Thursday, March 08, 2007


This one is for you, Marlies...

At Safeway with Rojo we ran into a few of his old friends. (I think I've blogged before about the period where we were at Safeway EVERY single day at 9:00 AM.) He's got a new routine now, straight from school to Safeway for two maple bars. Licks the maple off, hands me one, licks off the second, hands it to me, I consume both bottoms and feel like shit the rest of the day. We've clearly both got issues.

Checking out at the Express Line because that's where Marlies is today, not because we have fewer than 15 things. Marlies says, "I've been reading your blog. You make me think about things I don't want to think about. Keep blogging."

I'm still floating from that comment, long after the sugar crash from the maple bar bottoms.

As long as I've been standing in Marlies' line, I don't think I've ever told her THE Safeway story. It goes a little something like this...

Once upon a time a couple built a house in Portland, Oregon. They gave birth to one daughter, Hortence. She spent her whole life in that house, and as she grew older she wondered what to do with the house when she was "gone," for she had no family to leave it with.

Hortence had, for years, done all her grocery shopping at the local Safeway. She befriended someone that worked there, Hattie. Hattie advised Hortence to donate her home to the Sisters of Saint Francis in Clinton, Iowa. Hattie's blood sister was a Sister there, and she felt they did good work.

Hortence bequeathed her home to the Sisters of St. Francis with the stipulation that the home be used by the Sisters for seven years, after which time they could sell the house for a profit, and continue to do their good work with that money.

Along comes my husband to the story. He saw the house and identified it as "the" house he wished to raise his family in. He'd grown up a few miles south of the home and had long admired it as he ran down its tree-lined streets as a young athlete in training.

He found out that the Sisters owned the house, and he began to inquire. Every six months for seven years he made a gentle inquiry into buying the house, not knowing there was magic in that number, seven.

Miles from home alone on his bicycle his cell phone rang one day. The Sisters were ready to sell. All he needed to do was a fair market analysis and make a fair offer. The house was ours.

We learned that the home had been used for spiritual gatherings for seven years. Two Sisters, lived there, one full-time, Sr. Mary, and the other, Sr. Phyllis, only when she wasn't in Peru.

Concerned that we were booting out two elderly nuns, my husband deeply inquired as to their needs in their next home, and spent considerable time driving them around to look at houses, before finding the perfect one for them.

We pledged to them when we bought the house, that we would continue to do the good work they had started in the home. It would look different, but help serve the greater good of all, we promised.

Through the blessings of this house I've met the most incredible people in the world, as they have gathered here. The home has a vibe, and we are blessed to be able to share that vibe with others.

We are also blessed by the wonderful people that have worked at Safeway before our time, and work there now. There are no accidents. There are no coincidences. There are only blessings - some disguised - but blessings none-the-less.



kario said...

I love this story, Carrie! I think your book should be about this - no accidents, no coincidences, finding people and places that go together in mysterious and wonderful ways.

Oh, and give up the maple bar bottoms, girl! You deserve better.

Prema said...

What an incredible story! Thought the house was great has a soul, too! And how totally wonderful the way you both went about owning it. You're a blessing, Carrie. Your husband as well.

Suzy said...

Hmmm...Safeway to Safe way....

That's what your house signifies!

Jerri said...

This gave me shivers, Carrie.

The Sisters could not have asked for more wonderful people or more wonderful work for their house.

It is filled with love.

Michelle O'Neil said...

This piece gives me chills Carrie.
LOVE Stan with his determination and his good heart.

Love the Safeway people.

Love that you live in that house.

Love, period.

Ziji Wangmo said...

Love this story. Can I come over to your house next time I'm in town? I'll be sure to bting some maple bars, too!

Jenny Rough said...

Neat, neat story. What a special home.

Also, I love the comment Marlies said about your blog!

And the maple bars -- too funny.

Terry Whitaker said...

What an unbelievable story. I LOVE it!

holly said...

I love this story. I heard you tell the end of it, but not the beginning and the Safeway tie.

The love and energy in that house is so present it's palpable.

Anonymous said...

Carrie,thank you so much!What a great Story,it gave me the shivers.Yes your Blogg makes me think and i love you for that.Love Marlies

Marlies said...

Carrie,what a wonderful story.That House was waiting for you and your Family.Yes your bloggs makes me think about things i never wanted to deal with before,so thank you!!I love you.

Monica said...

Carrie, I couldn't read this fast enough. I loved it! I don't mean to sound "commercial" but this is an essay for publishing. Going from Safeway to the compelling history of your incredible house - just genuis.

Nancy said...

My former parish priest used to say no COincedences, only GODincedences. Your story affirms my belief that there is a reason and a plan to even the smallest of our encounters. Thanks for sharing- so beautiful.

Deb said...

I loved your house the first time I drove up. Now I know why. What an amazing story. You live in a holy place. I'm so grateful that you've shared it with us, and daily grateful for the magic our time together continues to work in my life.

Kim said...

This story is a blessing! Your magical house will hold so many more people than will actually enter its doors--it really is magical.

Man, nothing like this happens at Food Emporium. Or maybe I just need to learn how to look for it.

jennifer said...

Oy, the maple bar bottoms...get help!!!