There are a handful of places that have a very special place in my heart. When I am in each of those places it always feels like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at that exact moment in time – they each feel like I’m home. Some of them are pretty straightforward, The Big Island, New Zealand, Iceberg Lake, Copper Harbor, and my home. Others are much more all encompassing, anywhere with Becky and/or the boys. Today I was reminded of one that really doesn’t quite fit with the rest.
A couple of days ago I got a call that our lawn mower had been repaired. When I heard the voicemail I smiled and started looking forward to my upcoming road trip to Brownsville, MN. All of our small engine repairs (as well as our storage) are done with Al at Al’s Small Engine and Whitesitt Storage. Ever since we met Al after buying our pontoon he’s our go to person when we have something to store or a small engine repair that’s outside of my comfort zone.
When I loaded up in the car this morning to head to pick up our lawn mower I felt a kind of crazy sensation, I felt like I was going home. Weird, right? Who would ever think that driving 20 minutes to a small engine mechanic who is completely unrelated to you would ever feel like going home? But to me that’s totally what it felt like.
It sank in while driving when I realized I had a huge smile on my face. I paused for a moment and pondered why I would be so excited to drive this far when I do it all the time for work and it sometimes feels so tiresome. As I thought about it I caught myself smiling, listening to great music, and it just felt like I was going home. There’s really no better way to explain it. Something in my gut felt like I was going exactly where I was supposed to be at that exact moment. The same way it feels every time I head that way. It doesn’t matter whether I’m driving solo like I was today or with company as I ave done that past few times.
The beautiful drive along the river seems so natural. There’s a feeling of getting away from reality and the busy-ness of life to get back to a slower time. It’s like there’s no agenda, no next steps, to task list. When I’m on the road there time stops and I’m totally calm. There is no stress or worry. Heck, I even catch myself going the speed limit instead of my normal speed!
Once I get to Al’s it’s this weird crossing of realities. In so many ways when I am talking with Al it seems as if I’m talking to some of my favorite parts of some of my favorite people. Al has a laid back yet, incredibly positive, happy go lucky nature. When talking with hime he has the old school style of speech that reminds me of my dad. When talking with him I feel like he’s interacting the same way as my dad would when we’d run errands on Saturday mornings when my mom was working. His shop reminds me of my Grandpa Lamping’s workshop and when he talks about projects he’s working on it makes me think of Grandpa. There’s also a quick and dry sense of humor mixed with old school values that so much reminds me of my Grandma Lamping. He always seems so happy to spend time with everyone, a trait that reminds me of how welcome I always felt with Grandma Lamping. Put all these traits together and it feels like I’m heading home when I go to his shop in Brownsville.
Weird and strange, but in a very wonderful way. I’m so thankful for those moments and places when it feels like I’m going home. They’re truly joyful moments.