Part II – A room, and serendipity

by Jennifer on November 19, 2008

I hope you had a chance to read Part 1 of this story yesterday, “Room for Holly’s Teenage Angst,” written and illustrated by Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana. If you haven’t, you might want to take a moment to catch up, and then come back here for Part II.

Once upon a time, I left home to go to college in another state. When I arrived at Small College, I had the good fortune of landing a job on campus, in the advancement office. It didn’t pay much, but it was an office job and a chance to learn. The woman who hired me, Dr. LW,  was the VP for Advancement and her husband, Dr. JW, was the college president.

LW took me under her wing. Over time, we became close, and I began to see what it might have felt like to have had a mother who was caring and supportive, who would push me toward good things rather than hold me back, and see a light in me that I couldn’t.

We don’t always know when we’re lucky, but I knew from the beginning that I was lucky and blessed to have met the W’s when I did.  My own family was broken. It’s fair to say that I was a bit lost, or might have been.

But I promised to tell you about a room.

Over the years, the W’s had made room in their home, wherever they lived, for students who needed a soft place to land. They didn’t have children of their own, but they had room to share and care and support to offer. At the end of my freshman year, they invited me to live with them the next school year. I happily said yes to them and goodbye to dorm life. I became part of their family, and some of my favorite memories happened in that house.

Holly and I attended the same Small College (she transferred after a year), and she was a good friend of my best friend – you know her as Madge of It’s a Mad Madge World. But I didn’t know Holly back then, though we think we must have met once or twice. I only came to know her when I started blogging, these twenty years later. (Madge linked to Holly’s blog, and I started reading it.)

We exchanged a couple of Oh, I remember you! emails back and forth and, in one, she wondered if the W’s would remember her parents.

A short time later, when LW was visiting here, I asked if she remembered them. She did, and added another piece of information to the story. The W’s had bought their house in Small College Town from Holly’s parents.

Another email, and Holly and I put two and two together (using that education we received at Small College for something worthy) to figure out…

That the room I lived in, the one in the corner of the finished basement

Belonged to Holly first.

How crazy is that?

It was a happy discovery. Serendipity.

Now, 20 years later, the W’s are still part of my family. They’re grandparents to my children, and are still as caring and supportive as they were then. I love them and can’t say enough good things about them.

It took 20  years for all the paths to diverge and connect again, but I happen to love stories like that. All the bread crumbs leading back to one place.

And for both Holly and me, with our two sets of memories of one room, that place was home.

(This was the only photo of the room I could find. If only I had Holly’s marker superpowers!)

P.S.  You’d have to ask the W’s if there was any eye-rolling from me.

P.P.S.  I’m happy to report that I never found a single snake.

P.P.P.S. But I did have the 80’s hair. Oh, the perm! The bangs!

Tomorrow, Madge will tie it all together with Part III of the story. Holly and I will both link to her post from our blogs. I haven’t read her part of the story yet, and I can’t wait!

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana November 19, 2008 at 6:36 am

So much fun. I still got chills just reading of this coincidence and I know the story! So fun. So weird. So karmarific?

It is weird that I don’t have any pictures either. The thing I remember the most is that faux brick wall that is in the picture. The brown and blue color scheme was twenty years ahead of its time…or not!

I am pretty sure that the snake was more scared of me then I was of it after it endured all that screaming and flailing. It probably went out into the world and told it’s friends…

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..Room for Holly’s teenage angst


Stacie November 19, 2008 at 6:42 am

You just can’t make up this kind of stuff!!! I love stories like this. It gives creedence (sp?) to my mantra that we are all connected! This is sooo COOL!

Stacies last blog post..I Am Overwhelmed, Understaffed, and Unfortunately Not Under the Influence!


Jennifer Harvey November 19, 2008 at 6:44 am

It gives me goosebumps, too!


Connie @ Young and Relentless November 19, 2008 at 6:51 am

That is a truly amazing story! My gosh I love when fate (and God) does this to people. I can’t wait for tomorrow for the rest of the story!

Connie @ Young and Relentlesss last blog post..Sad, Mad, Glad…


Manic Mommy November 19, 2008 at 7:42 am

That is just an amazing/freaky coincidence! Andy and I often talk about how we must have run into each other from time to time growing up just a few miles from each other but that! Just…wow!

Can’t wait until tomorrow!


jenrantsraves November 19, 2008 at 7:45 am

How cool! I love stories like that! Glad you had/have them in your life.


tysdaddy November 19, 2008 at 7:54 am

Very strange, how stuff like this works out.

I have a Facebook page, and whilst browsing around the other day I came across a friend I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. We shared some memories and then moved on.

You guys should so film a documentary or something about this . . .

tysdaddys last blog post..Smoochin’


reluctantfarmchik November 19, 2008 at 8:04 am

Good grief. . . i am fully amazed. And here’s a tiny piece too – JW was my first and best college professor – at a different small college – before she went to yours, I think. Her brother (VV) and his wife made their home my soft landing when I arrived in the states all weirded out and square in the middle of my Junior (highschool) year. What a fabulous family.
Love your post. What an amazing coincidence! Now you have me totally wondering about Madge’s part of the story.

reluctantfarmchiks last blog post..Veteran’s Day


Jennifer Harvey November 19, 2008 at 8:08 am

reluctantfarmchik – Wow, this just keeps getting better! And, I found out about a month ago that one of my childhood classmates married LW’s nephew. Tiny little world.


Eternal Sunshine November 19, 2008 at 8:19 am

What a small world!!

That is amazing.


Kate Coveny Hood November 19, 2008 at 8:47 am

I love this series! And nothing makes me happier than some good old fashioned circularity. I’m always amazed at the small world connections that take place so frequently.

Kate Coveny Hoods last blog post..Friday Confession: I Hate This Chair


Courtney November 19, 2008 at 9:13 am

Okay, that is just so weird! I am so glad you guys are sharing these stories and now I REALLY can’t wait for part 3.

Courtneys last blog post..Quick Updates


ValarieLea November 19, 2008 at 9:42 am

This is crazy!!! What a kawinkidink!!!

ValarieLeas last blog post..From Our Family to Yours……


The Stiletto Mom November 19, 2008 at 10:02 am

That is just the coolest story ever!!!! It’s crazy how lives connect!


Suzanne November 19, 2008 at 10:30 am

I hope that you will print out this post and send it to the W’s, I bet it would mean the world to them to read such a loving tribute…it’s wonderful when we have people like this in our lives to fill the void left by others.

Suzannes last blog post..The Pursuit of Happiness


rachael November 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

What a cool story!

I started reading Holly’s blog, and then later, I figured out her parents are best friends with my in-laws (after I saw a picture of Holly and her family on their fridge!) Is there anyone Holly doesn’t know?

rachaels last blog post..Oh, is Halloween Over?


The Glamorous Life November 19, 2008 at 10:44 am

Its a small small world.

Unfortunately I never lived in one of Holly’s rooms. Well, not yet. I may be moving soon to Texas and I think I will just show up at Holly’s and ask if my family can stay in her basement. I will check for snakes first.

Or maybe LW has that old room still available? My kids love snakes. And none of us have a bad 80’s perm. Well, not anymore.


The Glamorous Lifes last blog post..My Glamorous Look….thanks Shauna.


Lisa@verybusymomwith4 November 19, 2008 at 11:15 am

I’m suddenly humming, it’s a small world afterall!

Seriously that is beyond wild!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4s last blog post..The Mother of All Turkeys


Lori November 19, 2008 at 11:48 am

Oh, wow. How crazy is that?!

Loris last blog post..Hello, My Name Is Lori, and I’m Addicted to Blogging


Mrs. G. November 19, 2008 at 11:49 am

I love how this world can be so tiny and kind.

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Romantic


the planet of janet November 19, 2008 at 12:18 pm

this really is one of the all-time great stories.

love it.

the planet of janets last blog post..Can you hear me now?


catnip November 19, 2008 at 12:34 pm

How very strange! I love it!

catnips last blog post..sick day


Daryl November 19, 2008 at 1:24 pm

I wondered how this was going to tie in .. how wonderful to reconnect with these women

Cant wait for part 3


Daryls last blog post..Sighting Reported!


Angie @ Keep Believing November 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Fun reading along to your interweaving lives tale.


Angie @ Keep Believings last blog fights and collectors items


Roger November 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Serendipity is so AWESOME!!

Too bad there weren’t any new snake stories for you to share ~ those are always fun! 🙂

Looking forward to part III tomorrow.

Rogers last blog post..Money, money, money….MONEY!


AMomTwoBoys November 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm


I totally don’t believe you.

There’s no way that’s possible because it would be too damn awesome.


Jenni Jiggety November 19, 2008 at 7:25 pm

What a small world! That’s awesome!

Jenni Jiggetys last blog post..Odes to Codeine: Wordful Wednesday


Louise November 19, 2008 at 9:54 pm

How amazing! Did your floor look as psychadelic as Holly’s?! True serendipity.

I’m DYING to see what Madge has to add to this!

Louises last blog post..Sixth of the Sixth (or Eighth of the Eighth)


San Diego Momma November 19, 2008 at 10:04 pm

i love this exercise and this post idea and your contribution and the serendipitousness!

(I guess people with a proper command of the English language would call it “serendipity.”)

San Diego Mommas last blog post..This Explains A Lot


Jenn @ Juggling Life November 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Where would we be without the Internet? This is too fun. Plus, I’m jealous that 3 of my fave bloggers are real-life friends.

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..Homecoming And Thanksgiving All Rolled Into One


fancy feet November 19, 2008 at 11:03 pm

This proves that it is a small world. Serendipity is right. How fun!

fancy feets last blog


Melissa R November 20, 2008 at 9:45 am

This is too weird! And, I didn’t see it coming either. Wow. The world is so small in so many ways.


Em November 20, 2008 at 11:25 am

Wow – 6 degrees of Texas Holly. She and I now live in the same town. I love it!!!

So glad that you didn’t have any snakes to add – ew.


Ems last blog post..Ode to Yellow


texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana November 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I am having so much fun reading the comments…

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..PART III


Elaine - The Miss Elaine-ous Life November 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Oh my Gosh, that is SO crazy! And cool! I’m loving this story! Off to read part III…


Kellan November 20, 2008 at 10:53 pm

That is THE most amazing story and told PERFECTLY (so far) by the two of your – WOW!! It is a small world!!

I have a story similar (not nearly as fantastic) to that about the house we live in now – one day I might tell that story!

Nice to see you, Jennifer – I have missed you! This story and your pretty face in your profile, brightened my night (it’s 11:52 here in TX – I’m a night owl!).

Take care and see you soon – Kellan

Kellans last blog post..Because We Don’t Have Enough To Do …


JCK November 22, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Oh, I am loving this story. I’m so glad that you had the W’s in your life, Jennifer. And Holly’s room obviously had good karma, despite possible past reptile sightings.

JCKs last blog post..Apparently turning 5 is heavy business…


Colleen - Mommy Always Wins November 25, 2008 at 7:27 am

How cool and amazing!!!

Colleen – Mommy Always Winss last blog post..Coffee Clutch: Baby, its COLD outside!


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