The Watering Hole Blog

Right on Time

watch photo

Updated Feb 27th, 2022

Right on Time – It’s All About the Timing


watch photo

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

― David G. Allen

“Timing,” as the old saying goes, “is everything.”

However, what I’m discovering is that…

Trying to get the timing right is often beyond our control – and what sometimes seems like really lousy timing is, in retrospect, right on the mark. Click To Tweet

When my dog, Sable, went blind 10 days before I moved from Calgary to Victoria in the spring of 2010, at first I thought it was horrible timing because not only was it extremely inconvenient to pack up one’s home while caring for an aging deaf and blind dog, it also meant that I would be taking her out of her familiar surroundings.

Sable Pope, 13

First would be the four day car trip with three different motels. Then we’d be living in a basement suite at a friend’s place in Victoria for six weeks, at which time they would be moving to a new home – without a rental suite. So then, after those six weeks, Sable, Soda (my other dog) and I would have to move again.

This meant that, upon arrival in Victoria, I would have six weeks to either find new digs to rent that would accept two German Shepherds and be suitable for a blind dog – as in a fenced yard and no stairs – or buy my own place.

When my friends in Victoria first told me of their change in plans to sell their home with the rental suite, I must confess my stress level went up a notch…and I found that out when Sable still had her sight. So when she went blind, I REALLY started to worry about where the heck the three of us would live, come the end of June.

But I did have six weeks to look. Not.

The day after I arrived in Victoria, Sable started crying and pacing. I rushed her to emergency. Her eye pressure had spiked again; the drops were no longer working. Four days later, out came that second eye.

Caring for a large elderly blind dog is one thing. Caring for a large elderly blind dog after major surgery is quite another. Click To Tweet

In the week following Sable’s surgery, I knew I wouldn’t be able leave her alone at home for very long nor could I take her in the car with me. This would make looking for a new place to live rather difficult, which pretty much left the four days between me finding out her eye pressure had gone through the roof – and her surgery.

Sure enough, it was during this grace period that I was driving down a street in Sidney when I saw a sign for an open house. I had my friends’ kids in the car and one of them went in with me. The realtor showed us around the cute little bungalow. When she took us through the kitchen and into the sunroom addition, my mouth fell open. It was perfect for my office! Two days later, I put in an offer.

From a timing perspective, it is only in hindsight that all this makes sense.

The temporary basement suite turned out to be an ideal place for Sable to heal because a) there were no stairs and it was a small, manageable space; b) I had three little girls helping me care for her and; c) she had my full attention because the big move from Calgary was done and we had our new place lined up.

When I started thinking about this move in the bigger picture, I realized just how incredibly good the timing was. My home in Calgary was a four level split…that’s at least twenty stairs. After Sable went blind, she couldn’t DO stairs anymore! If I were still in Calgary, she’d either be alone every night or I would be sleeping in the living room.

Plus, if I didn’t have an imposed six-week timeline to find a place to live, I wouldn’t have been looking very hard – and therefore probably wouldn’t have found my new home.

Speaking of which, it was on June 29th – nine years and nine months to the day that my husband, John, died – that I moved into my new home in Sidney.

And get this: 

The movers had just finished bringing all the furniture and boxes into the house. Then they walked out the front door and I walked out the back. I stood there a moment, in the middle of the yard, looking around and smiling. Then I looked up to the sky and said a ‘thank you’ to whoever might be listening – and then went back inside the sunroom where all my office boxes were now stacked. And there, sitting on top of one of the file boxes was John’s old Timex.

No way.

The only rational explanation I can come up with is that when one of the movers was carrying a Bankers box, it was tilted and John’s watch fell out of the hole where the handle is. If so, it was strange that no one said anything to me about finding it. And I certainly hadn’t started any unpacking yet.

I picked up the watch and smiled…and in my heart, I heard John say, “Right on time, Pope.”

A few weeks later, I found this cute little wall-hanging in town:

I hung it in the kitchen of my bungalow by the sea 🙂

Your turn…

Have you every experienced something that seemed like really lousy timing – but then in hindsight, it made perfect sense? Have you every experienced something that seemed like really lousy timing - but then in hindsight, it made perfect sense? Click To Tweet

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a Director with the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive Maryanne’s blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.

Share this post

14 thoughts on “Right on Time”

  1. My dear friend MA: What an unbelievable and yet believable story! I am truly happy for you now that you are settled. Please email me sometime when you are able. Lots on not so good things have happened. But, as usual, I keep learning staying on the light side.
    I love you,

  2. Dear Maryanne,

    “Right on Time” — how beautiful. I love your story and congratulations on the big move! I too appreciate timing and synchronicity. And I agree that timing is often out of our control. It’s neat to look back and see how all things fit together.

    I have been in touch with you throughout the past couple of years…I worked at Speers Funeral Chapel in Regina and my name was Crystal Olson then. We never know where life may take us…now I live in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

    I hope you are enjoying your new home in Sidney. We were just there in the beginning of this summer for our honeymoon. We enjoyed touring around the island very much!

    All the best,

  3. Hi Maryanne,
    Once again, you’ve riveted me to all of your stories. I’m thrilled for you, and congratulate you for fulfilling your dreams and going for it! Your stories always bring about some sort of emotion for me and touch me deeply. Give Sable and Soda a squeeze for me and “good on ya girl” for making it all happen!

  4. What a beautiful story Maryanne! And as you say, the timing was perfect! So glad you made it through the tough move and are now living on our beautiful island.


  5. Hi Maryanne,
    My husband Bob sent me your newsletter. We used to volunteer together at the Southland dog park for the Ranger program…which I just found has come to and end and won’t be around in the future. I just read your story about Sable and it’s very touching; what a wonderful caregiver you are, and I’m sure she knows how lucky she is to have your guidance. Sidney is a great town with such a slow pace, I’m sure you’ll all be just fine in your new surroundings!
    We lost our Micah to cancer in April. She’d had a large tumor removed from her stomach which was benign. However, when they were operating, they found lymphatic cancer and gave her 6-8 weeks to live, which was exactly how long she stayed with us. She passed at home in our back yard, which was a blessing in the end.
    Anyways I just wanted to pass on my congratulations on your move to BC and your career. Good luck and give Soda and especially Sable big hugs.

    Take Care,
    Diana & Bob Sumner

  6. Hi Maryanne,
    I’m so glad to hear Sable is doing much better; she’s very lucky to have you at her side! I’m happy to hear that your move to Sidney has gone so well — the timing seems perfect. And John’s Timex Watch incident is mind boggling and so interesting. I had a similar thing happen on the day my Dad was buried, June 25. I’ll have to tell you some time. It really makes one wonder how do these things happen!?
    Take care and we’ll talk soon. Sarah

  7. Hi Sarah…Me again!

    Boy…do I feel like a silly goose! I just noticed some feedback e-mails on my blog…whoops! I am so technically illiterate at times, I’ve got to laugh at myself. At any rate, I can’t wait to hear what happened on the day of your dad’s funeral that was kind of like the watch thing. I really liked hearing some of the detail about Graham’s eulogy and that your dad was so charitable and buried in Three Hills…you must be experiencing some really mixed emotions about your dad no longer being in physical pain and yet you missing him.

    Take care and talk soon,

  8. Hi Diana! I’m not sure if this e-mail will go through to you or not…I just found your comments on my blog, so I’m obviously a bit daft with all this technical stuff! It is so awesome to hear from you but I am so sorry to hear about Micah…oh man, that must have been so difficult! That’s really amazing that she passed away in your backyard. Your heart must have broken…I still remember how much she loved the word PIZZA!

    How are you and Bob doing? How is your work going? Lots of changes at the off-leash park and the Ranger program by the sounds of it. That’s too bad about no more Ranger program…it was excellent! I was just looking at a photo the other day of Sable and Soda in their green ranger bandanas 🙂

    Please take care and keep in touch…come for a visit when you’re out this way!

  9. Hidy ho! Awesome to hear from you Col…I hope you’re doing okay. Let’s book a phone chat soon to catch up, okay?

  10. Hi Crystal…I don’t think my other repy went through! Just a quick note to say hi and thanks so much for e-mailing me the kind words. What are you up to in Yorkton?

  11. Hi Leslie….argh…not sure if my other e-mail/reply went through or not so I’ll send one again! Thanks so much for dropping me a line and yes, I will give S&S a squeeze for you 🙂 Hope your image consulting biz is going well…let me know what you’re up to when you get a sec. I know there’s lots going on!

    Take care,

  12. This is from Wendy:

    I finally got a chance to finish your story. Now that story was cool! Life works in mysterious ways my friend. Gave me goose bumps!

  13. Hi Maryanne,
    The timing of your blog could not have been at a better time for me! Just this morning I prayed for a particular situation and after I read your blog I said, “Message received.” I realize this might not make sense to you but it sure does to me!

    Have a great time in San Diego… I love that city!


  14. Oh wow…that is SO neat, Jayne! I don’t know the details of what you are referring to, of course – but I sure understand that moment of “Message received.” It is pretty cool when that happens 🙂
    I loved San Diego, too!! I will be blogging about our trip this week.
    Take care,

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.