Too Coincidental to be a Coincidence

Yesterday we woke up in our AirTran provided hotel in Atlanta and headed to the airport.  On the way, Shannon received a phone call from her sister Debbie, who we knew was also doing some traveling with her friend Angela.  What we didn’t realize is that the air travel mayhem from the recent east coast snowstorms landed them in Atlanta as well.  By some act of god, the cancellations, delays, and reroutes provided us a brief 15 minute encounter in the airport.  Great to see you both!  Hope you have a great time in Cabo San Lucas, you are riding in a good direction!

Crossing Paths

Mom and Dad picked us up at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport with the car loaded and ready to go, but before leaving town we stopped by Joe T Garcia’s for lunch one more time; Dad needed to experience this place.  The temperature had warmed a little from the previous week and we were able to show Mom and Dad their amazing gardens without the felt covers that protect the flowers from the frost.  Another great experience, but Mom’s expression says it all.  The four of us split three meals and we still walked away with tons of leftovers.  We’re ready for some salads or turkey sandwiches over the next few days.

Joe T Garcia's


After lunch we started driving west toward Abilene, Texas.  Finally, we’re back on the road and I can clear my head of those dark “random thoughts.”  As we passed through the small rural towns in our path we were intrigued by the Texas culture.  First was the coolest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen made of hub caps, spark plugs, and tons of other car parts I can’t name.  Next was the country store with all things Texas including the cow hydes Shannon has been trying to find.  We flipped through numerous large rug sized hydes before settling on a very nice dark one with the white spots.  As she brought it to the counter, I started to have second thoughts; this might be a bit too much hyde for our victorian style house and furniture.  We reconvened and settled for a much smaller hyde that provides just a hint of Texas.

Oh Christmas Tree

Just off the Wagon

On a much sadder note, I recently learned that Mr. Mochol, a very memorable teacher from Wayland-Cohocton Central School, recently passed away following a difficult battle with cancer.  I am very sorry to hear this news and will always remember him for his gift of entertaining us with incredible music and a great sense of humor.  Walking down the hall of the science wing you could count on a warm greeting, laughter, and a big smile.  Until our paths cross again…


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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11 Responses to Too Coincidental to be a Coincidence

  1. Aaron says:

    As ELISA and I just finished watching Inception… Coincidence???? In which layer do you currently exist? Can you touch your totem? Or are you waiting for the kick to reel you back a layer closer?

    If I were as talented as my inspirational cousin Mike, I would offer the perfect clip, alas, I am not!

    Great to see you back on the road Bret! We are extremely excited to catch up with you in 2 weeks!

    • Cousin Geoffrey says:

      Great to see Team Hoefen back up to full strength and heading west! Welcome back Uncle Jim! I know you were hugely missed!

      Travel safe and watch those one-way streets!

      Aaron – another coincidence…we too were going to watch ‘inception’ tonight, but chose ‘Valentine’s Day’ instead. Bad move on our part! I’m not going to get that 2 hours back…

      • Cousin Mike says:

        Well the co-inky dinks keep on rolling in. Aaron, you were watching Inception and I have seen a movie called Titanic, which also stars Inception’s Leonardo DiCaprio. It was a small budget, low release film–you may not have heard of it…
        Jeff, you chose to watch Valentine’s Day, and I choose to celebrate it! Strange things are in our future, and as George Costanza from Seinfeld would exclaim, “world’s are colliding”.

    • Cousin Mike says:

      I am such a nerd.

      • Cousin Michelle says:

        While the movie theme continues…. I just got my hands on 127 hours. So as Simona naps this afternoon I am about to curl up and watch this movie. Thinking of you all!

  2. David and Laraine says:

    Hi Guys!
    SO glad you are finally back on the road again! Heading toward Abilene, Michael tells us the BEST place to eat is in Buffalo Gap. It is Perini Ranch Steakhouse, and the food is awesome (yummy hominy , ribs and bourbon bread pudding– made with Blanton’s???!) Michael bought us their cookbook, and we love it! Supposedly, it is rated the second best steakhouse in all of Texas! So, if you get the chance….. West Texas is something else, says Michael!! He enjoyed Lubbock, the birthplace of Buddy Holley!
    Travel safely, and ENJOY!!!
    David and Laraine
    PS The snow just keeps piling up here!

  3. tim says:

    Standing in the deepest black of dark rural night, facing up into the broad expanse of infinite universe, we are drawnupinto awe…… the presence of that CreativeEnergy which holds steady in their dance…the twinkling stars, the shining planets.
    That Creative Energy which makes of all……ONE.
    And, the human experience of that Integrative Creative Energy that makes us one…we call……Love.

    Standing now outside institutional religion, I am left facing…Jesus of Nazareth…not the God of the myths or denominational battles over meaning…but Jesus the man from Nazareth…muscle, fiber, sinew, tendon, bone… enfleshing (in-carn-ating) that Creative Energy, the itinerant teacher, teaching us how to be Love. And as those with “heros” often ask, “What would Jesus do?”
    Reading your description of the life you have chosen, Bret, “creating stories, building memories, and sharing my adventure” I was caught short with the realization…That’s what Jesus did!
    You have chosen a journey not simply to be healed, but to heal.
    That in this earthy life, whether it passes tomorrow or in 20 years, in the midst of darkness/pain, we write with our lives… in every new day… stories of Love that endure…real stories of Love to be found in the midst of beer, and salsa, and pills, and pain, and laughter…that’s all we really have…… today…….every day, in a new and ordinary place, to create new stories of Love…amid unexpected encounters with friends, with strangers.
    Bret, you have given us to blog a new “gospel” of Love.
    Thanks for opening yourself up to being an itinerant teacher – just by being you!
    Bret, you are Love.

  4. Uncle Kevin & Aunt Judy says:

    Glad that you are all together again and back on the road. Things are pretty quiet in our lives when you’re not making memories for us all! We so look forward to your reports! Enjoy Texas–it’s pretty wintery here in the North, as you know. We were talking about ‘Snow-mobile Weekend’ and how this weekend would’ve been so perfect. I’ll bet your Dad misses all those late night rides being dragged along the trails of Wayland:-) He probably questions whether those rides were in a good direction!

  5. Dean Robertson says:

    I am Shannon’s cousin; we’ve met a couple of times at family Christmas parties. I know that I don’t know you very well, but, especially since I’ve been reading your blog and seeing you ask some questions about eternity, I wanted to make sure you knew the truth. Six years ago, I had a massive stroke. It was completely unexpected. I was young, healthy (so I thought), and loved my family. My life suddenly came to a standstill. When I was in the ER, I knew that I was going away from this Earth. As the doctors and nurses worked on me, I slipped out of consciousness. Let me be clear: since I was a young boy, I had always believed in heaven, and I knew how to get there. I had and have a relationship with God/Jesus Christ. That said, as I started to slip away, I heard two familiar voices, the voices of my grandmothers. One was MawMaw Robertson. These voices told me, “You are coming home, Dean.” Then, I heard a man’s voice (chillbumps!). He said,”No. It is not your time. There are many things you still must do.” I KNEW that this voice was my Jesus, my best friend, my Savior. Suddenly, I was back in the Emergency Room. Despite that life-changing event, it was many months before my speech was good enough to tell my wife, Karrie, what had happened to me. During this time of recovery, I cried a lot. I cried because I wanted to go back home to be with my Jesus. The point of telling you all of this is that I want you to know that Heaven is a REAL place, the most glorious place ever made. You don’t get there because you’re pretty or talented or nice, though. Everyone has good qualities, but everyone has fallen short of God’s perfection. Because God is perfect, He can’t be in the presence of sin. It’s against His nature. Still, He loved us so much that He sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to die for each and every one of us. Bret, He would have died for YOU, even if you were the only person to have ever lived. That’s how much the God of the Universe LOVES YOU. He came to give you life, abundant life. All you have to do is acknowledge that you’re not perfect–because you’re not. Then, you accept that His Son, Jesus, was the perfect sacrifice to clean up all of your screw-ups. Heaven knows we all need it. He will save you, just like He saved me. Then, when Jesus and my grandmothers are on the same page about when I’m supposed to come home, I’ll get to see you again–minus the crappy eggnog. Here are some verses to clarify what I’ve written down. The best place to look them up (in my humble opinion) is, which features 50 different translations, so you can be as informed as possible! Know that we love you and are praying for you.

    Verses to look up:
    Romans 3:10
    Romans 3:23
    Romans 5:8
    Romans 6:23
    Romans 10:9-10
    Romans 10:13



  6. Debbie says:

    Hello Road Warriors from very sunny Cabo San Lucas!!

    You can’t know the minute I walked away from you guys I began to cry–and cry in earnest. You know me–I’m the farthest thing from shy there is and I bawled my eyes out on the Atlanta train between terminals.

    Ange said to me “Its ok–look how great Bret looked! And how happy Shannon is!”

    She thought I was sad or upset. But I wasn’t–I was overjoyed with the fact that through bizarre circumstances our paths crossed and I got to hold my baby sister in my arms and hug her–if only for a few minutes. I got to hug Bret (and you do look good! I’m SO digging the beard). I was happy that all the misery of missed planes and delayed overnight stays paid off in that I got to see you both.

    15 minutes only–but for me–a salve to my soul.

    Keep riding in the right direction guys and I cannot wait to see you again–hopefully longer than just 15 minutes.


  7. Scott says:

    So sad to hear about Mr. Mochol… truly one of the greatest teachers of all time. I remember how he used to play the fiddle for birthdays, he even taught me how to let go for improv purposes to get to area-all state jazz band! He’ll be missed, the future kids of Way-Coh have no idea what was lost.

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