Being in the Right place

Last week as I was struggling with my usual insomnia, I started to do a room  by room inventory in my mind, visualizing each part of the house and deciding what furniture we would take with us when we moved, and what we would discard. I haven’t done that before, and I have no idea why I did it last week.  We have no firm moving date.  It could be as long as  five years  before we  leave here.   Doing that inventory sure didn’t help my sleep, since I got increasingly anxious about all the stuff we have, and how we could possibly move it.  The next day we got a New Yorker and wouldn’t you know, there was an article about a woman who decided that  her possessions were too burdensome and  her actions to get rid of the unnecessary.  I believe that both these incidents were signs from the Cosmos to sit up and pay attention and prepare for action. 

Husband and I had a discussion the other day about our tenure out here, and how we seem have been in the right place at the right time for us and for the communities we have worked with/for.  We both felt, though, that it was time for us to seriously think about that time ending.  Husband had just returned from doing some expert witness testimony for the Tribal Court in New Town,  his first time on the Reservation since March, 2020.  He felt good about his testimony, but decided that he really didn’t want to make that 100 mile journey any more.   I talked about how useful and needed I still felt at my agency, but how exhausting it was getting for me. Both of us are sick to death of the constant attention in the state to extraction industries like oil and coal.  The isolation from family is feeling keener.  

We have lived here for 34 years.  Given our family health history, we could both live another 30 years, and I really don’t want to spend all those years here.  I think I am going to start getting rid of the unnecessary stuff in the basement.   We may not move for several years, but I want to be ready.

When have you been in the right place at the right time?  How did you know? When did you know it was time to go somewhere else?  

21 thoughts on “Being in the Right place”

  1. There have been a couple of times when I feel we’ve been “placed” in a particular location for a reason. When we moved back up to Mpls in 1985, it was because Husband couldn’t find a good computer job in Winona. This made us available to take nephew for a year and a half when his mom kind of “went off the deep end”. And moving back to Winona 5 years ago made us available to our friend W for his various moves.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a tough question Renee–
    A friend of mine always says people cross our paths for a reason. And I have a few examples of meeting someone just because we both happen to be in that place at that time.
    Sometimes it’s bad luck too. I had an Uncle was killed when the brakes failed on a city bus and it rolled down a hill and crushed him against the bus shop wall. This was back in the early 1950s. So much of life is just split second timing.
    A woman named Kathleen wandered into my shop one day because it was a nice warm day, I had the door open and ‘Classic Quadraphonia’ blaring on the radio. She followed the music in to find me. A delightful lady. Have lost touch with her unfortunately.
    My folks met some people in a waiting room at the clinic; just got to talking. They farmed in North Dakota. Soon they were at our house for supper and mom and dad would go visit them in ND. Funny how friendship can happen like that.

    I don’t have any stories of saving babies or anything like that.
    This guys does:
    The story ‘Flight’.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I have to say I disagree with the premise of “seeming to be in the right place at the right time”. It implies you were somehow dropped into a Panglossian “best of all possible worlds” or placed deterministically like a cog in a clockworks. It’s passive and discounts your efforts, your talent, your agency in making your choice of location a worthy and satisfying one.

    When you choose a direction, whether its a career or a place to employ it, you foreclose the possibility of other choices with different challenges and different rewards. You will never know how useful or satisfied you might have been in those other choices so there’s no way to determine whether you have landed in the cosmically “right” place. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make the most of the situation in which you find yourself, which you apparently did.

    I was in the right place at the right time once. I found a $10 bill in the street.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I picked up a winning scratch-off, too. It was a $100 winner. I pick them up a lot. Some of the tickets have a “Second Chance” drawing, where you enter a number from the ticket online, and might win something. So you don’t lose anything if you use someone else’s cast-off ticket. Worst case scenario, you’ve picked up some litter and made the world a cleaner place.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. Once, when I was out walking the dog, I found one of those leatherette folders that restaurant servers use to bring your bill sticking out of a snowbank. It had over $100 in cash in it and also a paycheck from a restaurant made out apparently to a server. I called the nearest location of the restaurant and asked if they had such a server working for them. It turned out that they did and she happened to be working just then. I drove the folder with the tips and check over and returned it to her.

      I guess I was the right sort of person at the right place and the right time.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it that way. I don’t believe we’re here for a reason, and that it’s our job to figure out what that reason is. Consequently, I’d think of myself of being in the right place at the right time if I encountered someone handing out $100 bills on a street corner, simply as pure luck. Conversely, if I happened to be walking on a sidewalk just as a giant icicle dropped off a roof above, I would consider it being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would not see either as part of some divine plan.

    From some of the stories I’ve told here on the trail, you know about my fortuitous meeting of Bob Dean in Basel on a Sunday afternoon, and how he later changed the trajectory of my life by enabling, and encouraging, me to go back to school. You also know about meeting the painter Barry Watson from Jamaica, strictly by coincidence, also in Basel. Not that the meeting with Barry changed my life in any substantial way, but it certainly enriched it.

    I suppose it’s up for debate whether meeting wasband in Greenland falls under the category of being in the right or wrong place at the right time, but here we are. Had that not happened, would I have ever come to the US? Who knows? The road not taken…

    Looking back, it seems that most of the people and events that have significantly impacted my life, just happened. I’ve never had a long-term strategic plan for how my life should unfold. I didn’t have a clue when I started at SIU what I was going to study, nor what I was going to do with my eventual degree. I was just making decisions as opportunities or obstacles demanded.

    At this stage of my life, I do feel the burden of all of the stuff we own, and we have slowly started divesting ourselves of some of it, but some of it is really hard to let go of. I have stuff I’d gladly give to someone who would appreciate it, not because of monetary value, but because of its history, or beauty, or some other reason.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haven’t heard from her directly but her Facebook page, she posts every month or so. Last post was end of February. Are you using the “701” email?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not sure if it’s the right place right time kind of story but it was a day that I felt particularly lucky. I was actually in South Africa with a client on a site inspection. She was kind of a stick in the mud and clearly was not enjoying South Africa and safari-big around as much as I was or the account executive was. On our last morning she decided not to go out on the morning safari run with us. She said she was feeling like she was catching a cold but I think she just wanted to sleep in and then shop a little. When the guide picked us up at the lodge, he told us that he had heard some radio chatter that there were wild dogs right up along the cut line of their game preserve. He said if we go out there we’ll have to really speed up there and it’ll take a bit and there’s no guarantee that the dogs will be up there. If the client had been with us we would not have done this. But since it was just me and the account executive, we went for it. Not only were the wild dogs on the actual property of the game preserve, there were wild dog puppies. At least 15 of them! We sat up there in that truck with those wild dogs and puppies all around us for about an hour and a half. I have the most amazing photos. I thank the powers that be (often) that the client decided not to come that day because I would not have had that experience if she had.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Since the Daylight Saving Time change, I have a terrible time getting to the blog on my workdays–I have to start 2 hours early now. After tomorrow I am on vacation for two weeks in which we will drive home to MN, then rearrange the house following the reconstruction.

    Being at the right place at the right time: That seems to be an entirely intuitive “CLICK” for me when everything just falls into place. This has been true of jobs, my first marriage, houses, friendships, and school. When I applied to the School of Social Work at the University of MN, it was the only place I applied, and somehow I was accepted. I arrived for the first day of class to discover that everyone else there applied to several dozen schools, placed on waiting lists, and were rejected from many. I felt so naive. I still don’t understand how I got admission, except Right Place Right Time. Also, when endings come I have had the experience of feeling as if the old thing does not work anymore, and I am just ejected from the situation, then the new thing comes along.

    Renee, I think you are right to pay attention to the signs and the feelings of “it is time to go.” Starting to clean out the basement and sort the belongings will probably work well no matter what you do. But right now you are a long way from your grandbaby which has to be hard, especially if you want to support your son and DIL in parenting.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. We have had a couple cranes flying around again. They sure sound like the Sandhill cranes like we had last fall, but I haven’t seen them well enough yet to visually confirm. Steve, does anything else sound like the Sandhill’s? Do all cranes sound the same?
    It’s pretty cool to have them around here.

    Liked by 5 people

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