I know it’s not cool to talk about religious beliefs, unless it’s about “the universe.” I’m not sure who “the universe” is – a distant planet, a committee of aliens – but for some reason “the universe” casts its random favor on people, helping them to avoid an accident or leading them to something. I have my own name for this guiding benevolence – Guardian Angels. I consider them helpers from God, like Clarence in the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Not only do they help me with the big things like avoiding a car crash (or speed trap), but little things that happen all day long.

Stading beside the garden trellis I built
My garden trellis. Thank you Guardian Angels!

Here’s an example. I just got a small garden plot at a community garden and wanted to make a trellis for cucumbers and tomatoes, and true to my character, I wanted to spend as little money as possible. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do it for the last couple of days, staying up too late looking at ideas online and lying in bed fretting, picturing amazing trellises I could make but everything idea was labor intensive and expensive. I want it now and I want it cheap.

Today I went to Home Depot and wandered around, hoping to get inspiration. I decided to build a wood framed trellis and create a lattice with metal mesh – anything I could find that wouldn’t cost too much. I looked all over for some skinny wood, called furring strips, recommended on a YouTube video, but Home Depot hid them somewhere. Seriously, I cruised the lumber aisle twice and couldn’t find them. But when I went to ask someone I came across the bad-wood pile and a heavenly sign that said “70% Off.” 

Guess what was in there? Go ahead, guess. I found 2” x 2” wood, more sturdy than the 1” x 2” furring strips I would have used if I could have found it. Granted, the wood was all warped and had knot holes and splits and broken parts, but it was perfect (cheap). And guess how many of them were in the pile. Go ahead, I dare you! There were twelve – exactly the number I needed in exactly the eight-foot length I wanted. They ended up costing me about fifty cents each. I tilted my head up and said an exuberant “thank you!” to my Guardian Angel.

Then I looked for the metal lattice and found concrete remesh that was way less spendy than fencing, but still $9.47 a panel, and I would need four panels. Way over my budget. Then a thought came into my head to use twine and weave it into a lattice. I sighed because it would take so long, but it would be a lot less expensive, so off I went to the garden section and what do you think I found? Take a wild guess. Okay, I’m sorry, it’s annoying, but it was such a surprise, such a gift to me. I didn’t find twine, I found a nylon net that was five feet by eight feet. Remember my warped wood? It’s also eight feet. This net was a ready-made trellis. I wanted to get down on my knees to thank my Guardian Angel when I looked at the price, only $3.98. It was a miracle, I tell you. My whole project would end up costing me less than $20, wouldn’t take a lot of time, and would be exactly what I wanted.

Now some of you will smile to yourself and and snort and say it was just a coincidence, that I couldn’t find the furring strips because I’m blind in one eye and can’t see out the other, that there just happened to be the perfect amount of wood in that reject pile, that the twine trellis thought only came to me because I’d already seen something like it online, that Vigaro makes twine trellises and Home Depot stocks them so it was inevitable that I’d “discover” them. All evidence that it wasn’t divine intervention but the natural order of things or some such hogwash. 

You’re wrong, This is typical of the “good luck” I have all the time, especially when I say a little prayer asking for help. Red lights are green when I’m in a hurry. I find something I’ve misplaced because I got a thought to look for it somewhere I never would have looked. These minor things occur all day long, and I actually feel like someone is practically steering me to good fortune. It never feels coincidental.

Some of you would say it’s “the universe.” I say it’s God helping me though my Guardian Angel. Which one of us is the craziest? Well, it’s not me.

So many people just seem to struggle and have a little dark cloud over their head, and I get that too. I feel desperate and stressed and exhausted and even unloved some of the time like most people do, I suppose. But there’s a fairly steady current of contentment that runs through me, and it sometimes escalates all the way to joy – especially at times like today, when my Guardian Angel led me to the bad wood pile and everything fell into place.