Serendipity: “. . . finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for” (Webster’s Dictionary)

A truly serendipitous event doesn’t come along every day.

I’ve always loved shopping for school supplies. Since I’m now an adult I need to call them “office supplies,” but the principle is the same. Even now, back-so-school season infuses me with the nostalgia of new shoes, new notebooks, and finding the perfect box of crayons.

A few days ago, I asked my Facebook friends if anyone remembered the “Nifty” — a binder with two holes at the top for special Nifty loose-leaf paper and a magnetic-closure compartment to hold a pencil and eraser. It was from the mid-1960s, so that gives you a clue as to my age.

Mine was brown — boring, serviceable brown. Keep in mind, this was before they began marketing colors and designs that would appeal to children. I don’t remember how I learned about the Nifty, but every elementary-aged child who was anybody had to have one.

Last weekend, a few days after posing the Nifty question to my FB friends, I was on my way home from the flea market and randomly stopped at a garage sale. There wasn’t much in the sale assortment that appealed to me and I was about to leave, when I skimmed my eyes over the last table. There, atop a pile of assorted office supplies, was a distinctive black binder with the “hinge” at the top. Could it be?

It was a Nifty — fully loaded with the special top-punched paper.

I felt God smiling. Still do.

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