What are the Chances?! Has This Ever Happened to You?

A few weeks ago, I took my first trip to Ohio to see my son, DIL, and grandchildren since selling my 14-year-old SUV to purchase a new one. It was my first road trip in the new car and I was looking forward to it for many reasons. Obviously, I couldn’t wait to see family, but for once I didn’t have to load up my glove box with multiple, freshly-charged blue-tooth speakers to last me during the 9-hour drive there (and back) listening to Audible. The Bluetooth speakers, though super convenient, had the annoying tendency to go flying across the dash when turning corners. Ha! Oh, the joy of having a car that will actually connect to my phone!

Ironically, the drive from Georgia to Ohio is exactly 500 miles from my driveway to my son’s home. When I’m sitting in my driveway and I enter his address into my GPS, it shows it’s exactly 500 miles to his home. When I’m in Ohio, sitting in front of my son’s home, and I select “home” as my destination, it shows it’s exactly 500 miles away. Isn’t that crazy–I’ve always thought that was so interesting, that we live precisely 500 miles apart!

Whenever I head to Ohio, my son occasionally calls during the trip to check on my progress. Fortunately the Bluetooth speakers I used to use would let me take calls via the speaker. Our calls would often go something like this:

Son: Where are you now?

Me: Ummm, not sure. I think I’m somewhere in Tennessee. Hold on a sec, there’s a sign coming up. Okay, it says I’m passing Caryville. Do you know where that is?

Son: Nope.

Me: Yeah, me neither.

Son: What time does your GPS show you’ll arrive?

Me: It doesn’t show that…just shows the number of miles I have left and how much driving time is left.

Son: What? Are you sure? Mine shows that–wonder why it doesn’t show the time you’ll arrive?

Me: I don’t know, but I will be there in X hours and X minutes, so you can do the math to figure it out.

Photo taken on another trip north


Recent Trip in March

On my recent trip, I discovered my newer GPS actually does show the arrival time, no time-math calculations needed. Just as I was nearing the end of my trip with only an hour or so to go, my son called to check on my progress.

Son: I’m in Cincinnati, had to pick something up, but I’m headed back home. Where are you?

Me: I’m driving through Cincinnati.

Son: Really? Well, I’m getting on the interstate right now, so you may beat me home.

Me: Really? What entrance are you getting on? I’m coming up on an entrance called, Hopple Street.

Son: That’s the entrance where I’m getting on!

Me: Do you see a white SUV over in the far left lane?

Son: {Crickets}

Son: Look behind you!

Ha! There he was, right behind me!

Me: I just drove almost 9 hours and you just happen to be getting onto the interstate at the very moment I happen to be driving by that entrance?! That is crazy!

Son: Ha, ha, ha–what are the chances?!


Life is so Weird!

Shortly after we arrived, my son asked if I wanted to go shopping with him. He needed to run out and look for baseball uniforms/gear for my two grandsons who were starting baseball the following week. We took my SUV since he had never seen it. I let him drive–was happy to turn over the wheel after driving all day.

Amazingly, I had never had to stop to buy gas on the way! My old SUV would only make it 3/4ths of the way. Even starting out with a full tank, I always had to stop and refill both coming and going.

I was amazed to find my current SUV can make it all the way without stopping even once for gas. When I fill it up here at home, I think it shows I can go around 513 miles, but since virtually all my driving to my son’s home in Ohio is via interstate, it was still showing around 75 miles left beside the little gas pump picture on the dash.


En route to the shopping center, my son took a backroad that he loves to drive with some really interesting curves–pretty much giving me a mild heart attack on the way! Ha!

That conversation went something like this:

Me: What are you doing?!!!

Son: Just seeing how it handles on curves.

Me: I’ve never driven it like this!

Son: Hey, no wheels ever left the road! Ha, ha, ha!

Me: (Joking) I’m never letting you drive my car again!

We shopped in several stores, gathered all the baseball supplies, and eventually ended up at a restaurant for dinner. During our excursion, I kept reminding him we needed to stop some place for gas. He was hungry and didn’t want to stop and kept pointing out how many miles we had left in the tank.

On the way to the restaurant, I mentioned it again. I’m never one to let my tank get really low. I remember once hearing a radio host say it’s not good to run your gas down extremely low because there could be sediment in the tank and it’s not good to suck that stuff up into the engine. Not sure my SUV is old enough to have any sediment at this point–but still!

My son spotted a gas station and pulled in. I had never let my gas tank get this low, it was probably down to around 2 gallons based on the mileage that was showing on the dash that the car could still be driven.

Gas was around fifty cents more per gallon for Premium than it had been back home and I watched the numbers fly by on the gas pump. Finally, the pump stopped with a hard thump! I looked up and couldn’t believe it–it had stopped dead on $100.

My son and I both looked at each other. What?! My son asked if I had put in to not let it go over $100. I shook my head, Nope! I never do that, I always just fill it up. We both just stood there for a second, staring at the pump, trying to figure it out. Did my Amex card decide something nefarious was going on since I had never spent that on gas before? That didn’t make sense because I use it all the time for all kinds of things when I’m in Ohio.

Then my son said, “What are the chances?” to which I replied, “That’s the second time you’ve said that today! What is going on–maybe we are supposed to go play the lottery now or something!”

It was such an eery feeling that day, all the weird coincidences that kept happening! I wanted to share these two stories with you because I was wondering, have you ever had a day when crazy coincidences just kept happening throughout the day? Honestly, it felt like the universe was sending us some kind of message!

Please share your crazy coincidences! I still can’t get that day out of my head and would love to hear your stories and theories!

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  1. SharonFromMichigan says

    Susan, I think you need to keep buying lottery tickets for at least the next week or so! You never know & those are some crazy coincidences!

  2. Page Cooper says

    I’m pretty sure that the pump itself cut you off at $100.00. My parents drive a huge ford truck and the pump cuts them off every time at $100.00. It has to do with credit card companies and individual gas companies. Some have a $75 max hold on credit cards and some are $100 max hold.

    • Interesting! I’ve never put that much in a car before so have never encountered it. The car did show that it was full…and my son I calculated that it must hold around 22 gallons based on how much it took and how much was showing left in the tank. I should call Amex and ask them about that, I would love to know if that’s why it shut off at $100. Okay, just looked it up and the tank will hold 22.5.

  3. Susan, Play the lottery! 🙂 I did have a funny thing like that happen, as far as ‘what are the odds’ go. We had just finished adding some detail trim above the fireplace, a large square of raised molding to add a bit of detail to an otherwise bland spot. A tv is supposed to go there, but I don’t care for tvs above fireplaces. Sooooo, I said, ‘now if we can JUST find an antique mirror with these EXACT dimensions, I will be happy’. AND….we laughed. Went to a local antique store, found nothing interesting, but as we were walking OUT the door, my husband happened to look up and saw a mirror, and you guessed it. The exact dimensions that I needed. What makes it even more odd, is that I said I needed a mirror that is 36.5 inches by 29.75….something precise like that, and this mirror WAS!!! The exact, precise, detailed measurement, to the quarter inch!!! Of course we bought it, and it was even a great price! Everyone comments on how it looks like we put the mirror up first and the molding around it.

  4. Back in 1996, when ATL was gearing up for the Olympics, my friend Sandy and I went down (we live in the N GA mtns) for Olympic volunteer training. Her training was at GA Tech so we parked there and I took MARTA a few stops down to my training location. Afterwards (on a hot afternoon) I was waiting to cross a street on the way back to MARTA when a car stopped – it was my sister-in-law, just getting off work at Crawford Long. She said “Get in, I’ll take you to Sandy’s car.” So I did. Meanwhile, unknown to me, Sandy’s son was driving through the same intersection (he had just been to the GA Aquarium with his girlfriend) and saw me get in my sister-in-law’s van. He called his mother and said “Joy just got in some white van with some woman” – Sandy was still talking to him about it when we got to her car! We had some laughs about that – what are the chances that TWO people who knew me would be driving through the same intersection in downtown ATL, when none of us lived down there!
    And yes, you might as well get a lottery ticket or two…

  5. Mary Anne says

    I’ve got 3 crazy coincidences to share but here is just one. My father was an airline pilot for Eastern Airlines. My parents lived in NJ back then, where he had easy access to the 3 NY area airports. When he retired, they moved hundreds of miles away to Connecticut. Shortly after moving, my father went to the local barber shop for a haircut. While he was waiting, another older man came in. They struck up a conversation, introduced themselves, etc. The man asked what my father did for a living before retiring and my father explained he had been a captain for Eastern Airlines. The man stared at my father in disbelief. He said “What did you say your name was?” My father said his name again. The man’s eyes flew open wide and he shot to his feet and said “I’ll be right back “ and he left! A little while later he came back with something in his hand. He said “My wife and I have only been on an airplane trip once in our lives, and it was to Florida. For our scrapbook we asked the captain to autograph our boarding pass envelope as we were leaving the plane because it was so exciting. “ And he handed my father one of those blue paper envelopes that boarding passes used to be tucked inside of. To my father’s amazement, his own signature was on it! It would have been amazing enough if my parents had lived near this man and his wife at the time of the flight, but they lived in different states hundreds of miles apart. And here they were – two old guys sitting side by side waiting for a haircut!

    • What an awesome story! I love it! That must have meant so much to your dad and it obviously meant so much to that gentleman and his wife. ♥

  6. I am sure you know this but when your son ask you in the future where you are just give him the mile marker number …he can then look it up on the atlas (I know old school) and see exactly where you are. When my kids traveled to Oklahoma while in school that was how I always kept check on where they were in case they went missing I had the last location.

  7. Approximately 25 years ago, my boyfriend and I took a vacation to a rural area in North Carolina. We used to take drives around the countryside because I liked looking for furniture and home decor in the many country stores. I had been telling him that I would like a blanket chest for the foot of the bed. One day, we were in a very remote area, winding up a mountain, kind of lost. We came across this small store with a woodworking shop next to it. In the front, sitting out in the parking area, were these 3 cute toyboxes. I walked around to see the front of the toyboxes, and in the center front of one toybox was carved “Laura”. My name. I was so stunned, and of course purchased the toybox. The boyfriend is long gone, LOL, but I am sitting here looking at the toy box right now. I feel like we belong together!

  8. I just love the back-and-forth between you & your son! I giggled as I read, partly because it reminds me of me & my sons. In our family, we call those coincidences, “whoa! moments” We have had several, but a few that were SO unbelievable, that they gave me goosebumps!
    What suv did you buy? We’ll be looking in the next year, so I’d love to hear your experience.

  9. I haven’t had such a moment but now I have a friend who has!

  10. Laura Mann Mabie says

    Yep, our gas companies cut you off at $100 and back years ago when prices were high, I was driving a Ford Excursion, 44 gallon tank. I would have to do at least 2 transactions to get it full. Lordy! What kind of new SUV did you get?

    • I called Amex today to ask them and was told the same thing. She said that not all gas stations do it but a lot of the BP stations, which is what we stopped at, are independently owned. She mentioned exactly what you had to do, that I could always do a second transaction if it hadn’t filled it up. I’ve never had a car that held that much gas and of course, prices are crazy right now, so I had never encountered that before. There must be a lot of people having to do two fillups these days to get a full tank with prices where they are.

  11. I love things like this! I only have one coincidence to share but it’s a good one! I’m 18 hours older than my husband—we were born in the same small town hospital AND our mothers were roommates!!! We’ve been married 40 years and he still likes to tease me he married an older woman.

  12. They have a $100 hold.

  13. Robin Lambert says

    It’s Hopple Street. And does your car really require premium gas? If it doesn’t, get regular. It’s cheaper and might be more efficient if that’s what the engine requires.

    • Thanks, I was trying to remember the name. I typically only put around 250-300 miles on my car each month, so it usually only needs filling up about once a month, so I just put in the best gas available since I use so little.

  14. L.O.V.E. this story. I think it would make a great subplot for a novel;–)

  15. Very interesting Susan, love that your son was coming on the interstate right where you were at! But as far as the gas station, most regular gas stations cut you off at $100 unless you are filling up at a truck stop where truckers fill up. My late husband would always get mad when he was filling up his truck and it would cut him off at $100. Then he would have to run it again to finish filling up. lol So yeah, that’s what I think about the $100 even, but the rest, definitely think you should play the lottery! lol Hugs, Brenda

    • I know, he and I were saying that if we had tried to plan that, we could never have done it. So crazy!
      Yup, out of curiosity, I called Amex today to ask and she explained about that saying that you especially see it with independently owned stations. She also mentioned that I could do a second transaction if I had wanted to, but my gauge was showing full, so I don’t think it could have taken much more. I’ve never run into this in the past but gas prices are so high right now, I guess a lot of people are experiencing this if they let their tank get pretty empty.
      Thanks for explaining about that…so interesting. I’m still learning things even at my age!

      • Sandra Boudreaux says

        The same thing happened to me last week. My gas pump stopped at $100 too. I didn’t know gas stations would stop someone from pumping more than $100 at one time. You learn something new everyday.
        Have a good week.

  16. Some cards have a limit of 3 gas transactions a day.

  17. Great story!

  18. Susan, you should download an app on your phone called Find My Friends. It will track you so your son will know where you are. We use it all the time when my nephew travels from Sunnyvale to Southern California. Unless you just want to talk to your son. That is all good.

  19. I recently read from another blogger that her gas cuts off at $100.

  20. An app called ‘Life360’ has really helped our family when coming from Georgia to Florida. It use to be available on desktop also but now is only for phones. It has saved us so much time calling to ask “how much longer”. You can in real time see them moving along the roads with expected arrival times and their current speed.

  21. That’s great – and I love your conversations with your son. Yaay to your new car and good luck with the lottery!

  22. Our vehicles that hold a lot of gas do that at some stations but not others. It us built in to the station’s tanks to limit their loss if the tank malfunctions or is vandalized or something.

    • Thanks for that info, Susan. I called Amex yesterday after that post went up to see if they could shed some light on it and they said pretty much what you just said…that some independently owned stations, like the BP we visited. will limit how much they let you pump. But you can start a new transaction. Now that I’m back in Georgia, I can fill up for around $90, unless prices continue climbing here, so I shouldn’t run into that issue again. Your explanation helps a lot to further explain it.

  23. Years ago, my children and I were visiting my parents, who lived 40 miles east of my home in central NJ. I left their home mid day to avoid commuter/tunnel traffic.
    As I pulled onto the busy turnpike, I happened to glance in the rear view mirror, and saw my husband driving in the car right behind me. He was returning from a business trip to NYC.
    Even better….walking around the campus of Univ of Notre Dame before a football game, my son in law’s father heard someone yelling “Bill, Bill”. He turned around and the guy who called him was a HS classmate he hadn’t seen in over 50 years. 40,000+ people at that game, and his friend spotted him.

  24. Georgia Pendley says

    The app “Life360” is the very best app. So easy to use. And it has crash protection. We have used it for years since my son traveled so much I knew exactly where he was and even helped him sometimes if he needed a hotel late at night. The app is highly rated. Your son will know where you are when traveling and the same goes for you when he travels. It is free.

  25. All the coincidence stories are so interesting. Your narrative with your son reminds me of 6 years ago when my daughter and I picked up my Great-grandson, her Grandson from Kansas City. We thought we could make it to the east side of Columbus, OH to my other daughter’s house before dark. Alas somewhere in Illinois we were at a dead stop. It seemed never ending and there were miles of backed up vehicles. We finally called my daughter and said we didn’t think we could make it. She asked where we were so she could look up a good hotel for us. We had a GPS but it wasn’t so great. We said we didn’t know. From horizon to horizon there was nothing but plowed fields. She asked for a mile marker, we weren’t by one. Finally as we inched along we came to one and she found us a good place across the Indiana border. We eventually made it to the hotel after most of the building material from a truck to high for the underpass was cleared off the highway. I can’t forget it because there was nothing, not even one tree, nothing but plowed fields….. The app Georgia recommends sounds great!

  26. This story made me chuckle. On a recent trip to a neighbouring province…we planned to stop and meet my nephew & his wife…and tour their new build…a stunning farmhouse style home. The plan was to pull into one of the four gas stations at our turn off….give them a quick call & they would meet us & we could follow them to their soon to be new home. Hubby pulled in & I called…my nephew answered….and I advised him we had arrived. To wish he answered “look straight in front of you…I’m waving from my blue truck”. He had seen us turn off the highway, while he was gassing up the truck. We picked the gas station he happened to be at! A bit of a coincidence me thinks.

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