Even at the end of the world, it's still pretty darn small. | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Even at the end of the world, it's still pretty darn small.

Does the smallness of our world ever amaze you?  Because it certainly does me.  I thought that moving out here to what locals really do refer to as "The End of the World" I would find I knew nobody.  And I was mostly right.  But I also didn't think I would have many connections with anybody, either.  And there I was completely wrong.

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!

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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.

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Finally, one last quick fun one.  As you know, scrapbooking is used to be a big part of my life.  I wish I could say it was right now, but having to work as much as I did the last few years, something had to go and it was scrapbooking.  I do it now and again, but haven't been able to find my previous passion for it.  I did, however, find a group of ladies that like to scrapbook together and went to the crop last night so that's exciting!  First scrapping I've done since December.  Scary.

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.

32 comments :

  1. It definitely is a small world! I have found some amazing connections through blogging.

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  2. I never cease to be amazed at how small the world is. Not too long after I started blogging, another blogger and I figured out that her childhood best friend is the daughter of my parent's best friends. So weird. Lisa (COCH)

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  3. Fascinating. We have often thought that Rhode Island must be a kind of crossroads, with all the connections to far away places that we have run into here. It is indeed a very small world.

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  4. This is kind of related, but goodbyes aren't that hard for me anymore because I've figured out after many moves in my life that the world is small enough that we almost always end up somehow crossing paths again.

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  5. Wow.. those are freaky! It really amazes me when thee connections materialize.

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  6. You know, there are so many crazy connections that happen ... I love it. We stopped in Beaver for pizza and it turns out the owner of the restaurant is the older sister of one of my husbands good old school chums! And I am constantly amazed by how many "friends in common" I am discovering on Facebook - there are some connections you would never even imagine!

    Anyhow, it is a small world (especially within the church!!!)

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  7. Rats!! I just asked my husband who used to live in Michigan if he ever lived there. (He served in the Detroit mission back in the early 1990s.) He said, "No." He wasn't in upper Michigan.

    But I'm sure if we talked long enough, we'd find some interconnecting parts of our lives or friends. Because really, as you posted, it's a small world after all.

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  8. That's WILD! Disney songs not withstanding, it IS a small world after all!

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  9. In other small world news, you and I met due to scrapbooking. I know you've been to my home and former scraproom (I have since dismantled that room if you can imagine!).

    Then we lost touch and, through the magic of blog linking, one day I simply wandered onto your blog. It took me a few visits to 'recognize' you. LOL! So there's another little example for you!

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  10. It really really is a small world. I love discovering the connections, it's always so exciting. Is exciting the word I'm looking for? Well, you know what I mean...

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  11. Lara,
    I just came accross your blog from who knows where. I think Nienie.
    Anyway, I loved your small world post and found connection to you only in that I went to SUU, studied Vocal Performance with Prof Modessitt. However, I only did a Music Minor which I completely regret. My brother, Randy Allen lives in Cedar now and just started teaching at the University. He is involved with the community fine arts program. I hope you knew him when you were there because he is a fun character!
    Anyway, I'm making myself your follower and enjoy your writing very much.
    Thanks
    Jen Wilkey

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  12. I know what you mean! In my ward, before we had the split, seemed to have come or have family surrounding Phoenix, Mesa and Gilbert. Most knew of the Williamsfield Campus housing because their own children used to live there while in school! I thought, "Wow! Of all the places I can find in Texas, we land with those who came from AZ, and here I was thinking that we're pretty isolated." ;-D Carla Engstrom, I just found out from FB moved to Arlington, about 20 mins SW of us.

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  13. I had a friend in Puerto Rico who said, "The world is big but the church is small, and all roads eventually lead to Utah." I have definitely found that to be true.

    In fact, I've had so many experiences like these they don't even surprise me any more!! I just see them as one of those "tender mercies" that make the harder changes in life a little easier.

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  14. What fun experiences! I love stories like that - it makes it a little less scary to do something like make a cross country move.

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  15. Great stories! I think being in the church just connects us in amazing ways...like our hubby's being missionary companions...what are the odds???

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  16. When visiting Temple Square some years ago a couple of women (total strangers) came up to me and asked if I was related to (my twin sister). They were from her ward in Texas and were amazed to stumble into me while visiting Utah.

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  17. It is a small world, but I have to say that even in El Paso being active in church, I never made 3 connections to Utah...maybe one?

    That is cool.

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  18. I have been telling people for some time that You are the sixth degree of seperation :-) I can believe it because you connect so many people, and generally give Kevin Bacon a run for his money! I should make it clear that I have never seen the movie, but the idea of it has been explained to me. You are definitely a link to people. So fun!

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  19. The world is small, and the mormon world is smaller! And now for a story:

    Once when I was in high school, I was writing a guy that I had met at EFY. He was on a mission in southern California, I was a senior in high school. So anyway... the missionaries currently serving in my own hometown were ribbing me because at the time, I was dating a guy who was catholic. I was so tired of being picked on, I blurted out, "It doesn't matter! Because I'm going to marry so and so when he gets home from his mission anyway!"

    Imagine my embarrassment when one of the Elders said, "Dude! He was my roommate in college!" And he wasn't kidding. I was mortified. Even more so when I knew that letters had been exchanged detailing exactly what it was that I had said.

    For what's it worth... I didn't marry the guy. He stopped writing after his mission, finally calling to see what I was up to a week after my wedding. Heh. You snooze you lose!! He wasn't as cool as my husband anyway. :)

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  20. It definately is a small world. I have many things like that happen to me too. It's just amazing. I am dying to know who the Cedar High English Teacher is that you are talking about??

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  21. There's a couple that was in our branch in Korea when we were teaching there--we lost touch years ago. Just found out that they're very close to here, AND the husband is teaching at the same college (different campus) where DH works. Freaky.

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  22. TORM, nu-uh.
    That's way too weird.

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  23. BTW, the weird thing is that I have hardly ANY connections to my prior life here.
    Really, hardly any -- and I'm only 2 states away!

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  24. I love small world moments!

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  25. I love that the world is so small. It helps us all connect just a little bit more. I live for those little moments of recognition and amazement, especially when they're least expected. It really seems like you've found the right place to call home!

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  26. Amazing what comes up when you play the "Do you know..." game, isn't it? Crazy stories!

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  27. Small world is one of my most favoritest things in the world, as you know.

    And that crazy Torm blogger is coming up for Thanksgiving to visit her mother and knows exactly where you live. LOL

    I'll shoot you an email if we have a moment - it would be fun to see you, but in reality, it will probably work better when I come up my extended stay in the summer

    but ya never know. be on your toes. haha!

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  28. I love stories like that. And I love finding those connections. It really is so fun.

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  29. One of my best friends and next-door-neighbor (Missy) actually grew up down the road from me in Oregon. She was in a different ward, different stake, and is 10 years younger, so we never met until we both moved to Idaho and were at my friend's home - who happens to be her cousin, which she also didn't know until she moved to Idaho, met him, and started comparing genology!
    AND, if that's not enough, her babysitter was my childhood best friend . . .
    AND Missy recently introduced me to one of Her childhood best friends, who turned out to be one of the girls that I used to babysit when I was a teenager!

    It's a small...small..world!
    :~D

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  30. I love how small the world is. Dustin and I have a few stories like that. The Church is so great especially for things like that.

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  31. Living in a small world is one of my very favorite things.

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