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A little kindness from strangers can feel like a little piece of heaven. I received a large piece last week as I traveled through—where else?—Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. I got a flat on the West Virginia Turnpike and had to call my motor club, and then spent a night in Beckley since all the tire repairs shops were closed.

The next day when I got to the tire shop and saw a swarm of people outside and more inside sitting on some old beat-up couches, I knew it would be awhile. Wow, I thought, I hope this is a good shop because I’m kind of stuck here.

I only had to wait about forty-five minutes, much less than I expected. Then, the man at the counter in the blue and green plaid flannel shirt said, “Yeah, we got your tire fixed. It had a nail in it.”

“What do I owe you?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Just a little West Virginia kindness.”

“Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” I couldn’t believe how nice he was. I paused and reflected as I walked to my car.

“Thanks for making me feel like I’m home,” I thought. I’ve only spent a little time in West Virginia. It’s beautiful and I love the mountains. Now I love the people. As John Denver’s song goes, “West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River, take me home …”