SOUTH PORTLAND – My compulsion to enter contests has netted me some odd items.

Whenever I see an entry blank to win a prize, I cannot resist filling it out and dropping it in the box, even if sometimes I have no idea what is being raffled off.

This has made for some unusual surprises. A sleeping bag made to look like a giant Hershey bar and a basketball with a logo of a laundry detergent on it were items that I won. They were ideal gifts for my little nephew.

At a church raffle, I was taken aback by winning $25 from a funeral home; thankfully it was a check and not credit toward my funeral. I am not ready to check out yet, even at a discount price.

Church raffles have been especially fortunate for me. Before Christmas, I won a whole set of Spider-man items, including a Spider-man scooter and a helmet to go with it.

It made the perfect Christmas gift for my 4-year-old nephew.

At another church fair I won a basket full of baby items for a baby boy. Shortly after that, my niece had a little baby boy. Perfect timing.

By writing a little rhyme about “Why I Love My Newspaper,” I won four tickets to a bluegrass festival, so my nephew and his wife and their friends had a wonderful time at this event at Saddleback Mountain.

Other tickets that I have won have been to hockey games, and my hockey-loving friends were delighted with these. My first time to The Ice Follies was with tickets that I had won. What a great show it was.

Another unusual item I won at a church fair was that I could have a poem written for me on any subject that I wanted.

I met with the talented young poet and had a memorial poem written for a deceased relative.

UPS knocked at my door one day and had me sign for a manila envelope. Was it a summons?

No, I had won a $50 gift certificate to a supermarket, and two sessions with a registered dietitian. My doctor had just informed me that I had high cholesterol, so it was another timely event.

While shopping at a department store one day, I dropped one entry into a drawing for a television set.

Immediately after returning home from the store, the phone rang and they informed me I had won a 27-inch TV. Our set had broken down a few days earlier, and we could not believe our good fortune.

I have won a basket of fruit, cosmetic bags, a black wig suitable for Halloween, gift certificates to restaurants, lottery tickets and a hand-knitted afghan.

My most recent winning prize was a basket of goodies at my niece’s bridal shower. I had the luncheon plate with the little red heart on the bottom, making me the winner.

I’ve been told that I look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but I really do think every day is full of wonderful little surprises if you are open to them.

Finding a shiny new penny, a friend stopping by with a bouquet of wildflowers, a perfect Maine summer day. Shangri-La!

Just recently a tractor-trailer truck pulled up in front of my house to deliver a porch rocker that I had won by doing a survey at a restaurant. How perfect a fit it made for my retirement years.

My only explanation for my luck is maybe the law of averages and a winning attitude. I feel like such a lucky person, fate smiles on me.

Now if I can only win Powerball …

– Special to the Press Herald