Yesterday I had an unexpected vacation at an unexpected place. I should first say that we’ve had some issues with our car. We had some work done on our car before we left on our trip, which felt good to do before a long road trip. When we got back, some more work needed to be done. It’s never fun to be spending money on your car (and it really starts adding up!) when you’re trying to save up for things and pay things off, but I don’t feel like I can complain that much because we haven’t had very many problems with our car since we got it and it’s been a great vehicle for us.
That being said, the most recent issue was a bit of a mystery and I had to go to the mechanic quite a few times to get things sorted out. Yesterday they had the final part they said would fix things, but it would take some time. I left the house in a grouchy rush (overwhelmed, hurried, and unorganized = grouchy rush), and Jeff and I hadn’t really communicated enough about how our day would go or about our plans, but I left the boys at home and headed out to get the car fixed. I didn’t want to inconvenience a friend to give me rides, which would have been quite a bit of driving to and from town multiple times that day, and I didn’t want to rent a car for just the morning and part of the afternoon. (We had already rented a vehicle on another day. It’s times like that when it’s challenging to be a one car family, though we’ve managed to make it work for us for many years.)
I thought it would have been nice to spend the day at home because there was so very much that needed to be done, but I decided I would be spending the day in town while the car got fixed. Rather than wait around at the auto shop all day (I have spent quite a bit of time there this winter), our mechanic gave me a ride to the library. Not everyone would have done that and I was incredibly grateful for his kindness. And with that, I spent the day at the library all by myself. I joked that moms needed to take their vacations however they could get them and I was going to have my vacation at the library that day. (Sicks days? I don’t think so. I’m a mom, it’s a full time job.) While Jeff and Bracken spent the day working in the garden and getting things done at home (they ended up having a really fun day just the two of them, a rare treat), I sat in a comfy seat with my knitting, savoring the quiet and peace of the library.
I have to say, I’ve always loved libraries. Libraries make me think of my grandma because she is the one who instilled in me a love for the library in the first place. Now going to the library reminds me of summertime, of my grandma bringing my sister and I to the library for the first time, of the library bags she sewed for us so we would each have our very own library bag, and the excitement of getting our own library cards. And then having row upon row of books to look through and choose from, books that we could check out and bring home… I know, exciting, right? I’ve always loved bookstores too, and I could literally spend days in a bookstore. But there is something special about libraries. A certain kind of magic in the air. Perhaps because everyone is making the effort to be quiet and that overall stillness, and gentleness, makes it feel to me like everyone is holding a certain reverence and respect for the place, that the place is really special somehow.
I don’t know what it is exactly, or how to describe it really, but I guess I love libraries simply because of the way I feel when I walk inside the doors. I feel a sense of peace. So, with that, I guess going to the library for the day was the perfect place for me to have a vacation, really. And as if it wasn’t enough to go somewhere that makes me feel peaceful, I had nothing with me except for some water to drink, and my knitting. Knitting. What more could I need? (Well, some lunch or some snacks would have been nice. In my rush to run out the door that morning I didn’t grab any, but I survived, thanks to the breakfast Jeff sent with me.) The funny thing is I was in the library for so much of the day and I didn’t even look at a single book. I just plopped myself down in a chair and knit.
Later, I moved to a different chair and found a spot where the afternoon sun was shining in the window. I curled up in that seat and felt like a cat, soaking up that warm sunshine, and claiming the best sun-filled seat to be had in the place. Sometimes I crave quiet. Just quiet. And I got plenty of that. To have that much knitting time was a gift. Knitting was just what I needed. At the end of the day I felt my nerves had been soothed, and my mind quieted, like the reset button had been set. When it was time to get my car, I was hungry and definitely ready to leave. I was ready to be home again and be with my family. The mystery problem was solved and our car was fixed at last! Though I don’t want any car repair time to force me into any more vacations anytime soon, I am glad I got that unexpected one. It was pretty nice.