Wonderful News From Friends & Strangers

by Katy on December 9, 2013 · 20 comments

Purple Fiat

Although my last few days have been dull and centered around bundling up for warmth and avoiding leaving our cozy home at all costs, such is not the case for everyone. (Portland has been experiencing record low temperatures over the past four days.) I was told of two, count ’em two fantastic stories this weekend, where against all odds, people have been rewarded in the best possible way!

For off is my friend and neighbor Belinda, whose husband bought her a single raffle ticket to support Rose City Rollers, our local hipster roller derby league. You know, “Sure, I’ll buy a ticket, happy to support you.” We’ve all done it, and then we forget about it, because the odds of winning are miniscule.  But it didn’t end there, because my friend actually won the grand prize of a brand-spanking-new Fiat!

She won a brand new car! A cute car, a purple car, a tiny car, but perfect car for her delightful family of three.

I am so happy for her!

The second story is from my friend Gerard, whose coworker, James Stevens went ahead and self published a novel he’d written years earlier for his daughters. And that book, Hatch (Dragons of Laton) is now a ginormous best seller on Amazon, and he was able to pay off his mortgage within a few months of publication.

Mind you, writing and self-publishing a novel is an tremendous effort, some would even say easier than buying that single raffle ticket, but there’s just something so wonderful about stories like these.

Good things happening to good people.

In a world where disturbing and bad news can be a daily occurrence, these feel good stories warm my heart.

Now, to get to work on my book proposal so my rags-to-riches story can warm your heart!

Do you have any great stories to tell? Please share them in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

PoppyEcho December 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

This is not GREAT but made me feel good- Found a large palm plant in the garbage. no pot. I wished for a huge pot. @ days late came across a large galvanised metal bucket in someone’s free pile. perfect. Now I’m wishing for some potting dirt… I think that “the secret” book is crap but i’m having a “wish and it appears” period in my life. I also won 2 lovely handknitted scarves in a raffle.


Belinda December 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thank you! And yes, I can’t wait for your rags to riches story, though I suspect you’ll still be living your non-consumer way of life, riches or no.


Linda M December 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

Time to sound sappy: I think if we are all honest, our lives are continually full of miracles and wonderful things….maybe not as earth shattering as winning the car or have a successful novel published. But we all need to look inward a little deeper and also be grateful for our friends’ good fortunes also. It is so neat to have you, Katy, be so excited for someone else’s good fortune….that is truly the trait of a kind and grateful person.


nalani December 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Just telling these stories in your post spreads the happiness!

Congrats to all!


Jennifer B December 9, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Small, but huge: my husband’s parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this Saturday. They are such a wonderful, kind, loving couple, and I feel extremely lucky to have them as role models for my own marriage, and for my children to see what a successful life is about. My brother-in-law has coordinated a quilt made from squares from friends and family, highlighting memories that we’ve all had of them.


Joanne December 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I just got a job after 12 years of not having one. I wasn’t looking for about 6 of those years, and then 4 more of concentrating on college, but actively looking for two.

Yay! Hey, it’s 8 hours a week, and it’s at a store where I want to buy everything so even with my employee discount I’m not sure I’ll have much take-home pay, but still, it’s a start!


CarrieP December 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Yay! I love your attitude Joanne. It inspires me to be more positive. I hope you have many great & unexpected blessings in 2014.


Morgan December 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

This cold is ridiculous! I am hiding out and not coming out unless absolutely necessary


Yankeegal December 9, 2013 at 4:17 pm

What a nice post-stories like these are always welcome!


Tina S. December 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

A few months before I got married, I found a beautiful ring on the sidewalk and turned it in to the police station. I posted a lost and found ad on craigslist, but no one responded.

A couple months later, no one had come to pick up the ring at the police station, so I was able to claim it. The ring was beautiful, it fit me perfectly, and it matched the modest engagement ring my husband had given me (we didn’t have much money at the time). I had the ring cleaned up and appraised – it turns out it was a one-carat diamond set in platinum. It’s gorgeous, and I love it. I figure the universe sent it our way….and I’m extremely grateful. 🙂


michelle d December 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Last year my husband realized his dream of opening a small breakfast restaurant. I also found out I was pregnant – my 1% chance of it happening without fertility treatments. I have three boys through IVF and now we are adding a fourth little miracle early next year. When I think about my wish list for my life I feel like I have received everything and more.


Michelle December 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

It’s been a very bad week here, but reading about your friends reassured me that good stuff is happening out there — thanks for sharing!


Kathleen December 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

On our neighborhood Facebook page, a neighbor posted a request to see if someone had an extra Christmas tree for a family in need. That need was met and the conversation continued and additional details were revealed about their circumstances. Long story short, neighbors continued to donate and supplied the family with clothes, furniture, and food. I observed this transaction, after the fact, but it was a joy to read about people donating to help strangers in need.


Celeste L. December 10, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thanks for sharing some warm and happy news on a cold, cold day!


JD December 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

Good things are great to hear and read about. Two years ago, my son-in-law bought one ticket and won a car, and it still makes us all feed good to think about– plus, we all want him to purchase our raffle tickets for us! Your friend will have to pay the taxes on the car, but the taxes are sure cheaper than buying one, and you have to pay the taxes if you buy one, anyway.
Another plus, I opened a used old spare file folder in the supply cabinet and found nothing but a $20.00 bill in it. There was literally no way to know who’d left it so long ago, so I got to keep it. Yay!


Monica December 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

I never get tired of hearing about the good things people are doing for others, or their own good luck/good news stories. There are websites out there that are strickly good news providers, but you have to PAY to read them. Thanks Katy, for giving people the opportunity to share.


jennifer p December 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

have you ever thought about writing a book.i would buy your book.i think you are so clever and interesting with all of your frugal and interesting stories and tips.im sure there are alot of people that would be interested in your book.


Katy December 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

Aww, thank you! I am supposed to be putting a book proposal together right now, but somehow I keep finding other things to keep me busy.



James Stevens December 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Hello! I’m afraid there is a slight error in your report of my book, Hatch (The Dragons of Laton).
Yes, it has been a tremendous hit, and totally unexpected because, as you stated, it was written specifically for my daughters!
However the bit about paying off my mortgage is sadly, not true.
Perhaps if the book continues as it is, or grows…that may actually come true!
Now, in the spirit of reporting uplifting news I will tell you I was contacted by the mother of a young boy with a reading disorder. He apparently doesn’t like to read but found Hatch enjoyable and looks forward to reading the next book I write!


Katy December 14, 2013 at 8:53 am


Sorry about that error, I will have to give some grief to my secret source! I am planning on buying a copy of your book for my son, so hopefully that will add a few dollars towards your “pay off the mortgage” fund. 😉

Thank you so much for sharing the story of reaching a young reluctant reader, how wonderful to hear that something you wrote for your daughters has such amazing ripple effects.



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