Yesterday, that would be this past Sunday, my older daughter and her son, Alex, and I took a little drive over the mountain to another little "local" village here -one I haven't been to in many a year now.
The reason for our drive over and down to Karthaus was because my closest friend from high school was down at her family home along with her brother and sister as they were clearing out her Mom's belongings -clothes, furniture, etc. Her Mom, who is now 93 years old, had stopped a year ago from spending her winters in Florida with her surviving son and her summers back here, alone in the family home in Karthaus. But up until 2 years ago, she was coming here usually in late March and staying by herself there and then, returning to her son's home in Florida in/around October or so. Quite a darned good feat for someone in that age range to still be able to be self-sufficient like that up till she was almost 92 years old, don't you think?
Well, last year, it was decided her health, though not terrible, just really wasn't up to the par level her kids felt it should be for her to stay there alone and so, last year, she had gone to Idaho to spend the year with her younger daughter who lives out west there. Apparently she liked the climate and location and such with her younger daughter because she then decided she would stay on out in Idaho.
Back in December, my friend (Cheryl) and her siblings had decided to put their Mom's house on the market. Because this area is a very depressed area and real estate is usually pretty slow to sell here, they figured it would be a long haul before they would get a buyer for the house. However, they got a big surprise when someone bought the place within two weeks after the house was put up for sale!
With the house sale set to close the end of March, Cheryl and her two siblings then were faced with the task of clearing everything out of the house and the only time that the three of them could get back home at the same time was this past week -from March 18th through this Wednesday, the 23rd. They had initially hoped to have an auction sale but that fell through and somehow, within two days of hard work trying to organize their Mom's things and sort through items they each wanted to keep too, they did manage to have a little "house sale" then yesterday.
So, that's why Carrie, Alex and I made the little trip down river to Karthaus.
I was really glad that Carrie (and Alex too) were here and able to go over with me as Carrie is the only one of my kids who really knows Cheryl and her husband, Mitch. Also, the last time Cheryl had seen Carrie -and the only time she'd ever seen Alex -was when he was just a tiny baby, probably only a month, maybe two months old and boy, he sure has changed -and grown -a heck of a lot since then!
It was so nice to be able to visit a little with Cheryl and her siblings as well as to see some folks from down river I hadn't seen in a long while -like another former Classmate, Herb, and his wife Donna. Always good, in my way of thinking, when you can have an enjoyable visit with old friends like that.
While we were talking though, Cheryl's sister told me a story about what had happened recently to her back at her home in Idaho.
Barbara said that she generally attends Mass every Sunday and when she does, she take communion home then to her Mom. A few weeks back, she was unable to get to Mass so had made arrangements with someone at the church to have communion brought to her Mom. Then, last week when she realized she would again be out-of-town over the weekend, she contacted that couple to see if they would be so kind to please bring communion to her Mom in her absence.
The lady assured Barbara that they would do that and no problem, that type of arrangement. Barbara happened then to mention that she was going to be in Pennsylvania to clear out her Mom's home there and the lady asked her where in Pennsylvania she was going. Barb had explained that this is a small village, out in the sticks of central Pennsylvania and most likely the only town near to here that she figured the lady would have heard of was State College and Penn State University.
The woman told Barb then that oh yes, she knew exactly where State College is because they (she and her husband) are from Clearfield County -which is the county where Cheryl's hometown, as well as mine, are located. Upon hearing that, Barb then told her that her hometown is Karthaus and here's where the real surprise came in. The lady then told her that they are from Grassflat -which is where I live!
Barb asked me then if I know any people here in town -now or years back -with the last name of Petro and I said definitely, I do. So she then asked me if I know a Paul Petro and his wife, Karen? Well, I don't know his wife, but Paul grew up about 6-7 houses down the street from my place!
Incredible, isn't it, to be in Idaho, a thousand plus miles away from Pennsylvania and to have someone you've never met before be the person who brings communion to your home for your mother and then, to learn that they just happen to be from the same region in Pennsylvania as you are from! (And from the same school district too!)
Isn't that just amazing though?
As Barb said to me about this event, "The world really is small and getting smaller every day or so it seems at times."
Yes, indeed it is Barb!
And now, tomorrow evening, I get to reunite with Cheryl and Barb, along with their cousin Sharon -also one of my very good high school friends -for dinner over in State College at The Tavern.
And I'm really looking forward to that!
And we'll make the world just a teensy bit smaller during the time we'll have to spend over our meal, you can bet money on that!