Family, Friendship, Love

Serendipity – A Fairy Tale

Family, Friendship, Love

It started with an Angel. An Angel named Mary Ellen. The three Princes were gathered in the palace of the King. The Princess could not join them, not well enough to make the long journey. Nor, in fact, was the King present. He, being on a journey of his own. Days before, prior to his departure, the King had issued a proclamation: “Not that you will want them, but, take what you will of the things I have left behind. What you do not want give to the people as a token of goodwill.”

The three princes found themselves surrounded by untold treasures left abandoned in the castle. The King’s prophecy seemed to be true, barely a treasure had been spoken for by the Princes or the Princess. It was then an Angel appeared amongst them (hey…I’ve heard this story before!). She spoke not a word. She seemed to float, yet not. Light surrounded her. Upon her robes there was writing. An ancient text; given the date written after the words. As luck would have it, the bride of one of the Princes knew the ancient language. The fair maid, translated the words: “The Family of Sayre”.

The middle Prince, and most handsome (hey, it’s my freakin’ blog, you other two can write your own blog if you want to be the most handsome!) immediately sent word to the head of the Family of Sayre to join them at the castle. There were a handful of trinkets representing the Holy Days, surely the Family of Sayre would find use for them during the upcoming Season.

When Larry of Sayre arrived, the Princes bestowed upon him a dozen or more trinkets. Being an old and dear friend of the King and very well known to the Princes, they took to telling stories from the ancient of days and more recent news from the Family of Sayre. They were acquiring a second castle in the southern part of the kingdom. A place for their family to rest and to feast. A place for his Princess and Prince to bring their offspring and frolick in the spiritual waters.

Now, I don’t recall who thought of it first, I believe it was the handsome middle Prince (again, it’s my damn blog!), “Don’t you need some fine furnishings for this new castle? Perhaps, a bed upon which to rest after a day of chasing the fox with the hounds? Perhaps a dresser to store your robe and garments? Perhaps a lounge upon which to look out across the kingdom?” Perhaps, a rack in which to store your pages? Perhaps a roll of paper with the King’s seal?

Larry of Sayre was overcome. Yes, he would be honored to take use of the King’s things. He called upon more of the Family of Sayre to bring their wagons, they would fill them with their good fortune. Wagon load, after wagon load of treasures were taken to the the Castle by the Water. Soon, the King’s Castle had but a few items left. The Princes were pleased, they knew the King would be pleased. Not only were his things taken, they were taken by the Family of Sayre. That evening there was rejoicing throughout the land.

…and they all lived happily ever after.

An Angel Named Mary EllenOk, enough with the Fairy Tale…I could not resist! As the actual events described allegorically in the tale unfolded, the word “serendipity” was used multiple times throughout the day. The fact that we found a ceramic angel, upon which mom had written “The Sayres – 2007” was serendipitous. The fact that we called Larry and he was immediately available to come over was serendipitous. The fact that Larry and Nancy, along with their daughter Laura and her husband were, at that moment, in the middle of purchasing a lake cottage was…serendipitous. The fact that they needed furnishings for the cottage…almost the exact furnishings that dad could no longer use was…yep…serendipitous.

Serendipity was a word my mom used a lot while were were growing up. I thought it was some 60’s thing the church had created to compete with groovy, far out, and alright to try and sound cool to teens. I don’t think I had used the word in a sentence in 40 years! When Larry (of) Sayre started using it, I was transported to another place and time.

As I sat down to write this post, I went to Google to look up the definition. Little did I know I would be taken back a wee bit further than the 1960’s. I was taken back all the way to the 1750’s! 1754 to be exact, when Horace Walpole coined the term in a letter. He was describing a Persian Fairy Tale to his correspondent. The fairy tale? “The Three Princes of Serendip”.

There are SO many layers here. Three Princes…(now, do you get the three Princes reference in my little fairy tale??)…the Three Kings from biblical texts, one or all of whom could have been Persian…Persia, today’s Iran. I love when history does that to you…you go looking for one thing and you find another, far more powerful…it’s incredible, you might say…or rather, it’s serendipitous!


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12 replies
  1. Connie pride
    Connie pride says:

    I’ve been reading through your beautifully written posts and they bring back so many memories. The same thing happened to us a few years ago when rick’s mom passed and we had to deal with her stuff. We were blessed to share your mom’s donuts. We miss mark too. Yep, we were at fbc in the 70’s, even your youth leaders! Your dad was a wonderful pastor and the sayres were our best friends in that long ago time. Your family maxe an impact on us. Glad you have been so sucessful and willing to share your thoughts on your blog. Connie pride

    • Jeff Ton
      Jeff Ton says:


      So great to hear from you! I remember well your youth leader days…I am SURE we drove you to distraction! LOL. As I recall, you had a daughter, Linda, in the youth group…how is she? We have recently reconnected with Hal and Beth Bloss…so many great memories…so many great friends…and so many new memories to make!

      • Anonymous
        Anonymous says:

        Rick’s sister was Linda, but we had two daughters who were babies at the time, Cari and Lori. Cari is an occupational therapist in Crawforsdville and Lori is a Chemical Engineer in the Chicago area. Lori has two kids. All doing well. Don’t know if you remember but Beth Bloss is Rick’s cousin, so we keep in touch with them as well. Lots of good membories in Evansville.

        I still have nightmares of taking the jr highs roller skating and I think it was you who came flying at me out of control screaming because you couldn’t stop.! I think that’s why I never wanted to be a teacher.;-)

        • Anonymous
          Anonymous says:

          Linda was actually 9 years younger than Rick, so that would have put her in high school when we were married and you were probably junior high or so, , but I don’t recall that she was active in youth group, especially when we were leading, but you might very well have remembered her. In retrospect she was probably half way between your age and ours! Crazy how age puts things in perspective. She’s married, has two college age kids, and is an environmental planner for the city of Bloomington.


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