(Link submitted by friend of the blog, Nancy Matson)
Families sometimes have strangely scheduled and often inconvenient birthdays. Sometimes people are born too close to a major gift-giving holiday, increasing the financial strain and reducing the flow of gifts. Others end up with family members closely clustered together, with the same result. But in one much happier reversal of Bleak Winters, a Toledo-area family experienced something much more precise:
FOUR birthdays all on January 4th, across four generations.
That’s right, Richard Stiff’s family started off the tradition with his (now-passed) father Marshall being born on January 4th, 1924. Richard, himself was then born on the same day in 1947, his daughter Julia following the pattern in 1978, and her daughter Kourtney following up the rear (for now) in 2011.
The family claims this was entirely unplanned timing and seems to enjoy the family connection, with various family traditions each year to celebrate the connection. Their biggest challenge appears to be simply the difficulty in finding appropriate birthday activities in the chilly month of January.
[SOURCE: Toledo Blade via Yahoo! News]
So here’s the story. Around the turn of the century, my great grandfather, Oscar Adams homesteaded a ranch in Northern New Mexico, about 24 miles north of Las Vegas, NM. His daughter Nina, and husband, Charlie Middleton ran it as a guest ranch (Evergreen Valley Ranch) for about 50 years, until about 20 years ago, when my great uncle Charlie sold it to a group of families, shortly before he passed away. Even though the ranch is no longer in the family, my mother has kept in close contact with those now in ownership, and we visit regularly.
This August, my mother and I visited the ranch, and while there, met the great granddaughter of the man who homesteaded the ranch next door to Evergreen Valley Ranch – Terrill Ranch; the ranch through whose meadow we have crossed for over 40 years, to go on our favorite hikes in the area. I was amazed to discover that she (Alex) works with me at RAND, in our Santa Monica office. We had never met, but work with some of the same people. More amazing still is the fact that we were both visiting our respective ranches the same week, and had opportunity to meet each other! Her fiance, Michael who also works at RAND was with her, in NM.
Less than a week after this amazingly coincidental meeting, my boyfriend Paul and I were at the Hollywood Bowl to hear Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony; one of two concerts we got tickets for this season. As we were eating, he looked up, and lo and behold, who was passing in front of us, but Alex & Michael. Of all the people there and all the timing of looking up, the odds must be crazy that we would run into them there; on a Tuesday night - with Shostakovich!! The other tidbit, I discovered when I ran into Alex the next day at work (really, how many times have we unknowingly crossed paths??) – that her fiance is a violinist, and Paul is a cellist. So there you have it. The Odds Must Be Crazy!