel says
Oh my goodness!! What a story. I know the feeling of leaving coats places, but thankfully I have found them again without missing them for a year and not knowing where they’ve been in the meantime. Not fun for you, but they make great musings for THLG. 🙂
Thanks Susie-Q! Glad you found your coats too, minus the year long wait! Easier to laugh when I have it back…:)
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
Allie – ha – so glad that jacket and scarf found their way back to ya – if indeed they were your original ones – is there any chance that maybe they had identical twins or were they one of a kind? Either way – maybe it’s The Big Guys way of reuniting you with something you held so dear. And being 5’2″ myself – I love that my mini SUV has a knob on the seat that lets me raise it up – sitting on cushions and the like used to not be fun at all! Now I wanna know more about the power steering incident…were y’all ok???
Happy Saturday sweet friend! Hope you enjoy this weekend – it’s almost 60 here in Atlanta – a far cry from the 20s of last week!
Hi friend – guess what? I’m in Bham for a quick weekend. Weather is close to yours. Enjoying it. I need that knob in my car. We did all survive in the power steering incident. But this was before cell phones, etc. Crazy stuff!!! Happy Saturday to you and hoping you have a fabulous weekend, friend. XO
Jon Taylor says
For the record, I never did follow the advice on the bumper sticker.
And that car had some serious pickup. I kind of miss it.
Nice job, honey…
Thanks love, been a few years since that car and bumper sticker…XO
Mandi Korn says
What an amazingly, fantastically, great story…..I love it. I agree with you about it being “freed” from you and not you letting it go, naughty people, as my daughter would put it. You must have some good karma, because it came back to you and in the winter months no less:o) The car is cool, we are classic car lovers in our house, and I love yours and the story of the bumper sticker:o)
Hey thanks Mandi, it was quite a car. I honestly remember loving it. I’m sure I was just glad to have wheels at all…but I have no idea how I parked it.
Hi Allie, I have a theory about what may have happened to your jacket and scarf initially…not for certain, but plausible. However, I hesitate to reveal my theory because it has been so much fun for all of us to puzzle over this mystery. Soooo, I guess I’ll keep it a secret a little while longer to see what else develops first. 🙂
Well Karen, you are the very first person to mention a theory. Can’t wait to hear it when the time is right. xo
Just the picture of that blue car had me laughing out loud. And the rest…oh my…still chuckling at the mental images. Thanks for the smiles, friend!
Glad you smiled friend. You’ve given me a million smiles on the journey, glad to return the favor today.
Christy Smith says
Oh my what a fun read today!! Storytellers just have “stuff” happen to them!! I have often wondered if that’s because writers “see” things other do not. No matter the reason, I am glad you have crazy things happen…because it makes for the most fascinating stories and lessons. I too am wondering what happened to the carload of teens? A story for another time?
Hey thanks cousin! Love and miss you!
Hi Allie, I love reading your posts because I can hear and see you through it all. It’s really a great alternative since we are so far away geographically. It was a blessing from above to find your jacket and scarf. Stay warm!
Hi Paula, great to hear from you. We still miss you in NH, hope your family is doing well. It’s been a mild winter around here so far, and my black jacket is the perfect layer. 🙂 Please tell everyone hello! xo
All I can think of in that story is the saying on the bumper sticker. I distinctly remember that bumper sticker. I believe it’s what all our boyfriends said to us in high school when they broke up with us! Thankfully, some of them never returned! ?
Ha ha Karyn. This made me laugh out loud. And loud. Miss you. Hope NH is in your travel plans sometime soon. (Fall is nice, hint hint.)
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Crazy that jacket and scarf finally made it’s way back into your possession! So weird how things like that happen, and it would drive me NUTS to know exactly what happened all that time ago to it. I guess you just have to focus on having it back… to save your sanity. 😉 I LOVE that original bumper sticker, by the way.. quite hilarious if you ask me! Cheers my dear… to mysteries in life! xoxo
Glad you liked the bumper sticker, friend. I remember hating it at the time, but looking back, it’s really quite a hoot. Yup. Clink clink. To mysteries! xo
What a great story, Allie! Haha, the car, the scarf, the coat… The unexpected
return of the latter two. I am glad that you got the two items back. Who knows what unlikely chain of events put that jacket and scarf back in your care…. I guess that might remain a mystery! Love stories like these! Enjoy the rest of your week. Xo
Hey, many thanks Carina. That’s why I like to write these things down. I just don’t want to forget the wonder of all the odd pieces of the puzzle. How are you doing? I know you said it’s a super busy time for you right now. I hope you’re doing well. It’s so nice to hear from you friend, take care. XOXO
I like that, “…the wonder of all the odd pieces of the puzzle”
Yes, it’s true, I have been very busy this last while, but things will hopefully be back to normal within a couple of weeks.
Thanks for asking, Allie. Take care! Xoxo
Ma chère amie, je crois qu je ne peut pas t’aider à savoir qu’est qu’arrivé ta veste en cuir et ton foulard! Je trouve cette histoire hallucinante ! Mais au moins il y a un “happy end” ! Tu as à nouveau ta jolie veste ! xo
So, this could be the first piece in the puzzle but certainly not the rest! Last Spring Dawn’s friend Jada had a friend who owned a boutique that she was closing. Jada brought lots of neat clothes to Pioneer Club, hung them all up in the church’s coat room and the girls and their mothers plus the leaders were invited to take some gems home. Anything left over was donated to Good Will. My theory is that was the same week that Allie left her jacket and scarf in the coat room, and somebody, thinking they were part of the free offerings, liked them a lot! You could say they scarfed them up. Now, does anyone have the next piece of this mystery?