Did you know the person who makes old-fashioned sodas is called a “Soda Jerk”?

I only know this because Hank, the Soda Jerk, took an interest in us as we passed through his small town one afternoon for coffee on our way home. He knew we “weren’t from around here.”

He welcomed Lucy behind the counter to show her how to make a cherry soda while giving us a history lesson of the soda shop where he worked in high school, met his sweetheart, Rita, who was at the shop on this day having lunch with friends. Mr. Hank told us despite this last year, they have about 100 patrons for lunch every day and are working on how to make grab-and-go lunches for those who can’t stay.

I’m tip-toeing lightly into 2021, and I’m not going to lie; I have some anxiety about mid-March since this is our 1-year #quaranversary.

Pandemic forced us home.

Work at home.

School at home.

Church at home.

Play at home.

Gym at home.

Home is our hub. 

And I don’t think it’s so bad. I’ve met neighbors I didn’t know before and been able to take the time to chit-chat. I was invited to a neighborhood women’s Bible study. My eyes have been opened to see who God has placed in my path, in my community, because that’s who I get to love and live with, not just wave from the car as I come and go.

While this may be enlightenment for me, I believe Mr. Hank has lived his whole life living as though Home is his Hub and loving everyone who comes through it. Thank you, Mr. Hank, for taking a few moments to see us and welcome us into your home and community of neighbors.