FORK IN THE ROAD

We’ve all had them…we’ve come through a tough time and now come to a fork in the road. I remember so well the day my future was told me…it was quite the accident, actually. Three “girls” from town were going to see a “fortune teller” in Lewiston, Maine and at the last moment, one could not go. Would I like to go? Well, why not. Why not, indeed. I was divorced, working three jobs, tired, disillusioned with life in general and an afternoon with the “girls” might be just what I needed. Oh, it was a hot day…that is one of the first things I remember…we complained about the heat constantly during the drive to Lewiston interspersed with who was going in first. No one seemed to be eager..admittedly it might be a little eerie. But the word was that this old lady knew what she was doing and “hit everything right on the button.” Needless to say , at this juncture in my life, I really didn’t care as long as she could assure me that I could pay my bills and not become a bag lady living on a street corner.

By the time we arrived at the residence, it had been decided that I would be the first to learn my future. I am sure I didn’t volunteer..maybe I was the oldest and had no say in the matter, but there I was, timidly walking from the little hallway through the door to the kitchen where I had been summoned by the lady, whose name was Rose.

Sit, sit and don’t be afraid,’ she chirped. Obviously the fear stood out or maybe I was trembling. She spread her cards in front of her and suddenly a door slammed behind me , which, yes, I admit made me shoot straight up from my chair. “That’s just some of my friends,” Rose smiled. Fine. But I could not see her friends.

The reading began. “You are no longer married.’ ( well yeah, no ring there..the skeptic in me thought). Rose was smiling again…”How nice! You have two children born on the same day!” Whoa. This WAS getting eerie..” and one almost on the same day. Oh, oh, one born months later..poor little fellow has a birthday all his own.” This was beginning to get interesting and chilling.

You are thinking of buying a trailer. Don’t. You won’t need it.” (Ha, a lot you know..) “You are going to a banquet Saturday night. ( no no no) You will be seated to the left of a young man. He’s very nice. Now I know you do not care for men right now nor care if you ever meet one, but he will have dark hair and BE NICE TO HIM.” ( Well I guess she meant that)

” I see the initials RM but I don’t know what they mean. You will be traveling a great deal in the next few years between two states..this one and I believe New York.” ( Well of course)( These sarcastic thoughts I hoped were not reaching her, as she was a very nice, gentle lady).

The reading completed, ( lots of other miscellaneous stuff in there as well), I got up and put money in the mason jar in the middle of the kitchen table .

All the way home, we compared notes and all agreed that Rose was the genuine article,but I wondered how my future would ever look like the one she described.

Later that evening, my Mom asked if I wanted to ride to Newton, Mass. with her for the weekend as she was a delegate to a union convention. I talked with my newspaper editor and he thought it a good idea for an article and pictures, so I agreed. “Take  a nice dress or a gown,” she said, ” there’s always a banquet the night before we come home.”  Sure, ok. Wait.a.minute.did.she.say.a.banquet??

Fast forward ahead to Newton, Mass. and the convention. Banquet night arrived and I donned a floor length gown..in fact, a purple gown. Of all colors, I had bought a purple gown months earlier when the shop keeper urged me that it was my color. I didn’t think so, but relented anyway. Into the banquet room we swept ( like royalty) and a man’s voice said, “Ethel, come join us.” We did, well, we had to, as she gripped my arm and pulled. I was a bit nervous as I had no idea what this would be like and thoughts of Rose were far, far away. After I had gained my composure after being thrust in the seat by my mother, I looked to my right and there was this dark haired man,…in fact hair to his shoulders.

I will never forget the following conversation.’Hi, how are you?” I looked at this man and said, “Fine , thank you. I am divorced and have four children.” Can you imagine??? It was like someone had taken my tongue and ran with it.  He just laughed and we all enjoyed the banquet, and then it was announced there was dancing in another section. Well, now I loved to dance and had not danced in years. Did he dance? Of course he danced. ( liar). So we danced.. kind of …and we talked.

The next morning he asked for my address and said he’d write. ( well of course you will). He did. He drove on weekends from New York to Maine.

We met September 20, 1974, engaged in November and the following July 5th, 1975 were married  in my mother’s side yard. I asked my mother,”Why didn’t you tell me about this guy before we went to the convention? You’ve known him for years as a delegate.” Her answer..”I didn’t think he was your type.”

Well, he was, Ma. He was my type. We spent 41 years together and yup, we made so many trips between NY and Maine in an old VW Bug that had no heater, I finally lost track.  I even discovered his favorite color was purple, hence the purple gown. Another piece put in the puzzle.

This is my first anniversary without him. But, Rose, you were right on the money. He was a nice guy and yes, I treated him NICE!

 

gree

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