Frances McDormand…Three Billboards
Whenever Trish and I travel and get out of our usual routines, it seems the synchronicities bubble to the surface. That was definitely the case on the first weekend of January when we visited our daughter in Orlando, and Trish held an astrology workshop in the spiritualist community of Cassadaga, located 35 miles northeast of the city. Trish only knew that two or three people had signed up for the workshop, so she was surprised when 14 people showed up.
After returning to Orlando from the workshop, we decided to go to a movie with our daughter and that’s when the synchronicities began. Megan initially wanted to see The Greatest Showman, but Trish and I aren’t into musicals so we decided to go to an arts theater and see The Shape of Water. But the timing was wrong and the distance too far, so we settled on seeing Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at a theater in nearby Winter Park. Megan had already seen it and assured us it was a really good movie—in spite of the title.
She was right. We thought the story was startling, dramatic and humorous with a very unHollywood-like ending. The acting by Francis McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Kerry Condon was superb and Woody Harrelson was his usual intriguing self. Before we left for the movie, Megan had wanted to record the Golden Globe awards, but had problems with her DVR and was able to do it.
So on the way home from dinner and the movie, she Googled the awards and we were amazed (yet not surprised) to find out that the script of Three Billboards won the Best Screenplay Award. The award was actually given while we were watching the movie. By the time we got home, we’d found out that Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Award and Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor, and to top it off, the movie won the Best Drama Motion Picture Award. So, yeah, we picked the right movie to see that night.
Maybe that synchronicity cued us up for the startling one that would follow the next morning. As we were getting ready for the return trip, Trish received an e-mail from author Whitley Strieber. Incredibly, he asked her if we’d ever heard of the spiritualist town of Cassadaga, Florida. He said he would be visiting there within the coming two weeks to meet with someone who had some sort of mysterious project in mind. He asked if we wanted to get together with him for a lunch, if we lived somewhere within striking distance.
Of course, Trish replied that we not only knew of the place, but were there the day before. We warned Whitley that the Cassadaga Hotel is haunted and the beds are hard, and suggested that he might want to stay at a nearby b&b. But he wrote back that in spite of the hard beds, he felt that the spooky hotel was where he should stay. Trish told him that we’d been scared out of our wits years ago while staying in a room at the top of the stairs to the left. He responded awhile later that he was booked in Room 38, which is at the top of the stairs to the left!
We’ve known Whitley for years, mainly through our numerous appearances on his Unknown Country podcast and e-mail exchanges. But this will be the first time that we’ll meet him in person. So already we’re looking forward to a return trip to Cassadaga sooner rather than later.
An hour or so later, we headed back to South Florida, getting onto the always hectic I-4. We’d barely gone a couple of miles when we noticed an oval-shaped object on the horizon in the distance, several miles away. We quickly recognized it as a blimp. We continued on, existed I-4 after several miles and entered the Florida Turnpike. That’s when we saw the blimp again. Now closer. As we drove on, we seemed to be heading toward the blimp and the blimp seemed to be heading toward us. We could read, GOODYEAR, clearly on the side of the blimp and it came so close we thought we could see people in the windows of the carriage at the bottom.
Amazingly, as the blimp reached the turnpike, it was heading in the same direction we were moving and passed right overhead. For a couple of minutes, we lost site of it, because it was above us. Then the road turned and the blimp came back into view on the opposite side of the turnpike. We took it as another sign—a Good Year ahead!
As if to top it off, Trish bought a lotto ticket while in Orlando and won $100. A great weekend of interesting synchros!