Thank you to everyone who submitted an essay. Here are the 2014 winners featured in The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Topic: My Most Unusual Coincidence
First Prize ($250)
I was 7 years old and my mom bought a trinket for me to give to the pretty girl next door. It was a heart in two pieces that snapped together. She told me to give the girl half since we were moving.
About 10 years later, I was sitting beside a beautiful woman on a flight. We figured out that we both went to UNC Chapel Hill and were born in the same town, but with no more time to talk, we went our separate ways.
I am now 47, living in Atlanta. I sit down for dinner at a restaurant and a woman sits near me. Finally, she says, “I know why you are staring at me. We were on a flight about 20 years ago, you are from Greenville, we both went to UNC, and I never forgot you.”
It did not take long to figure out that we were those kids from 40 years ago, so I pulled my good luck charm from my pocket. With that she started crying, telling me that she still had the other half. We are now married.
–Carl White, Atlanta, Georgia
Second Prize ($150)
In 1984, on a turbulent flight into my hometown, I comforted the flyer next to me who was in tears until the wheels touched down. She thanked me, and we shared a laugh.
In 1985, I found myself in dire straits and really needed a job. On my way to an interview, I spotted a woman whose car had broken down. She looked frantic. Hoping that I wouldn’t be late, I offered her a ride. It was the woman from the plane! We recognized each other, shared another laugh, and determined that we were headed to the same block.
We parted ways in a garage and I headed for my interview. When my name was called and I was ushered into an office, I saw behind the desk … the lady! We burst out laughing, and she said, “You’re hired!” She’s the best boss I’ve ever had.
–Nancy Pullen, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Third Prize ($100)
My boyfriend and I were fishing for largemouth. He liked trying out different lures and rubber worms, so he tied on a distinctive silver and black rubber worm. One bass swallowed it, hook and all, so he cut the line and set him free.
A couple of weeks later, we went back with my brother. We usually catch and release, but my brother’s friend had asked him to keep a few for him. As he was cleaning the fish for his buddy, my brother cut open one of the bass—and there inside it was that distinctive black and silver worm.
–Amy Jo Wilson, Paris, Ohio
When my son was 18 years old, he and several friends went to our summer home on a lake in Maine.
On the first day, they went waterskiing and, as the boat left the dock, my son felt his class ring fly off his finger. The boys searched for the ring but never found it.
When friends visited 27 years later, one of the children called out that he had found a ring. It was my son’s class ring! When it was lost, my husband was 45 years old. When it was found, my son was 45 years old, and it was my husband’s birthday. He had passed away several years earlier.
–Janice Daring, Shapleigh, Maine
My grandfather’s family was from Three Rivers, Massachusetts. In 1917, my grandfather moved to Cohoes, New York, where I was born and raised. In 2001, I relocated to Enfield, Connecticut. In May 2006, in an antique shop in Somers, Connecticut, I noticed some vintage postcards. I picked up one that had a picture of mountains and a lake, turned it over, and let out a yell: The postcard was addressed to my great aunt in Three Rivers and postmarked May 2, 1906—100 years to the day that I had it in my hand! I purchased the card and keep it on my bulletin board.
–Kim Hebert, Enfield, Connecticut