Odds & Bobs—A Place for Musings & Jottings


Friday, 7th April

Rain and a Twenty Dollar Bill


I think we have had something like 26 days of rain in the month of March. And it seems the rain is continuing into April as well. Usually by this time we have blue skies and sunny days continuing well into October with not a drop of rain in the intervening months in northern California. Now we are daily rained upon and everywhere we go, we must remember to take our umbrellas. How English it all seems!

This afternoon, under a glowering sky, we went to Longs Drugs to look for presents for Amelia who is going to be four. We ended up buying chocolates.Then along to the Toyworks where we hunted for toys.


Two books:Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (meant more for Arthur, who is troubled with nightmares and so he won't feel left out) and a cute little book with a sleeping cat on the front called, Sleepy Time for Amelia. A Fairy card game, and a soft fluffy bearish animal called a Woodling, a butterfly bag, and butterfly stickers—we could spend a fortune in this shop, it's all so beguiling. As we make our way to the entrance we pause beside some soft plush cats curled into pillows, and pencils with nodding mice on the top—let's go quickly while we still have any money!

And Strange Happenings

Went to Grocery Outlet, and before we got out of the car, a deluge had started. We got a parking spot near the front of the store and hadn't far to dash. We shopped awhile, and it was still raining when we put things into the car, but only a light rain.

As we came out I happened to notice that the muffler had collapsed and was dragging on the ground. As we were looking at the (rusting in places) dangling pipe and wondering how we could get home safely, suddenly, an enormous black man, wearing a Grocery Outlet jacket, came up and inquired "This just happened?"

We said yes, the muffler had fallen.

He spoke kindly to me, "Would you like some wire to tie it up."

"Er...oh, yes, please."

The black man disappeared into the store.

I got some newspapers and placing them on the ground beside the car, and leaning down, I tried to examine the problem. Stephanie also examined it, wiggling the dragging pipe from side to side to see if it could be dislodged. It couldn't and neither could it be tied up easily. But dragging it along under the car would likely be disastrous.

Meanwhile the black man returned with a long length of wire and handed it to me. I was not too sure how, or even if, it could be done, so I said to him, "Could you tie it up for us, please. I just have no clue as how to do it. "


Sure," he said, kneeling on newspapers I had taken out. He was fast and very expert and quickly joined the two pieces of piping and had it tied up so it no longer touched the ground and was no longer in sight.

I whispered to S, "How much should we give him?"

"$20," said S, quite firmly, "he's saved our life."

I thanked him very much and gave him a $20 bill. At least, we would most probably get home safely now.

Back on familiar territory we drove into the Safeway parking lot and we were relieved to see that the pipes had stayed perfectly in place. At first S wasn't going to come into the Safeway with me as we only needed a few things. But then S changed her mind and decided to come in after all, as she wanted to use the bathroom in the store.

I sat down and waited for S. When she came out, she said she had found a small purse with a mobile telephone inside. She held it up for me to see. She said she'd found it on the floor of the bathroom. We shopped for a few more things and then joined the queue at the checkout.

S had already looked inside to see what the woman's name was, and saw from one of the many credit cards inside that it was "Wanda_____ (for the life of me I can't recall the name, except to say it was a common name like Smith or Jones). S was determined to see that the "lost and found" department should call the woman right away so that she wouldn't have to go through the trouble of canceling all the credit cards, etc.

As we were waiting, still in the queue I said to S, "Why don't you go to the counter now, there seems to be quite a few people ahead of us, and there is just a small chance that the person who owns the mobile telephone is still in the store."

So I remained in the queue, and S went off to the counter. When S approached the counter and the woman saw what she had, she turned and spoke to another woman who was approaching, saying "I think this may be what you're looking for."

S turned around and gave the purse over to a small plump black woman who was reaching out for it with obvious relief. Between expressions of gratitude and joy, the woman quickly whisked out $20 and gave it to S, along with a hug.


Now wasn't that strange?

We gave out $20, then we got it back within the hour—oddly enough, from a black woman.

So this passing out money and helping seems a good thing to do. As they say, bread cast upon the waters returns ten-fold.

I asked Stephanie what does it mean? She said I don't know, but it is a synchronicity of sorts. It has a meaning.

S reminded me of the time that morning with the birds. It was some time last year, very early in the morning under a foggy sky. Birds had landed and literally covered the same Safeway parking lot, and it is a very large lot. I had never seen so many birds in one place, it seemed wild and somewhat prehistoric. The birds were chirping and singing so loudly you could hardly hear anything else. Oddly enough, we shared this with a black man, who stepped out his car, filled with a sense of wonderment like our own.


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