Just a few stories (of many).
My first vocal student, acquired in my first two weeks of living here, is a lovely lady named Barbara. When I was first talking to her on the phone, she mentioned that she had been faculty at a university that is about 3 hours from here, and had taken some voice lessons from, "a wonderful man" there.
I had to ask. Did this wonderful man happen to be one of my good friends from my undergraduate days at BYU? Why yes. He did. She even used to call him her "Mormon Zen Master"--which he has since verified.
Of course, I knew he taught at that particular university due to the modern technology of Facebook. Still, I thought that it was absolutely crazy that I should be her next vocal teacher!
Since our Stake is headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin we have to drive quite a distance for Stake Conference. About 4 hours each way. And since Stake Conference is a two day sort of event, that means we either must get a hotel or stay with local members. Since we are not made of money, we chose the stay with members option.
In order for that to work out, you call a brother whose calling it is to set-up accommodations for out-of-towners. When we got the name of our hosts, who really don't have a super common last name, Joel mentioned that he was sure we knew someone by that name. I was just as sure we didn't, because I don't remember hearing the surname ever before, but maybe he did.
Well, we went to the Saturday sessions, made acquaintance with the couple with whom we would be staying, and then followed them home for the night. When we got there, they "introduced" us to their children via family portraits hanging on the walls. Turns out one of them teaches English in Utah. At Cedar High School. In case you aren't familiar with Joel's job history, that is where he taught orchestra for the past three years. And this particular English teacher had an office directly across the hallway from his.
I know the Church tends to make the world even smaller, but still. It was astounding to our newly made friends and they immediately called their daughter to tell her just exactly who would be sleeping in her bedroom that night.
Finally, one last quick fun one. As you know, scrapbooking
I digress. Anyway, as the scrapbooking addict I once was, I hung out often at a very large scrapbooking message board. I specifically hung out on the publications board, where another lovely scrapbooker (who has not lost steam and I am so impressed) named "Torm" (aka Sharyn) also hung out. She's had a blog for forever, and I have read it since day one.
I did get quite a bit behind on her blog this past spring, and as I was going through reading it she made some mention of how she used to go to her grandparents every weekend to take sauna. Her grandparents in Houghton. I knew she lived in Michigan, but before Joel's interview here (which he had just returned from) I had never heard of Houghton. I quickly realized that many of the childhood stories Sharyn often recounts on her blog, and pictures both past and present, were all about what might become my new home.
Then Joel actually did get the job, and we moved here and all of that. I still haven't met Sharyn in person as she lives downstate, but we have communicated a lot lately, and come to find out I actually looked at her grandparents' home--the very one she used to take sauna in every weekend--while I was on the hunt for a place to call ours.
Sharyn blogged all about it recently and you can read it here.
So there you have it.
It's a small world. And that's true whether you live at the end of it, at the beginning or somewhere in the middle.