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  • Betty Girardeau

Expect the Unexpected


Of course, especially as we get older and "maybe" wiser, we have learned that we should approach our journey through life with the knowledge that we should always expect the unexpected. As children and young adults this concept is hardly understood at all. But as we grow older, more experienced in the twists and turns of life, we begin to realize that what we hope and expect to happen many times doesn't. For example, especially for those of us who grew up on fairy tales of "prince charming" and "living happily ever after", we know all too well that those ideas were why they were called "fairy tales." Life doesn't work that way. But there really is such a lovely side to learning and knowing that lives lived well will always be full of the unexpected. I see and live it almost every day, especially now that I have become a mobile notary agent. I accept signing appointments based on location, reasonable compensation for the distance that I have to travel, and the type of notary work I am required to do. The postal addresses are often seemingly "local," ones that sound like they will be at homes on reasonable two-lane roads, often in nice developments requiring HOA fees, or streets in local towns and cities. But over the time I have been doing this work I continually find that I should not be surprised that what I expected was not the case. Most often I have been surprised because the location, though local, was far beyond what I expected for gorgeous views and amazing homes, or, actually not amazing, even pretty appalling, homes. I have been to homes where I was asked not to come to the front door because they didn't want the chickens they were raising in the two front bedrooms to be disturbed. More than once I have driven to a location where the road was paved up to a point, and then became a very narrow dirt one up into a "hollar" as we say in Tennessee, and I wonder where in the world I am, and, more importantly, "what the heck and I doing here?" More often than not I am finding that I should be prepared for barking, maybe even a bit seemingly aggressive dogs. Today I encountered a lot of what I am talking about. My last signing I thought would be in a developed neighborhood of the city of Maryville. No! Waze directed me not where I was expecting and I became really concerned that Waze had no idea where I needed to go when the the address road to which I was supposed to be going became a very one lane graveled one that twisted and turned through a gully like area. I feared oncoming traffic, which did happen...an encounter with a pick-up truck driven by a young man who drove the truck almost perpendicular to the road bed so I could pass, only to discover that it wasn't going to work for either of us. He "said" this happens all the time, and happily backed up, with what I thought was breakneck speed, so I could get past him at some point where the roadbed widened. When I finally reached my destination, I was initially met by two overly "friendly" dogs who not only jumped on the side of my car before I could exit, but then REALLY wanted to jump on me. They were not growling, but they surely were doing so much jumping that I had to use my backpack to protect myself. As I tried to move toward the front door I noticed a lot of shredded things that might have come from the trash. Was this the dog's work? Then the lady of the house came out...preceeded by two bull dogs, which she said were really tame, but surely did not sound that way to me. Then after the dogs were under control, I was invited into a lovely and oh so cozy log cabin that had already begun to be updated quite nicely. I noticed that the lady, like me, loves Longaberger baskets and also was trying to grow orchids. We hit it off immediately. From then on everything went beautifully and I was so glad to have had this wonderful experience in a place that I would never have known about or had expected with people that are really wonderful. BTW, I was told that the shredded trash was the result of a visit from their neighborhood bear! Last week when my work became almost overwhelming I questioned why I got into this. But this week has offered me some respite and time to appreciate the places I get to go to and the people I get to meet and work with and to again say, "I love my job," because I know that every day will be unexpected and I can appreciate it all. Now, I need to explain the picture that accompanies this blog, and it, too, fits with the theme. Earlier this week on my way back up my front walk from going to the mailbox I noticed this feather seemingly floating in thin air. Well, it actually wasn't floating. It had been captured by a single strand of a spider's web. I could have just passed it by. But it was too unexpected, and I am so glad that I took the time to really look at it, because later, when the wind increased, it was gone.

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