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Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Surreal Experience in the CVS Parking Lot

This is one of those strange occurrences that you can call random, but that I like to hold as a little treasure. Today I took a break from work to go get a frappucino at Starbucks down the road. I needed to pick up milk for the boys anyway, so I thought it a reasonable break. As I pulled into my parking space, I vaguely noticed a man with gray hair in a minivan talking on a cell phone. I don't know why, but he made me think of Grandpa Joe. The guy wasn't "grandpa old," just older and I don't think he sounded like Grandpa. I didn't really even see his face, so I have no idea why I made the connection. Anyway, for some reason I started to contemplate whether or not Nanny and Grandpa would have had a cell phone if they were still alive today, particularly if they still lived in the motor home. I sort of pictured them using a cell phone. Maybe they'd have one for motoring across country, but then again, they probably would have thought it too frivolous.

My thoughts moved on, I ordered my drink, I browsed CVS for milk and diapers. As I walked back to my car, within the very same block of spaces where I had been struck by the vision of my grandparents with cell phones, I saw a car with the license plate: MJVD. I actually stopped in my tracks to stare. Being a little dislexsic, I really had to concentrate on the letters to determine they were NOT the same plate Nanny and Grandpa had for years - MVJD - and which was still on the blue buick I drove in high school. Still, I was stunned.

I was pulling out my phone to take a pic for Mom when the elderly owner of the car was approaching, and rather than scare her that I was some sort of stalker, I gave up with the photo. I tried to explain why I was looking at her car, but even as I said it, I realized how silly it would sound to someone else. How she was probably thinking, well sure, there are a million license plates and some of them are bound to be similar to ones you've known. She could not have understood how this left me feeling suddenly so near to Nanny and Grandpa again. Like they had stopped by to say a quick hello. Like there was a strange vortex for a few seconds where we were somehow connecting.

I had to call Mom right away and tell her the story. Then we laughed to think about what they would have been like with a cell phone, how Grandpa would have enjoyed tasting Starbucks with me (though he would have been appalled at the prices), how he would have thought he could get Nanny to make them at home, how maybe he was trying to tell us to go play the lottery.

You can say random conincidence. But I say, "Hi Nanny and Grandpa. It's nice to know you're not too far."

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