I texted my dad today: “As your father’s day gift, would you like to drive an hour away to pick up clothing racks for my shop tonight?” I’m half serious, half kidding. He says yes (in fact, he responds: “Yes!!!! Thank you!!!!!!”) This is the least of the crazier things I’ve asked, or told, him in my life. Like that one time I wanted to live on a school bus for as long as possible for a stupid radio promotion. Or the time I told him I was quitting my sales job to follow my dream of being a tv reporter. Fast forward even to last month when I tell him I’m opening a clothing consignment shop in North Troy. Ya know, with all the spare time I don’t have. Unfortunately, once a crazy idea pops in my head, I have to chase it. What I didn’t expect today was a goose chase all over Albany and Schoharie County as my ever-so-patient dad and my not-so-patient self went to pick up his “Father’s Day gifts.”
What happened in the following 6 hours can be summed up in the following: low gas tank, wrong address in gps, back country roads, no cell service, no gps at all, stopping car in middle of back country road to get gps signal, realizing there’s a fawn and momma deer staring at us like we’re crazy, getting gps signal by sticking our phones out the window, losing gps signal, more dirt roads, five u-turns, finding signal, losing signal, and finding it at the last minute to finally make our destination –which took twice as long as it was supposed to. Wow, I pick great gifts for Dad!
I’ve got a Grand Opening in less than 5 days and everything that could go wrong in the past couple days is going wrong. Wasting a whole night driving all over the countryside is the icing on the cake for me. I proceed to take the entire trip back to civilization to vent to my dad about anything and everything going on in my life. There’s laughter, there’s some tears. I get loud, I get louder. I guess the therapy session is all part of his Father’s Day gift package. At one point, I wonder out loud: things happen for a reason, right? That’s what everyone says. Well what if our bad/wrong decisions change the course of fate and what was supposed to happen never did because of our fault? This topic can get pretty deep and I’m too tired for that as we drive along. It’s now dark outside and my stomach is rumbling from no dinner. It feels as if I’ve been gone so long I question if my dog will recognize me. I think about all the things I could have been accomplishing- worse, all the things my busy father could have been getting done. We have one final stop for my job– the tv reporting one, not the shop one–that came up last minute. Two turns away, we drive past a house with trash by the curb. This is bad. My dad sees an office chair. SCREEEECH. We pull over and sure enough the home owner is outside. He must think we’re nuts as we get out of the vehicle and my dad sits in the chair. What happens next is unbelievable. The homeowner mentions he’s cleaning his place out because he’s moving. My dad asks where. Troy, the homeowner says. NO WAY! I scream at the poor guy, “I’m opening a consignment shop in Troy!” Then as if I’m having an epiphany, I realize I know this guy! NO WAY! We have a mutual acquaintance NO WAY! Then we find out it’s several mutual acquaintances. NO WAY! His neighbor is with him– minutes later, my dad realizes he knows the neighbor from working together in the past! NO WAY! We all chat for a good while about good ol Troy, mutual friends and so many things. NO WAY! I can’t stop myself from saying a couple of times, “what a small world!!” Oh, and NO WAY!
Climbing back into my dad’s SUV, I can’t help but get goosebumps thinking about my earlier emotional conversation with my dad. Do things happen for a reason sometimes even unbeknownst to us why or do our decisions singlehandedly change the future? It seems so miniscule but if we never got lost and turned around and delayed, this chance meeting would have never happened. What a humbling yet exhilarating thought that this happened by “chance”…And all because I decided to get my dad clothing racks for Father’s Day.