Tonight, my parents threw a party at their lake house for my youngest sister. She recently accepted another position within the company that she works for and will be moving to Seattle in a few days. My husband, our three kids, two dogs, and me piled into our minivan and drove out to my parents’ property. The kids knew we were headed to The South 40 (as we call my family’s 40 acres), when they saw the cows and the fields. But it seems as the dogs knew, as well. For when we turned right onto that country road, they were teeming with excitement. I never thought too much about this phenomenon until tonight, however.
After leaving the party, my tired family had not even reached our driveway back home, when the dogs began panting again. I asked my husband, “how do they know that we’re home?” They can’t see out of the windows and we hadn’t mentioned the word “home.” But they knew.
Evidently, science says that certain mammals, particularly dogs and cats, can find their way back home using scents and the earth’s magnetic fields. I’m impressed. This morning, I had to take a detour while driving, and was confused about which way to turn my iphone to follow the map directions.
This got me thinking about my family. Both of my younger sisters will soon be living on the West Coast (my middle sister lives in California). And although I know they will always have a special place in their hearts for toasted ravioli, Stag Beer, and Cardinals baseball, I selfishly hope the earth’s magnetic fields pulls them back home, someday.
When we grow up in one place, our hometown seeps into our souls. We can’t rationally explain to others why The Chuck Wagon has the best tacos and nachos in town. We’re stumped when outsiders have never watched a movie at the Sky View drive-in. And we’re proud to brag about the number of drinking establishments located along our town’s Main Street. But most of all, we’re partial to this place because it’s where we grew up.
In all, I’m happy to have grown up in this mid-western town. I’m glad for my sisters’ successes. But I do pray, that my two sisters will head homeward bound someday, panting and pining like my two dogs. And even if they only stay for a short while, we’ll be sure to make time to eat at Chuck Wagon.
~Think on These Things~