It never ends with kids, does it? The things they need you to help them with just get crazier and crazier as the years go on.
Which is exactly how I found myself at a junkyard (yes, a junkyard) in South Philadelphia last week. It was a brand new experience for me. I had no idea what a junkyard was - I was envisioning piles and piles of all sorts of old, discarded and/or unused items (the stuff I call junk!), similar to the piles of "stuff" you and I tend to accumulate in our attics, basements, and garages. Old plates, mixing bowls, threadbare towels, old furniture, broken kitchen appliances, you name it.
You see, my daughter was in the midst of a transportation crisis. Her car broke down, it needed a new transmission, and she was riding Uber to & from school and clinical rotations (she is in nursing school). She had done an online search for a used transmission and had decided to buy one from this particular junkyard. You guessed it - she had no transportation to get there and her plea sounded something like this: "Mom, can you give me a ride to school and then go down to this junkyard - they'll deliver the transmission, but they won't take a payment over the phone." "A JUNKYARD!" I replied, "What are you talking about???!"
Well, needless to say, I found myself very tentatively driving down Passyunk Avenue looking for this particular junkyard (of course, now I know that a "junkyard" sells used auto parts from junk cars. What a dummy.). When I got there, I walked into the office and told them who I was. The owner showed me a piece of paper with all of my daughter's information written on it, and then I laughed and said, "I've never been to a junkyard before in my whole life." He laughed, made a few "junkyard" jokes, and then proceeded to tell me the history of his business ("we've been here since 1960!") and then he turned the computer screen around to show me how it all works - i.e., the auctions he buys from, the cars & trucks that are currently up for bid, and the website he uses to sell parts, etc. At one point, he said, "I don't mean to keep you," and I said, "No! I'm really fascinated! Thanks for explaining all this!" And I really WAS fascinated. It seems like I've heard the term "junkyard" all my life but had no idea what it meant. Wow.
So even though I was not very happy at all about having to drive to a South Philly junkyard, it was a good day after all. I enjoyed both my lesson in "Junkyards 101" and meeting this gentleman and the other staff in the office. And I think they enjoyed telling me about their business.
It just goes to show you - sometimes the experiences of life surprise you in ways you never expected. Life is like that. We get forced to do things we really don't want to do, but they end up not only being memorable, but also being a blessing as we learn to see life from a different perspective. Just another small reminder that God is present everywhere.