Where We Come From

Yule Love It's perennial island ablaze with poppies and peonies.
Well, it finally happened. A girlfriend once said she broke down and cried when it first happened to her. Me? I coached myself when I walked out of Macy’s, a bag in each hand. “Focus. You’ve always found your car.”
             This time, however, I forgot to make a mental note of the marker when I parked at the aisle’s end. No problem. After sitting all day in a remarkable writing conference, I was up for strolling the concrete maze filled with waiting automobiles.
The more I scanned the aisles with no sight of my car, the twinge of fear crept into my mind, Mom fading away with Alzheimer’s. Unfamiliar with the layout of parking levels, I became disoriented and at last kissed my pride good-bye.
“Excuse me, young man,” I said to a security officer. “I’ve lost my car.”
“Follow me.”
He exchanged some directions with another young man who sat at the wheel of a huge, shiny SUV.
“Do I just climb in?” I asked.
He cleaned the lenses to his eyeglasses and slid them on. “Sure.”
His casual attitude calmed my anxiety. “I can’t believe I’ve lost my car.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it, ma’am. This happens all the time. It took me a week to learn the ins and outs.”
“So your job depends upon forgetful old ladies like me,” I said.
“And young ladies,” he replied with finesse.
We searched the third level with no success. “Which ramp did you enter?” he asked.
“The ramp to second level.”
“No wonder we can’t find your car. We’re on the third level.”
We struck up a conversation about his graduation from college and his future job with Ford in Communications and Marketing. His sister works for the company also. 
“Do I detect an accent?” I asked.
He smiled with a wrist relaxed over the steering wheel. “Polish. I came from Poland when I was twelve,” he said. “I’m going back next month to visit my family. It’s beautiful where I come from.”
I nodded, thought of Appalachia, my birthplace. “Several of my good friends are Polish and have returned home to visit.”
“Next month I’m taking my girlfriend to meet my family. She’s Mexican. Then, we’re going to Mexico so I can meet her family. It’s important we know where we come from and our traditions.”
We found my blue Prius in no time. I would’ve cried for joy if it hadn’t been for a call coming in on my cellphone. I thanked the young man from Poland, stepped down from his vehicle and took my call.
“Where are you, Iris? Do you have time to talk about the conference?”
“Diana! I’m at Somerset and just found my lost car. I’m so relieved!”
“I’ve done that before,” she consoled.
We celebrated Diana’s writing awards announced in Troy while she attended another writing conference in Chicago. We swapped highlights, names of old friends and new people we met, where they came from.

Dear Reader, I ask you, isn’t home the heart of all our stories?

P.S. Don't forget to mail your poetry submission for Yule Love It's poetry contest. See details on the Poetry Contest link.