Saturday, May 29, 2010

What are the chances

A few months back Mark had some customers in the store who were from Norfolk.
They were a Mother and her son.
The mother really captured Mark's attention since she knew some of the old Norfolk folks we had know growing up there and through my father.
While talking with the mother her son asked Mark if he would make him a travel mug to fit in his cup holder for his van.
Mark, who usually does not do special orders made two.
They were made like tall slender tumblers with the handles pulled and attached very high so they would drop in the cup holder, but you could still use the handle to lift them up to drink out of.
They came out of the last kiln and he tucked them away.
Me, "what are you going to do with those mugs"
Him, "take them when Anna has the baby."
Me, thinking- yea we have time for that.
When we packed to go Mark tossed them in a box in the trunk.
The first evening we had the new mother and baby tucked safely at home with them all fed and us out in the city we headed over to Ghent to find a place to just sit, have a glass of wine and some dinner.

We decided we would go to the Orapax down in West Ghent.
The Orapax  serves Greek food and is located just around the corner from where we lived in our early married life. We lived in a third floor walk up, one bedroom, small kitchen and bath, but with three main rooms that were pretty large.Living room, to dinning room to bedroom with the kitchen off one side and the bath off the other.
It was a great time and hold lots of great memories for us.
The building had coal heat but no AC. In fact, very few of us had AC in those days. You just lived through it.
Our bedroom window opened to the parking lot, but behind the parking lot was the practice board for the tennis courts. We woke many Sunday mornings to the rhythm of the tennis ball against that practice board.
Thwack over and over. It never bother us and now thinking about it is similar to the same rhythm of pots being thrown on a wheel.....
Beyond us were the coals yards and many nights we fell asleep listening to the clack of the trains and the long slow whistles. These are sounds I greatly miss and to me a train whistle takes me right back to those days.

The Orapax was the corner bar back in the day. It had a pool table and a bar, that was it. The owner bought the buildings behind it and turned it into a restaurant with 3 dining areas and a patio.
We have not been there to eat in 30 years and thought hey- why not?
As we were seated we both realized I had forgotten to pick up some money before we left his mother's house where we were camped out.We counted our changed and decided if we were careful we could pull this off and leave a tip.  The Greek food was priced well and hey- vino was only 3.50 for a glass!
We were enjoying a glass and I was doing my usual wifely gab.
Blah, Blah, Blah.
When Mark's head did one of those 90 degree turns.
At first I thought I had bored him to death when he looked at me and said, " that is the guy's mother."
Me, "what guy?'
Him, "the guy who wants the mugs!"
Me, "go see!"
Mark jumped up and took off and sure enough it was his mother and he was with her.
He reminded them who he was and after the guy remembered he told him he had his mugs.
Yes, the guy wanted to see.
Yes, they fit in his cup holder
Yes, he wanted them both.
Yes, he was parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR CAR.

Mark came back in grinning and said,"order what you want, I have dinner."
I had a second glass of vino!
Then to add to this story.
My food was delayed because of a mishap in the kitchen, the manager and the waitress both came over to let us know and tell us that there were new people in the kitchen and our food would be out soon.
When we got the bill the second drinks were not charged for.
We could have made it without Mark's sale, but hey- who else sells pottery right out of the trunk of their car while they are 500 miles away from their gallery, eating in a place they have not been in 30 years?
We are wondering if we should just go this route.
Hey mister, do I have a mug for you!


Linda Starr said...

It's a small world after all, great story.

Tracey Broome said...

That's a great story. At first when I read your title What are the chances, I thought of that saying lightning never strikes twice. With the storms we had last night I thought I was going to read about another lightning strike there. Whew! I was at Weaver St. yesterday with one of my huge turquoise raku beads on and a guy working there wanted to buy it right then and there. I told him I would bring him one today. Gotta love selling pots while you are out eating or grocery shopping!

Laurie said...

Awesome story, Meredith! Don't you love synchronicities?!

Kellie Jensen said...

That's an awesome story!

Kim Hines said...

Orapax! you're killing me! i used to love the greek salads there! i remember you saying you grew up in oceanview, do you remember Mamma's Italian Kitchen? it was right on the water? we used to go there all the time, last time we went it was closed which was very upsetting. they had such great food!

Hollis Engley said...

I love that kind of stuff.

cookingwithgas said...

Linda- it is a small world!
Tracey- I too have sold thing I am wearing- hey if I can sell it it goes.
and thank goodness no lighting hits here last night!
Laurie- yes, I love when you are in the right place at the right time.
Kim! I hope we can meet there one day!
Hollis-me too!

ang said...

brilliant stuff! I enjoyed the read...

Sue Pariseau Pottery said...

I love when things like that happen. It really is a small world when you get out there and talk to people, getting to know more about them.

Patricia Griffin said...

Loved this story!

Shortstuff said...

Serendipity. It's a good thing. I went to high school with of the Seretis brothers. Just googled him and he's still working as a musician in Norfolk...the Wedding Singer.

Anonymous said...

what an unbelievable story! serendipity is a thing of beauty... it's almost like they were looking for you. i lived in this house for over 10 years before i got air conditioning and now that i have it i haven't turned it on in 3 years