Hartman’s Believe It or Not!

Last week’s post ended with how next summer Laura will return to San Antonio via Oklahoma City, the same route that led to meeting now-Governor Mary Fallin. Since then, I have discovered a couple of other coincidences:

  • Mary Fallin was born in Warrensburg, where Missouri Girls State is held.
  • Her husband was born on December 14. So was Phil!

Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Life is chock full of strange little occurrences. Take the time that Hanna checked out a novel about Queen Esther from the library. It was a nondescript book with a plain cover that looked like it was hardly ever checked out. As she sat down to read it, something fluttered out from between the pages. She came running to show me a photo of Laura and a friend on a hike at Runge Nature Center.

Or the time I took the kids to the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma following a fruitless attempt to visit the state capitol building, which unknown to me, was closed on Saturday. (Wait – isn’t¬†Oklahoma where Mary Fallin is governor? But I digress.) This is an outstanding hands-on museum, but in an obscure location. At some point one of the kids misbehaved and I had to address him/her by all three names using the stern mommy voice. A pleasant older woman nearby asked, “Oh, are you the Hartman family from Jefferson City?” My astonishment must have showed, because she went on to explain that she and her husband had also come from Jefferson City and had noticed our names on the visitors’ log. What are the odds?

Speaking of odds – remember my One in a Million post? During the summer of 2009 I traveled to Chicago to attend a national symposium on acoustic neuroma, which I have never had (although it was one of the possibilities ruled out in the MRI looking for the cause for my hemifacial spasms), but the conference featured workshops on facial paralysis that I thought would be helpful. Several people I knew from an online support forum were also there. Later when I joined Facebook, I looked some of them up. Back then, checking out my friends’ friends was an efficient way to find people I wanted to contact, but there were also some unexpected twists:

  • Erna was one of the first few high school chums I connected with. I fully expected to find common high school buddies among her friends, but I did not expect to see Kay, an acoustic neuroma friend. They both live in Texas, but how did they know each other? Turns out that Erna’s husband and Kay are cousins.
  • Another acoustic neuroma friend, Cheryl, who lives in Iowa, sent me a message asking about my high school friend Stephen, who now lives in Colorado. She thought that she used to live next door to his grandparents. Was his mother named Helga? Well of course she was!

Two of my classmates from the same small Midwest high school linked to two unrelated persons that share the same rare surgical side effect as I have. It’s a small world and social media is making it even smaller.

Do you have an interesting coincidence story? Tell me about it in a comment.


1 Response

  1. Sara, in 2001, my oldest daughter and I went on a bus trip to Ohio to the Longaberger area. While we were standing in the whole bus group to go in a restaurant,a non bus trip lady said to me that she was going to Iowa soon for a family reunion. Sjhe asked if I had ever heard of Columbus Jct? Told her yes, I grew up right by it. Had I heard of the last name of Rees? Yes as I had an aunt married to H. Rees. The relatives told about this later knew which part of the family she was from as this gal lived in Chicago. Small world indeed.
    When we were at Custer battlefield long long time ago, I saw a car with Iowa plates and Washington county which is also where I lived after a few mile away move when still a child. Never saw who it belonged to though.
    In 2006 we were in MI along with our Lansing daughter up to Mackinac Island so went up to Sault Ste Marie and Canada side so we could say we were in Canada. It took longer than we thought to go over over bridge etc and finaly ate lunch at Wendys at 2 pm. There were only 2 other cars there besides us at the same time and one was also from Iowa. We figured out who it was and talked to them. They were from western Iowa.
    My girls think it’s horrible I will ask people where they from in some situitations as I know you might find someone from an area you lived or know someone at. I do it anyway and do come up with some connections of people.

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