Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘synchronicity

Wagon Wheels

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All these years, I’ve been walking past them. Mounted as handrails on either side of the steps to our front door are two wagon wheels.

They don’t actually make for great handrails, so I’ve never been all that enamored with them. In fact, I suspected they were simply replicas. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never really looked at these wheels closely, despite shoveling snow around them every winter.

Last week, when Matthew was here sealing the logs of our house, he pointed out that the wheels deserved some attention, too, and that they were simply screwed into the steps with three lag bolts each. He advised I remove them to sand each one down and put a couple coats of sealer on them myself.

So, I removed them.

It didn’t take long for me to discover these are REAL wagon wheels. Given the fantastic discoveries this past February that three families of my ancestors lived just about ten miles south of here in the 1860s-70s, and that my 2nd-great-grandfather, Stephen W. Hays was a wagon maker who managed a factory that manufactured wheels… having my hands on these beautiful relics is synchronous to an exponential degree for me.

I doubt it would be possible to verify the provenance of these wagon wheels, but I’m happy to just marvel over the weird coincidence of my working on these genuine wheels, given all I’ve learned about what was happening here 150-years ago that my ancestors’ hands were involved in creating.

I’ve got a second coat of sealer to apply and then I will remount these two to the front steps, and I will never walk past them again with the same cavalier regard as I had before.

Of all the features to find mounted on the front steps of a house we bought while entirely clueless about the history of the region and my ancestors’ contributions to it… It just boggles my mind.



Written by johnwhays

July 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

Documents Signed

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In the middle of a week that has been blurred by activity, much of it at the day-job that has been intensified by a voluminous flood of orders, Cyndie and I inserted a moment of great import. Yesterday, our children joined us downtown in Minneapolis to sign wills, health care directives, and a variety of miscellaneous legal documents to assure all our affairs are in order, in case we become incapable of making decisions for ourselves or our lives come to an end.

It’s weird to have the thought that we are now ready to die. I suppose this is why so many people tend to neglect this task.

I, for one, am very happy to have taken care of this aspect of adulting. Maybe these documents will never be needed, but if someday they are, the legal definitions of our wishes have been signed and dated.

It only cost me $20 to park in a ramp for the meeting. Luckily, at the end of the day, when meeting Cyndie and our friends, Barb and Mike in St. Paul for dinner, the parking lot pay station was broken and we didn’t have to pay anything.

Twenty dollars seems like an outrageous amount of money for parking a car for an hour-and-a-half, but there was a convenience factor involved and I only pay for parking a few times a year, so I mentally amortize the rare expense across the large expanse of many months and it doesn’t seem as burdensome as it should to me.

We had dinner at the Keg and Case Market, visiting a variety of the merchants for treats after sandwiches at Revival Smoked Meats. I had my first taste of halva, the Middle Eastern sweet confection made from sesame paste. Cyndie chose cotton candy.

Those opposite dessert choices emphatically represent one of our many personal differences!

Just as we were heading for the cars at the end of the night, we received a message from our kids that they were out together at a brewery for a fundraising event for MacPhail Center for Music where Elysa works, and they ran into Barb and Mike’s son, Ryan.

What fun synchronicity!



New Family

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Since the day our friends George and Anneliese moved out to a new home they built in Princeton, MN, our basement “apartment” has been mostly unoccupied. Meanwhile, we have been searching for new sitters to care for our animals and house (needing to replace the services of both McKenna and Shelby, who have each moved away to their next life opportunities) to provide cover for times we escape to the lake place or embark on other exotic travels.

Cyndie advertised our search in two primary locations: our veterinary office in Stillwater, and the University of WI, River Falls Ag programs.

I did occasional scans of Craig’s List for pet sitters, and thought I struck gold when a perfect sounding post showed up just an hour prior to one of my visits. She didn’t want to travel very far, though, and told us we were out of her Hudson, WI range of service.

Then Jackie called. She was in school at River Falls and was hoping to find a room for the summer. Jackie has the horse skills we required and boards her own horse just six miles to the east, in El Paso, WI.

In a cosmic twist we never saw coming, when she stopped by to meet us the very first time, Cyndie recognized her date who got out of the car with her. Marcus is the new farrier who has been caring for our horses in the time since George moved.

When Jackie mentioned to Marcus that she was going to visit Beldenville to meet Cyndie, he responded that he knew a Cyndie in Beldenville. They quickly realized she was the same person, and Marcus came along for the introduction.

Some wonderful synchronicity there.

Cyndie and Jackie worked out terms and a rough schedule, and now we have a new housemate added to our cast of characters.

It has been rewarding to watch Delilah and Jackie’s relationship develop as they spend more time together.

In a very short number of days, Jackie has become the latest new member of our ever-expanding family. It’s a bonus that Marcus knows her, too.

We feel lucky to have met them both, and to have their help caring for our horses. And, in Jackie’s case, our home and other animals, too!



Written by johnwhays

May 23, 2018 at 6:00 am