It’s time to pack up the car, Winnebago, or van and head out to discover the National Parks or trudge off to a special destination. Most everyone remembers the family vacation movies that appeared several years ago. We had our own version of those memorable road trips ourselves and I’m sure many of you have as well. In the movies, the most outlandish things happened, sometimes horrible situations. Some of the things that happen on a family trip can actually cause us to back out in fear and vow to stay home this year.
We were no different than the Griswolds. We’d pack our vehicle to the max with luggage, camping equipment, the family dog, a cooler full of goodies and five of us. Family vacations really do bring you closer together – if you like sitting on each other’s laps or can bear the smell of body odor for more than an hour at a time. 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 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 as the tent began swaying in the wind. My husband scurried outside in his underwear to secure our habitat to a tree, as I held it up from within, wwhile water dripped into my armpits. The kids slept through the entire thing.
Those vacations continued over the growing up years of our children. The first two loved camping. The third one – not so much. She was a lot like me in preferring to stay in a five star motel and dining in a nice restaurant. Our budget wouldn’t always stretch that far, so we lived in our van for a week and complained most of the time.
Family time together can make for some wonderful memories. Through those times, we had an opportunity to learn more about each other, a chance to enjoy each others’ company, telling stories around the campfire and sleeping like a log when you finally went to sleep.
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. Think about the Children of Israel. They had a forty year family vacation in the wilderness. No wonder they complained so much.