Thursday, January 26, 2017

"The Trip"

Joel and I have been toying with the idea of traveling for a year across our vast country.  Getting an RV and taking off to see all the places we have wanted to see.  Bethel Church in CA is first on the list.  I am sure that this wanderlust is partly due to our good friends making their full time RVing plans for the near future.  Partly it is due to having had cancer a second time and now feeling good again, or maybe it is finding ourselves in the midst of yet another winter in the upper Midwest. Then lets add the gypsy blood that runs through my veins ~ moving constantly as a child....and then while married to an Air Force guy, then pastor.  Moving was part of the "job".

The recent discussions led us to reminisce about our family's big trip.  "The Trip" as we all named it. As a big family with mostly one income, a pastor's income, we did not vacation often and when we did there were more than a few times that we were called back from the vacation due to a death in the congregation.  One time we had to drive all the way back from Montana to Minnesota.  Not fun.

So in the mid 80's we made plans for a trip that would involve a month of traveling.  We found an older pop up tent camper and bought a little 2 man pop up tent besides.  We had our big old station wagon to pull everything and hold the 8 of us and we told the church we would not be coming back for any funerals unless those involved wanted to pay to fly Joel home and back to our location.  There were other pastors who could fill in.  Tough love and needing to putting our kids first.

We took off early one morning ~ 2 adults, 2 nearly adult teens, and 4 other grade school kids,  plus 1 dog.  We filled that station wagon for sure.  The need for an extra tent was obvious with 6 kids and a dog along.

Our camper broke the first night as Joel and Matt were putting it up, but Joel found a way to get it working so every time we stopped at night to rest Matt and Joel would finagle the sides up with effort and muscle power.  It looked a little like the Beverly Hillbillies, I expect, but we made it work.

We traveled through Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and South Dakota.  We visited a couple of colleges our oldest, Beth, was looking at and stopped to see several friends along the way.  We visited with Joel's Aunt Ruth in Seattle for 5 days of great fun!  Auntie Ruth liked to call us her "Rainbow Family".

I remember one day a car drove by us noticing ALL the kids, different ages and sizes, brown, black, white, tan.  After the car passed us they actually slowed down so we would pass them and they could take a second look!  We decided we should make up a sign that said, "YES, WE ARE ONE FAMILY!"

We seldom ate out, who had money for that?!  We cooked in the camper for breakfast and supper and lunch was sandwiches.  If I remember correctly, we ate out only 3 of 90 meals.  I do remember how delicious the fruit was in Washington state.  Especially the peaches.  So fresh and so sweet....nothing to compare.  We spent quite a bit of time in Washington, the state where I was born.

Of course there were things that were challenging about the trip, but that just makes the story more fun to share.  It was an adventure our kids still talk about.  "The Trip".  Joel and I ponder whether it is time for another such adventure.......It is hard not to think about it as 14 inches of fresh snow lay on the ground and more is forecast for the weekend.  Yeah.......another adventure in faithful living looks mighty good.  Something to rival "The Trip" in the gatherings around our table with the family.  Maybe......but if not, at least it passes the time as we dream away these January days.

1 comment:

NanaNor's said...

HI there Renee, John and I have talked of getting an RV/Motorhome so we could travel across our nation but have our dog with us-however, with the cost of those things, don't know it will ever happen. We are headed on a couple of road trips-one for a short weekend to AZ in Feb.; we are driving and hope the weather will cooperate. Also going to go up to Rushmoor in May and New England in Oct. I love sitting dreaming of trips when it's cold and snowy outside.
Blessings to you today!