Gone are the days when we’d pack three children, a dog and half our worldly belongings into the car and take off for a family vacation. Oh the joys of the open road – where you can leave all your troubles behind and just enjoy the blessings of God’s creation . . . well almost.
Our early Christmases were often spent driving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee during a blizzard and icy road conditions. We’d pack up the playpen, (one of those devices that would now be considered child abuse,) Christmas presents (often homemade) and enough snacks to satisfy everyone for the 5-6 hour trip.
Our first camping excursion taught us how to put up a tent, build a fire, cook over it and wash dishes in the open air. I’d never been camping in my life, but my husband – and avid outdoorsman – loved it and wanted his children to experience the rich rewards. The tent was set up, car unloaded, we ate under the tall pines and it was lovely – until a tornado came spinning through our campground in the middle of the night.
The children were fast asleep when the tent started to sway in the wind. My husband scurried outside in his underwear to secure our habitat to a tree, as I held it up from within, with water dripping down into my armpits. The kids slept through the entire thing.
Family time together can make for some wonderful memories. Through those times, we had an opportunity to learn more about each a chance to enjoy each others’ company, but as for me, I much preferred doing it in a Holiday Inn.
Time you spend together is never wasted. BTW, this was before smart phones and other electronics. “Never leave your children to their own devices,” a quote from my husband.