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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Joy of the Journey

When we were little we went on road trips.
Not like the road trips of 2010.
I mean the the kind before interstates. Before air conditioning and seat belts.
There were seven of us: two parents and five kids.
Jay, being the oldest, got to sit up front with the adults. Mother said it was because he got car sick and needed to watch the road.
Never mind that I got car sick regularly and Daddy would have to pull the car over so I could heave.
In the 1950s child-rearing mindset, being the youngest meant that you had the lowest status. Thus you were relegated to the back seat, and when the older kids got to sleep in the tent, you had to sleep in the car.
And so, my memories of those road trips are very different from older children, Jay or Lee.
But the memories are there, nevertheless. And for the most part, they are beautiful.
Because we were all together, seeing the same things, eating the same stale cheese sandwiches, playing the same silly word games to pass the time.
But we kids were only vaguely aware that we were headed to the Grand Canyon or Bryce or Zion or Yellowstone.
At ten or eleven, what I remember were the stories around the campfire and the homemade blackberry syrup that Jay made for our made-from-scratch pancakes.
When I think of the 1966 trip to the Grand Canyon, I think of our agonizing hike back UP the trail and how hungry we were when we got back. I o.d.ed on Fig Newtons and couldn't look at another one for at least two decades.
Brother Royce climbed out of our station wagon just seconds before a tree came down and smashed the back end of the car.
A young good-looking hitchhiker attached himself to us one vacation at Yellowstone. I still remember how he took a burlap sack and cut holes for his head and arms, and that's what he wore the whole week that he followed our family around.
These are the memories that bind our family together. Precious vignettes that we recall at family gatherings while others listen and don't understand our laughter or groans.
We've carried on the tradition with our own kids, now grown.
Those memories cement our relationships and provide us with a certain pride about belonging in the family.
When times are bad or arguments tangle our feelings, we still have our memories.
Like glue, they keep our love intact.

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