When I originally wrote this story, I looked upon it as a small story.  But, as fate would have it, this little story might have far greater ramifications than I could have ever imagined.  I am rerunning part of the column to refresh your memory or perhaps introduce it to you for the first time.  I will close with the unbelievable update.  

Several years ago, we moved into our dream home- a rustic log cabin-style house.  Rustic, meaning we did not have to worry about being too particular about decor.  It was rustic after all.  We did, however, have to scale down some of our belongings and get rid of things that were completely out of place for a log home.

The home we were moving from had a kitchen that was themed much like a ’50s diner.  Black-and-white checkered floors, a red and chrome table and chairs, old advertising signs, and lots of Fiesta Ware dishes.  Most of the things we collected were bright and colorful and everything was authentic.  I loved this kitchen, but, moving into a rustic home meant we were going to have a more neutral pallet.

So, with careful thought, I selected only the things I was absolutely not willing to part with, and things that went with our more natural setting. Some Fiesta Ware teapots made the cut along with my Bob’s Big Boy collection.  Also, some antique signs were loaded into the box.  They included an old telephone sign, an old ice cream sign and some Coca Cola collectibles.  I was content with the items I chose and was now excited to see them in my new home.

It turns out I chose well and I had saved the right amount of memorabilia to make our new kitchen have a country general store feel without looking like a ’50s diner.

Several months passed and I found myself relaxing on my couch in front of my fireplace looking through old family photos.

I came across a photo of a childhood friend of my children, who lived down the street from us at our old home.  It was a picture of him going to his prom many years earlier. At first glance, I noticed the picture because he was sporting a blue Mohawk haircut and I thought it was unique.

On further inspection, I noticed something else. In the picture, he was standing in my new living room right in front of the very fireplace where I was sitting!

This picture sparked a great interest in me, and so my research began! I poured over photos looking for more, to which I found many. From what I could gather, he used to date the young lady who once lived in my new home.  A really small world, I thought to myself, as I looked at one picture after another.

Naturally, I started noticing how the previous owners had it decorated when all of a sudden, I found a picture that was taken in the kitchen.  Not a strange picture in itself, but what was hanging on the wall behind the stove caught my eye.

It was an old ice cream sign.  A sign exactly like the one that used to hang in my old kitchen and now hangs in this kitchen.  Again?  A sign that survived the cut from my ’50s kitchen to my log cabin kitchen.  The sign is an original sign. It is metal, with a blue background and large white letters that simply say ICE CREAM. I have owned it for a long time, although I cannot remember where or when I got it.

So many thoughts ran through my head.  None the least were, ‘Is this the same sign that once lived here?’  ‘Was the sign in this home before we ever bought it?’  If so, how did I come into possession of it?  If it is the same sign, what are the chances that it would find its way back to this house?  Then my final thought.  ‘Why did I have pictures of this young man on his prom night?’  Pictures that show him in my new home years before we owned it.

My search for answers was coming up blank.  As with many of life’s mysteries, I was left with more questions than answers.  Perhaps I wasn’t asking the right question.

The question should maybe have been… “Are we all connected?”
A small mystery?  A big mystery?  I may never know. But, I do know THE SIGNS ARE OUT THERE.  Yes, my friends, life is truly mysterious.

The update…

Turns out this may be one of the greatest mysteries to be uncovered.  You see a few months ago, I was contacted by an editor of a Guidepost Magazine publication as he stumbled across this very column and my story about the sign.

He was interested in hearing more about life’s mysteries and possibly wanted to have me submit a column or two. We started to chat and our conversations have taken us very deep into why things happen the way they do.  In particular, why some people seem to attract mysterious events into their lives and why others seem to turn up cold in that department.  
All this talking led him in a new direction.  He is now not only wanting me to possibly submit stories to their magazine but he wants to write a feature story on this phenomenon.  Turns out,despite the fact that he works for a publication that spreads hope and inspiration, he is a skeptic.

He now wants the story to be more about the skeptic vs the believer, featuring him and I.  I told him it was my goal that, when we are done with our many conversations, he would start to see the mysteries in life.

It looks like I might be getting my wish as he is now starting to see how things are not so random.  A chance encounter on a train or bumping into someone on the street might not be so chance after all.  His eyes have been opened.

In one of our last conversations we mentioned how he found me through the story I wrote called, “The Signs Are Out There”.  I said to him, “Some things happen to us and we never know why they happen just like I might not ever know why that sign made its way back to its original home,”  This was his reply…

“Perhaps the sign made that journey just so you would write a column about it and I would see the column and then I would make a connection with you.”

The student has now become the teacher!  An amazing observation, but, if what he is saying is true, then our connection was in the works for over fifteen years!  If that is true, nothing in our life is random.  It is all meant to be.  The good things and the bad things are all meant to happen.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11 

I will keep you posted if and when his story will run in the magazine.  Until then, I will keep looking and seeing life’s mysteries and sharing them with you.  Whether or not the sign’s journey was put into motion just so he and I would connect is a lot to wrap my mind around, but, then again, life is mysterious.

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