For years, I've collected "serendipities" - the incidents when things just fall together in ways you'd never expect, ways that are sometimes almost hard to believe. I've wished I had time to think about a book, but the best I've done so far is to put some of them as a link on www.TNTriCitiesHomes.com.
One favorite memory involves a couple of military wives.
Missy had the difficult task of finding a house that would accommodate Colleen's wheelchair. She had only a few days in town to find it, negotiate, do building inspection - all that hassle, with her husband unable to be here to reassure. All that, combined with the stress of being away from the children, had her feeling really discouraged. I'd previewed every possibility before she got to town, but the best I could find weren't really very good for this family.
The essential features were that it be a rambler, have wide doorways, wide hallways, no sharp turns, a bathroom big enough to turn a wheelchair around in. Kitchen, fireplace, yard - the other things buyers want - were secondary. It wasn't to be found in the price range.
There were a couple of possibilities on Ruppert Road, several blocks from where I lived. They were far from ideal, but they were affordable, the location was good, the houses were solidly built. With Missy's flair, she could make one of them do if we couldn't find a better one. Her dad came to town to help with the final decision. We had lunch on my back porch and talked about the options. "Let's go back to see the Ruppert houses - I don't know what else to do." She was almost in tears.
I went to the computer to check to be sure they were still available, and to make appointments. Unexpectedly, there was another listing on Ruppert. I called, and the startled owner said, "How did you know?" The agent had left their home just a few minutes before and had just put it in the computer when I went to check. Within an hour after it came on the market, we saw it. There was certainly room for Missy to exercise her creativity, but there was a first-floor addition that would serve as family room, so Colleen could enjoy TV and other family activities without having to go downstairs. This one would work. Then we went downstairs. There was a wheelchair ramp from the basement to a fenced back yard.
Same story, second chapter:
Several years later, Betty was coming to town on a similar mission - find a good house without a military husband here to help. She seemed nervous and worried about it, in spite of my assurances that many other military wives had done this and were living happily ever after - until they had to go make similar decisions somewhere else. Hearing that from someone else who had actually done it and survived would reassure her more than anything I could say, so on the day she arrived, I invited Missy over to play the "I did it, you can do it, too" role.
Betty was looking at maps and pictures on my desk, with her back to the door. She knew we were waiting for someone, but she didn't know who. When I said, "Betty, I'd like you to meet Missy, she hardly looked up from the information she was concentrating on. She glanced around, said "Hello,..." and there was a wild shriek and hugs. One's husband had been best man in the other's wedding of Betty and Ed, and they were old friends from when both men had been stationed overseas.