Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's a Small World After All

Good Sunday morning to you, everyone!  It's a really small world.  I don't necessarily mean the "global village" the world is becoming thanks to the internet.  Although, I will take this moment to say "Hi!" to my international readers!

I actually have readers from countries where I don't have any friends or relatives and where my friends and relatives don't have friends and relatives.  Wow!  Especially sending a shout out to my Middle East followers in Iran and the UAE as well as my Russian, Ukrainian, and Romanian following.  You guys have been a real surprise.  I didn't think this would translate as interesting in those parts of the world.

My Latin American folks, I suspect are my family and friends, but I'm so glad to see you, too!  I'm not forgetting Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and the UK, either!  Thanks everyone around the world and the US who aren't actually related to me! Folks, let me just say, "If I knew you were coming I'd a baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake."  It's an old 1950s song.

Today, I am talking about how you find out you are connected to other people in ways you'd never expect.  Remember the theory of "six degrees of separation"?  Then there was a small indy movie with Will Smith based on this premise. Remember?  This theory says we're only six people away from knowing everyone in the world.  Sometimes, that's frighteningly true.  It happens on the farm sometimes.

My herd of little Christians are from all over the US.  None of them are from my home state.  So, I don't expect these things to happen, but it did just the other day.

Dod's wife-- in reality, not her blog name-- has a "double" first name.  You know those people named "Mary Kate" or "John William" and they actually use both names socially and professionally?  Well, Dod's wife is one of those folks. I call her "Julie" in the blog to keep it simple.

Julie's family is a family of double name people.  They are fertile people. I think she has eight siblings, none of whom are adopted.  These days when you hear about huge families like that, you kind'a think they went to an orphanage in a third world country and just decided to bring everyone home.

Well, one of Julie's siblings is expecting any day now.  Actually, two of them are expecting, but this is about just the Drama Queen sister.  When I asked Dod if Drama Queen was going to continue the double naming tradition, he said, "No."

Rose is from an area where double names apparently aren't prevalent.  She was unfamiliar with the practice.  We started explaining it to her.

Then Dod threw out a double name he'd never heard of before.  It's the name of a child Julie "nannies" for.  It's "Mary...."  Well, I'm going to save the actual second name.  It's a historic name.  I don't want to blow the cover of this family.  So, I'm going to say for the purpose of the blog it's "Washington."

Dod says this kid goes by "Mary Washington" like someone else might go by "Mary Sue."  He thought it was very cumbersome.  Rose pronounced it "weird."  Oh, my dear Rose.  I'm going to break you of your prejudices if it's the last thing I do.

I said, "Rose, that's a very historic name.  I know people with that name.  A friend of mine from high school has the same middle name. One of their ancestors drafted the US Constitution.  They are very proud of their heritage."

"Oh, " she said.  Rose is learning.  Once she'd insulted the Founding Fathers, she knew to step back.  "My family has only been here three generations," she added.  I didn't tell her to break out a US history text book, in that case, but I thought about it.

Folks with this historically significant name have served as diplomats, governors, drafters of historic documents, all sorts of high level muckety mucks, you name it.  It is a well-known historic name--even if it's not really "Washington." It astounds me the lack of education a graduate student can have.  But, that's for next week.  Oh, I'm getting to it.  Believe me.

So, Dod says he wonders if this is the same family that I know.  Well, Julie nannied in her home state which is not here.  I said, no, they must be distant cousins.  No, no, these people were here in this city.  Well, no, my friend lives elsewhere now and so do his parents.

Dod throws out the name of the father in this family with the kid named Mary Washington.  It's familiar, you know, my high school friend's kid brother has that name.  Then, Dod throws in the deal breaker, "Julie met them at the First Presbyterian Church."  Huh?

"Dod, you and Julie are Anglican.  What was she doing running around First Pres?"

"Oh, she was Presbyterian before we got married.  She's still friends with them."  It was as if the Presbyterians were another tribe and Julie had defected.

"Well, that can't possibly be the same family.  The family I know are all Episcopalians.  There was a very small Episcopal church where I grew up and they made-up half of it.  They are all still Episcopalians, even though they've all moved off to other places.  It can't be the same people.  It's got to be their cousins."

Dod started describing the father of Mary Washington.  He's a doctor.  He's got a bunch of kids.  He works at the VA hospital.  Wait a second. This was getting spooky.

My friend's kid brother is a doctor at the VA in this city.  But, how could he have become a Presbyterian?  That is a family of serious Episcopalians--they wear robes and serve Eucharist. What happened? Was he captured by the Presbyterians?

Was it like when Julie married Dod and becoming Anglican was a requirement?  Seriously, I don't think it was really a requirement. I think Julie is just that head over heels for Dod.

"Is he really tall?"  I asked.  Yes, in fact, he is really tall Dod told me.  And, his name is Sam?  Yes.  Well, ok.  That was strange but it had to be the same guy.

I emailed my old high school friend this story.  And, yes, indeed, that's his kid brother the Presbyterian.  He's very happy being a Presbyterian, it turns out.  Well, miracles will never cease!  My old high school chum agreed, it's a small world after all!

This is one of those stories that reminds me, when people tell me something and then say, "Don't tell anyone." And, then I'm tempted to tell someone because they'll never meet the other person.  Wrong!

That person may have gone from being a devoted Episcopalian to being a happy  Presbyterian and interloped with some Anglicans and they all are hanging out together now.  You just never know folks. You never know.  It's a small, small world!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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