December 10, 2008

Do you have a favorite small world or deja vu story? Up until recently, my favorite was this:

About fifteen years ago, I was walking around Greenlake which is a great little lake right in the middle of Seattle. It has a 3 mile loop around it – perfect for walking and running. I passed a woman who looked a lot like Debbie Armstrong. Deb won a gold medal in skiing in 1984 and also worked at the camp my brothers and I went to on Lopez Island. As I passed this look-alike, I wondered how she was doing. I had heard she was living in New Mexico and was doing a lot of wonderful charity work. Not ten minutes later, I passed… wait for it …Deb Armstrong. No, it was not the same look-alike, it was her. I couldn’t even say hi I was so stunned. And that day I went and bought a lottery ticket (I didn’t win.)

Now this story has become my favorite. Six months ago, I was doing my regular food delivery. One of my clients is never home when I deliver so I have keys to their house. I let myself in and started putting everything away. I realized I forgot something in my car and went out to get it. When I got back to the door, it was locked. Although I had unlocked the deadbolt and the door knob to go in, the door knob never unlocks without a key – a fact I didn’t know until that moment. Their keys and, more importantly my keys, were in the house. Immediately my mind started racing – how was I going to get home to relieve the babysitter?

At that moment, the next door neighbor pulled in to her driveway. I went up to the car, introduced myself, told them I brought food to E and J and did she by chance have a key to their house? She immediately asked, “What do you mean you bring food to them?” I had to switch from panic mode to selling myself and my business mode very quickly. I gave her my (very short) pitch and we exchanged emails so I could send her more information. Then, very kindly, she and two of her daughters walked around the house with me to see if E and J had hidden a key somewhere (they hadn’t), and she also walked me over to another neighbor’s house to see if they had a key (they didn’t). Fortunately, I did have my cell phone and I was able to get in touch with E – after 20 panic stricken minutes – and was able to let myself in.

Meanwhile, my husband was working on putting a brunch together with a Naval Academy classmate who lives in Seattle. We had been going back and forth on dates and had finally settled on a Saturday. Two days after my mini panic attack.

The next day, I sent this nice neighbor an email telling her all about my business. She, after having been cc’ed on the emails from Randy, immediately recognized my last name and put two and two together. Yes, this nice and helpful neighbor – whose house I have been driving by for two and half years – was none other than the wife of a college classmate of my husband’s and my brunch date two days after “meeting” her. There are ways that this story could have been kind of weird (if, in talking about my business, we had realized that her neighbors were my clients – or if I had gotten to talking with her outside one day, and realized that our husbands had been classmates), but the way it all worked out was very weird. I should have bought a lottery ticket – I’m sure I would have won.

Now, the reason I tell this long story is so that I can tell you this wonderful couple has asked me to cater a Christmas party for them at their beautiful house. Friday. For 30 people. I am knee deep in food and wondering how I will get it all done (in addition to delivering food to my regular clients.) But I will. I always do. More on the menu next time.


  1. what a story! serendipity is a wonderful thing :) goodluck with the catering job, I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll make? Are all 30 people vegetarian?

    Comment by veggie belly — December 11, 2008 @ 4:33 am

  2. Sala,

    No! I don’t think any of them is vegetarian! They are going to order a ham and I am making everything else – appetizers, sides, and desserts. Wish me luck!

    Comment by Dana Treat — December 11, 2008 @ 5:22 am

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