There's a lot to like about predictability. But life would be boring if everything happened as we expect it to happen. Also, that wouldn't be life. It would be something else, something boringly mechanical.
So I enjoy a mixture of order and chance, consistency and surprises.
Virtually every day I write a post for one of my three blogs. That's orderly. But I never can predict what will result from my writing. That's the chance'y aspect.
Back on March 21, I wrote "Grocery shopping in Salem in the Coronavirus Era," noting that my wife and I had both struck out on finding toilet paper on our shopping expeditions.
A few days later a woman emailed me with suggestions about where to find toilet paper in Salem, adding that she'd begun to explore an old school "family cloth" approach where flannel is fashioned into a toilet paper substitute if all else fails.
As happens with me disturbingly often, I failed to reply to her message right away. Then the message sank deeper into my inbox, eventually becoming out of sight and out of mind.
Until yesterday, when I finally resurrected the toilet paper message in my newest attempt to eliminate unanswered emails.
My reply started with my usual "belated thanks for...", observing that eventually we'd been able to find toilet paper. The woman responded with her own thoughts, which included a mention that she and her husband had bought a historic house last year. That led me to ask some questions about the house.
And so it went, a pleasant exchange of emails with someone I had never met in person, but who'd reached out to me with her toilet paper suggestions.
I enjoyed looking at some photos of their home, which led me to send a message about how my wife and I periodically window-shop houses for sale in Salem, realizing that likely one day our home on ten acres in rural south Salem will become unsuitable for our steadily aging bodies to maintain.
That stimulated the woman to share the name of a realtor that they liked a lot who worked with them on selling their old home and buying the historic home. Which led me to call the realtor today, Bridget Welborn of HomeSmart Realty Group.
I know nothing about HomeSmart. I just liked the idea of talking with a realtor who came recommended by someone i'd just had a pleasant email exchange with. My wife and I have spoken with several realtors over the years who other people had liked, so I figured, why not give Welborn a call?
I'm glad I did.
She was nicely low-key. I explained that we were simply wanting to start an exploration of homes in the Salem city limits, preparing for the possibility that one day we'll be serious about buying one. Welborn listened to my description of what sort of house we were looking for, and what parts of town appealed to us (south Salem, basically).
Who knows what will come of this? No one. Certainly not me.
I simply enjoyed the seemingly random nature of how I was put in touch with realtor Welborn. I'd been vaguely thinking that my wife and I should get back to doing some planning about where we'd go if, for one reason or another, our current house stopped being right for us.
Maybe that day will never come. Maybe it will. Life is uncertain. All we can do is be open to possibilities, keeping our options as flexible as possible. Getting to know a realtor and getting pre-approved for house financing makes sense to me.
So that's my tale of how toilet paper led to a realtor. Where things go from here is unknown. However, my wife and I have enjoyed looking at a bunch of listings Welborn has already sent us. We'll refine the desired-house criteria that I told Welborn about doing our conversation today.
Then... who knows?