Do you have a particular “this feels like home” place near where you grew up? A familiar place. A place, that when you lay eyes on it, you feel an inexplicable calm that warms your heart and pleases your soul?
Mine’s a gas station.
My mother has lived in her current house for about 10 years, I guess. Since I was in high school. One of the weirdest things about her house is that it backs onto a really busy street. And the best view she has from her back yard (aside from her gardens) is of the local gas station. It’s an odd view - especially when you’re standing on the deck by the pool in your bikini - but it has its advantages.
For one, my mother is always up-to-date on the gas-price trend. She always has the inside scoop. She knows if gas prices are on a down-spin or an up-spike, and she can always compare prices to other gas stations (even in other cities).
For another, she doesn’t have to make some big trek for gas. She can fill up on her way out, or on her way home, or, really, whenever she friggin feels like it. Easy access.
And finally, the one thing that’s particularly awesome about this gas station: it’s full serve – one of the few remaining full-serve gas stations left anywhere on this earth. The last man standing. She doesn’t even have to get out of her car. It’s hard to come by full-serve gas stations, especially those with competitive prices and excellent customer service (and free gas raffles every week).
Well, I found out yesterday that my favourite gas station has closed. What a shame. A local landmark. Ok, not a local landmark, but a familiar sight, at least. And now my mother may end up having to search far and wide for gas. Maybe she’ll even have to pump it herself. Maybe she’ll have to get out of car when it’s cold, or rainy, or both. And how will she know the best price? And when I visit her, how will I know I’m home?
Well, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Perhaps the other gas station right next door will provide all the same conveniences and happy feelings this landmark did.
But still, it’s a damn shame, isn’t it?