Spontaneity spices up the day

Annie Yoder.

By Bruce Stambaugh

I’m a sucker for spontaneous moments. You know the kind.

You are waiting in line to check out at the grocery, shopping in a busy department store, or changing a flat tire on a lonely gravel road, and all of a sudden some little thing happens to take the steam right out of your angst.

A person you tried to reach via voice mail or email taps you on the shoulder, and says, “I’m so glad to see you. I forgot to get back to you.” And the muddle gets smoothed.

Or perhaps you are at a gathering where there are hundreds of people, and suddenly you find yourself next to a person you haven’t seen for decades. If you’re my age, there’s a lot of catching up to do.

The gazebo on the square that served as Annie’s stage.
Of course, I bring this up because I recently experienced such a spontaneous happening. After a brief early Saturday appointment, I headed to the weekly farmers’ market held on the square of Wooster. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I did.

I really went there for two reasons. I needed to kill two hours before taking my vehicle in for an overdue oil change. I also wanted to hear a friend of mine sing.

Annie had been called on to provide the background ambiance for this in-season outdoor event. I have heard Annie sing at other more conducive venues where the acoustics would enhance her naturally beautiful voice and excellent instrumentation.

Even though benches were available, no one was seated simply to listen to Annie’s pleasing, marvelous offerings. Instead, the small gathering milled around checking out the locally grown and baked items of the various vendors who had set up in a small parking lot.

I decided to join them, which is when I purchased my locally grown plums and homemade granola. But the alluring sounds lifting from the small gazebo assigned as Annie’s stage soon drew me there.

Annie is all smiles when she sings and plays.
Despite the fact she had to compete with noisy passing traffic, dogs barking and occasional sirens blaring, I wasn’t at all surprised by Annie’s fine performance. She focused on her musical efforts, and she had my full attention.

I love music though I’m no singer or musician. I admire people who can sing and play, especially if they have written their own songs. Plus, I have known Annie since she was born, and watched with much admiration how she and her music matured.

Shortly after I sat down on the bench, a few others who also knew Annie joined me. Among them was a young man I had known casually, and whom I thought was living in Texas. I lost track of him after that.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that this young man and his lovely wife had returned to Ohio, found employment, and were reconnecting with their local roots. I haven’t spoken with his parents, who I have known a long time. But they must be thrilled.

The young man and I talked and talked, while Annie sang on. In addition to enjoying Annie’s inspiring entertainment, I got to reunite with an old new friend. Annie’s performance served a perfect backdrop to our animated catching up.

The concert ended. I said my goodbyes and arrived at the garage uplifted in ways I would have never imagined when my day began hours earlier. Even the unwanted news about the costly vehicle repairs couldn’t dent the serendipitous joy I encountered on that city square.

The Wayne Co. Courthouse looms large on the square of Wooster, OH.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2013

Author: Bruce Stambaugh

Writer, marketer, columnist, author, photographer, birder, walker, hiker, husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, township trustee, converted Anabaptist, community activist, my life is crammed with all things people and nature and wonder. My late father gave me this penchant for giving and getting the most out of life, my late mother the courtesy, kindness, and creativity to see the joy in life. They both taught me to cherish the people I am with. I try and fail and try again.

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