May 2012
4-H Extension Corner

Just Coincidence – I Don’t Think So


Nathan in 1983 when part of this article took place. Now he is 31, he and his wife Kim also live here on the farm and, YES, he does now have beautiful teeth!

I cried all the way from our mailbox, around the curvy driveway and through the carport into our house.

You wouldn’t think something as common and simple as a speeding ticket could cause such a reaction.

But I am nearly 60 years old and have never, ever had a speeding ticket before…and this one was SNEAKY — and made me frustrated and sure-as-heck MAD!

A small town between here and Birmingham now has CAMERAS to record speeders. They didn’t advertise them as other towns have done so you can be watchful. Instead tickets just began showing up in numerous mailboxes.

The cameras are set up on a four-lane stretch of highway where there are no businesses or residences and the speed limit is set at 35.

Yes, I was speeding. Going nearly 50 in that 35 zone, so I was guilty. There was even a photo of my husband’s red car to prove it.

The folks at the local post office told me it was almost unreal the number of drivers from our county who had come in to buy money orders to mail their fines to the out-of-state address to pay similar speeding tickets.

If you wanted to fight the ticket in court, you had to send another letter to yet another OUT OF STATE address and someone from the small town would contact you about WHICH WEDNESDAY NIGHT your court date was set.

But I was truly upset that Saturday morning. Even though the ticket was "technically" in my husband Roy’s name (they go by the first name on the registration of the car), it was still my very first speeding ticket.


Lessons learned in the dark days of winter help us to truly appreciate and enjoy the wonder of spring and summer.


It didn’t matter on that day I was driving a very weak Roy for yet another blood transfusion at Kirklin Clinic at UAB, another side affect of his lengthy chemo and radiation treatments.

All that mattered to me was I owed $100 that we could certainly have used better for other things.

Unbeknownst to me, the day BEFORE I received the ticket, money was mailed to me from out of state which more than covered the ticket cost.

So on that Monday, in that very same mailbox, as I was readying to go to the post office to mail off my ticket payment, there arrived an envelope containing more than enough money to pay the ticket. Hmm…the money was in the mail BEFORE I received the ticket….

But I shouldn’t have been surprised. Such "coincidences" have happened often in my life, usually when I’m at my lowest and need a special boost.

It doesn’t always involve money, but sometimes it does and maybe the rest of this article will explain that so please don’t stop reading now!

I don’t believe in a "prosperity Gospel" as some name-it-and-claim-it TV preachers do: if you live right, have faith and pray "just right," you will be "blessed" in everything you do and never have money worries, sickness or any other problems. The Devil just has too big a foothold in this world to let that happen.

But I do believe God is in control and sometimes He uses even the simplest things, like that speeding ticket, to teach us valuable lessons!

Back in 1983, I was once again prepared for the worst.

Dr. Parker scribbled on a scratch pad (way before electronic tablets and iPads!), hmmed a little as he erased, then scribbled some more.

My mind wandered and I could almost imagine the blue-Chicago Bridge Profit Sharing check in my purse at my feet that Nathan and I were going to deposit on our way home.

Finally Dr. Parker stopped and said, "I know this is going to sound bad since your home recently burned. But if Nathan’s teeth aren’t corrected and capped now, he’ll be in a lot of pain before he reaches school age. I figured everything as closely as I can."

Then he named the EXACT AMOUNT of the profit-sharing check in my purse!

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I’d moved back to Alabama from the agricultural mecca of Plant City, Fla., to be nearer my parents and to make a better life for my girls after my first marriage ended in divorce a few years before.

Finishing my college degree was a major goal as I tried to provide for my tiny family, but it was tough tending to Beth and Jannea, teaching piano lessons and just getting through each day.

I finally had to sign up for my much-dreaded math class. I just don’t think the "math" section of my brain has ever worked quite right!

But I had to have that one math credit. And I had to make AT LEAST 70 in the course to maintain my music scholarship, which was essential in my continuing college.

I struggled throughout the quarter. Before the final exam, I had a barely-passing 70 average.

I struggled through the 90 minute test. Afterwards, I couldn’t wait, so I went to the professor’s office while he graded my test.

Red pencil slashes soon marked all three pages. He shook his head while totaling my mistakes — 30 points off. I’d made exactly 70!

Although I’d tried my best, I might not have felt God’s presence if I’d made 80 or even a 75. It had to be that much-needed exact 70.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I was fretting this past winter about a bill I needed to pay the following Monday.

It was a cold, dark-gray, blustery weekend. Except for a couple of egg customers, my little farm store was devoid of customers.

At 4:30 that Sunday afternoon it was already getting dark. In pulled a couple of folks who live on a small cattle and horse farm on the other side of the county. And they brought their Christmas gift list!

It was so good to see them and catch up on what spring babies were expected, which new pastures would be fenced and just their lives in general.

They kept piling small items on the counter.

As they pulled from the driveway, I kept looking at the check in my hand. The exact amount of the bill I was to pay the following day. No more. No less.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Some say I may just be looking for those special incidences and the others occurring so many times.

But I know they always warm my heart and give me a little nudge, letting me know my problems overall are small compared to others in the world.

Coincidence? I KNOW it’s not.

(And by the way, I DO make sure I’m abiding by the speed limit on our many trips back and forth to UAB, but we also travel another route AVOIDING that small ticket-loving town!)

Suzy Lowry Geno resides on a small farm in Blount County and can be reached through her website