A Small Small World
"So, where did you go in South Dakota?"
We ask Kenny, our warmshower host in Bandon, OR about his cross-country trip. On a wall in his room, he has a US map with his route, marked in blue.
"I went through Rapid City, stayed there a couple nights. True story - this guy came up to me and said - You look like a cool person. Do you need a place to stay?And this was even before I had talked to anyone," Kenny responded.
Mike and I look at each other. We're both thinking the same thing.
"Sounds like something Tom would do," I say aloud.
And so we started spewing off things about Tom that stood out as unique and could maybe help identify who Kenny stayed with in Rapid City.
"Did he have long hair? Did he love the outdoors? Did his dad have bees in the backyard?"
That did it.
"Yes, there were bees."
We get really excited. As Mike is placing a call to Tom, Kenny tells me that he is still skeptical about all this. Mike explains to Tom the situation.
Tom asks, "Does he remember watching a thunderstorm on top of the hill?"
"Oh my god! Yes, yes I definitely remember that," Kenny's response.
Kenny cannot believe it. We cannot believe it.
What are the odds that Kenny stays with a person that all of us are close friends with on a trip that he took a year back? And it gets even better - Tom is in Oregon visiting his family! Its all weirdly timed together! Sadly, Mike and I did not get our math glasses on to calculate the odds. We can accurately predict that it is very small.
The very next morning Tom drove down to Bandon with his family to meet Kenny once again. It was a pleasure to be part of that reunion. It is also worthy to mention that the Tolman family bought us lunch and breakfast, helped us get run our errands, and got us all set to be back on the road back at Roseberg, where they were visiting family.
Thank you - Bob, Patty and Tom.
The experience once again re-affirmed our faith in the path we are taking. It's not the most common path for a college graduate who's "supposed" to be looking for a job or an internship. Don't get me wrong, those have their own merits. But this opportunity to listen to other people's stories, connect with them on many different levels, and see the places we've never seen is probably one of the most rewarding experiences we can ever earn.
Life is short and the world is small. The cliche lives on.