I first met the Hills at the Out of Hand craft fair at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Homeland probably 15 years ago. My mom had bought something from them—it might have had a Klimt painting as the center medallion—from the ACC Craft Fair. Out of Hand is held each year on the first Sunday in December, and it’s an annual tradition for me, my mother, and my sister.
But she couldn’t make it this year; Mom was on Long Island at a bar mitzvah or something. My sister was taking her boards so she could give Novocain needles. I took my friend Kim, who’d never been—and who was a good sport when I made her traipse around the graveyard next door in the foggy cold. When we got there, I checked in with the button lady on behalf of my mom. She had a knowing look in her eye when she asked if everyone was OK. I told her that my father had died, and we both cried a little. She came out of the booth to hug me and tell me that she is now driving my uncle’s car after having answered an ad for it on Craigslist.
I introduced Kim to “my shiatsu guy” and Karen, and she went off to look for gifts. Karen called me over with an offer. “I want to trade you,” she said. “One of these necklaces for one of your calendars.” I laughed. Ten calendars, she meant. No. She just wanted a new calendar, like the one I gave them last year.
Now if that’s not a miracle, I don’t know what is.