That Homey Feeling

Is there a place in your life where you go that the minute you see the city welcome signs, drive in the driveway, or walk through the front door you feel that feeling? Despite being away for months, maybe years, the second you arrive you know it is right. Everything may be different, but everything is still the same.
You know that there is no place in the world like it. Because it is your home. Your home away from home that gives you that homey feeling.

I have such a place in my life.

Thursday afternoon, I packed up my car and hit the road – the GPS was not required – my car goes on autopilot to this place – my heart leading the way.

Quasi-anxious to return, a smile still spread across my face upon turning down that familiar road – the one leading to a place I know all too well.
Parking, jumping out of my car, and running through the parking lot to the main door, I hesitated before pushing open the front entrance doors.
Greeted warmly, I breathed in the smells, taking in the sights of my home. Memories flooded my brain, emotions flowed through my heart warming it and making me realize how blessed I am to have a place like that place to call my own.

The familiar hallway led me to a familiar room where a familiar face resides. Instantly, I was put to “work,” trusted to run around and fulfill duties even though I wasn’t officially part of the “team.” I was asked to go into town to pick up important items at the printers – items that the place depended on for the next day’s activities. Assuming I would need to bring the crucial items back to the place for someone who is currently part of the “team,” I was semi-surprised when I was given permission to keep the important items with me and bring them to the next morning’s events.
Trusted with such a big responsibility, I felt like I’d never left – like I was still part of the “team.”

Told to arrive at 6:15 the next morning, I knew a good night’s rest would be beneficial.
But I was unable to sleep – too excited for the next day’s events. Clutching my cell phone all night, I feared I’d miss my early morning alarm. Ten minutes before my alarm was to vibrate, I hit the shower, knowing that I’d be dog-tired by the end of the day.
Things didn’t start out so great – shampoo in my eyes I closed them to relieve the stinging but continued to shave my legs, holding my razor sideways – cut my leg.

Rushing through the rest of my bathroom routine, I was finally fully ready for the day. I walked out the door and drove the short distance to the course where I saw more familiar faces and was again put to work – asked to pitch in.
Happily, I did so. Happily, I smiled.

My task for the morning/early afternoon was to sit. But not just sit. It was to sit with a semi-familiar face and watch. Watch for something unique – hole-in-one’s on Hole 17. A golf cart driven by a very friendly and familiar face took us to Hole 17 where we scouted out the best spot to sit – a spot where we were least likely to get hit with a Callaway hit by a 7 iron.

Settled in, the semi-familiar face and I chatted away and became acquainted before the first golfers starting teeing off.

It was a perfect morning.
The sun was out. The air was fresh.
All morning, I relished in the specialness of the day – the privilege to participate and make the place I love a better place.
All morning, I enjoyed visiting with golfers – people donating their funds to make the place I love a better place.
All morning, I laughed alongside other volunteers – people spending their day giving back to the place I love. I especially loved talking about The Ralph, Fighting Sioux hockey, and NCAA (not because I actually like the Fighting Sioux…) with three volunteers, older adults whose children are most likely my age or older.

Our morning came to a close, but the event was hardly over. Carted back to the club house, I was delighted to see more familiar faces and help sell raffle tickets to the golfers walking by turning in their score cards.
Packing up the trailer, hauling materials back to the place for the rest of the day’s events, I followed close behind and once again pulled into the place I love.
All afternoon and evening long, I saw more faces I knew and loved.
All afternoon and evening long, I worked alongside people I trusted and who trusted me.
All afternoon and evening long, I laughed and smiled.

But all morning and all evening, I thought back to before – to the other time I was at that place with other faces. Faces not present. And I felt happy and sad simultaneously. That’s how it goes; that’s how that homey feeling feels.
Fits you like a glove, yet you feel like a catcher on the pitcher’s mound.
Maybe that’s why it’s so special.
Maybe that’s why we go back.
To see how much we’ve changed – how much the places we love have changed. To see how much we haven’t changed – how much the places we love haven’t changed.
Overall, we go back to achieve That Homey Feeling.


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