A couple of Fridays ago, after school, Isaac and I decided to take a bike ride. Ezra was at an after school movie, and Simon was safely strapped into the seat on the back of my bike. Isaac mentioned that his tires were flat and I said that mine were too so we would first head to the gas station to air them up, no big deal. WRONG! The airing up thingy was out of order. So, we headed farther (still walking the bikes because when we tried to ride them it felt like we were attempting to push a 3 story house with just the strength of our thighs) to the next gas station. As we pulled up, Isaac said "oh no!" as he read the sign on their airing up thingy which said "out of order". What in the world? Did the airing up thingys of the world get together and decide to take the day off???
At this point, I'm wondering if we should just push the bikes back home and call it a day. As I'm getting ready to suggest this, a great idea pops into my head...HARPER TIRE!!! They are probably really good at airing up tires, and I'm guessing their airing up thingy never takes a break! So, I tell Isaac my idea and we head in that direction. When we arrive, I ask a nice young man how much it will cost to air up our bike tires, and he says there will be no charge and he very kindly fills up our bike tires. I so appreciated his helpfulness, especially after our long journey to get there.
What I did not expect on this particular bike ride was a trip down memory lane. You see, my dad used to keep the books for Harpers. I think he worked there in the summers and maybe even during the school year (he was a high school math teacher), I can't remember. I have no idea if he worked for them for 2 years or 15 years; I just know that I spent a good bit of time there with him as a little girl. You know those moments when you see something from your past and it is just as it was then and it gives you a safe, warm fuzzy feeling? That's what happened to me as those tires were being aired up. It began when I saw the old water fountain, just as it looked so many years ago, except now it had tools sitting on top of it. I looked back and saw the old white refrigerator with the pull down handle...still there, still looking like it did when I was little. The tires seemed to be lined up in exactly the same pattern they were in so long ago. I began thinking of the times I would sit on the floor in front of one of the TVs and watch a movie. We didn't have a VCR at home (my mom didn't get one until after I was married!), so it was always a treat to push play on a VCR at Harpers'. Sometimes, they would have one of those pac man games (the ones that used to be in restaurants...you sat at them and put your hand under the plastic table top to play) in to be repaired and I got to play it. It was like heaven there!!!! I suppose the best part was the people...people who knew me and loved me and cared about my life...some of those special people aren't with us anymore, including my dad.
I'm thankful for the special gift of people in my life. What a surprise to be reminded of that today on what I thought was going to be a simple bike ride. I sure am glad those other two airing up thingys decided to take the day off so that I could be blessed with a blast from the past.