What are the odds?
We say that often when a coincidence occurs, and then shrug it off. But when another related instance happens shortly afterwards, we stop and wonder…hmmmm?
Something amusing and a little uncanny happened on one of our summer trips. We toured the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and decided to take the Oxford-Bellevue ferry across the Tred Avon River one day.
This particular ferry is believed to be the oldest privately owned ferry in the country since it was established in 1683. Papa and I have always enjoyed ferry rides so we thought it would be a fun thing to include on our travels.
With time to spare while waiting for the ferry in Bellevue, we just parked at the entrance and sat in our car, windows down, enjoying the beautiful afternoon and light breeze coming off the river. There were no other vehicles in sight and absolutely no people.
No noise either, just the gentle rustling of river water. It was one of those serene, peaceful moments we found on our trip that we had so looked forward to having.
As I gazed out my window, I spied something in the river. Since it was a good distance away, I watched it trying to determine exactly what it was. It kept making its way towards us and I then realized it was a blown up, clear beach ball with colorful splotches on it.
No doubt, some child lost it at some time and it had been floating along the river. The peculiar thing was that it was steadily making its way to where we were parked along the river’s edge. I grabbed my camera, thinking it might make an interesting shot.
Keeping my eye on it, that beach ball kept floating our way like it was on a mission to reach us.
Laughingly, I told my husband that it reminded me of Wilson, a feature in the 2000 movie, Castaway, starring Tom Hanks. In that movie, Hanks’ character found a volleyball in a package that drifted to his deserted island. He named the ball Wilson and it became his only source for companionship and “conversation”.
“Come on, Wilson,” I urged that beach ball, and sure enough, it kept on gently floating in until it reached the sandy strip of ground beside our car. I wondered if I should retrieve it and set it in a little picnic area I’d seen nearby before the wind blew it back into the river.
When Papa spied the ferry coming, I became distracted and then decided against rescuing Wilson. But the funny thing was before we drove onto the ferry, I looked at the spot I’d last seen that beach ball and it wasn’t there. Vanished! Nowhere to be found. I looked all around including up and down the river but Wilson was gone.
We drove onto the ferry and enjoyed our short 10-minute trip across the river and then some tasty ice cream in Oxford at a shop one of the ferry crew recommended to us.
I forgot about Wilson until that night while we were resting in our hotel room. Papa, the eternal keeper of the TV remote, was flipping through channels while I read. I glanced at the TV briefly and couldn’t believe my eyes. The movie Castaway was being shown.
Wilson! Coincidence? Probably. But kinda funny.
A couple of days later though, Wilson came back to my mind. We were waiting to board a boat for a cruise to Smith Island, Maryland, and again were a little early.
So we walked around that area of the harbor. Several boats were moored there and we watched as one couple readied their boat to launch and then set out into the bay.
On our way back to where the cruise boat waited for boarding, I happened to look down from the walkway into the water of the bay and there I spied it.
A basketball floating in the water. No one around it. No signs of anyone playing basketball anywhere in the area.
What are the odds?
“That’s too coincidental to be a coincidence.” ~Yogi Berra