When I was a teenager my mother took us on a two-week vacation every August. It was a regular vacation plan for about six years. The trips usually had a theme that my mother had worked for months to plan out. The first year was a trial run around Lake Michigan; the second year was a trip east to visit various Revolutionary War sites. The following year we did a trip south-east that covered Civil War sites. One year was a visit to the North East and Canada. The last year that I went was our first trip west to the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and points beyond. During the trips my mother made special efforts that we mix God’s natural beauty with historical insights. One trip might include a rafting trip down the Shenandoah River one day and a tour of historic Harper’s Ferry the next. I am very grateful for those wonderful trips. I had the privilege to see and learn a great deal about the Good Ole USA.
Each time we went- we went camping. It made it more of an adventure and it was cheaper for a single mom with four kids. As the day approached there were many things that needed to be done. All the camping equipment had to be checked, cleaned and repaired. One year while checking the tent at 6 PM the night before leaving, we found it had been packed wet and had mildew. There is nothing like running out to Sears to buy your lodging 12 hours before departure. Clothes needed to be chosen and packed. Car was packed, unloaded, reorganized and repacked.
For me one of the better memories was that we could purchase a couple comic books for the road trip. My typical choices were Archie Comics and Mad Magazine. I would like to think that some of my sense of humor came from reading those Mad Magazines in the back of the station wagon as my mother ticked off the miles.
Another good memory was the lunches we made while rolling down the road. My sister and I would make sandwiches to order for our mother as she stayed behind the wheel to make up time. The only time of the year that we Deviled Ham or Chicken or Beef was on these trips. Funny thing is I don’t ever recall eating Deviled Ham any other time of the year. We ate Pik-Nik Sticks ®, cookies and pop (or was it called soda back then). Life was good and even though we siblings had our moments of fighting in the back seat “Your coat is on my side.” Or “Stop pestering me with that tapping.” I have great memories of our travel adventures.
It feels like the first day of one of those great car trips of the 1970’s. I have some family and friends with me in the backseat of our station wagon on way down the road to reading through the Bible in a year. Hopefully we will all arrive to our destination together having learned things along the way, seen beautiful things and enjoyed each other’s company.
So far I know my wife and daughter are with me. My nephew Cesar is with us. Stefan and Joyce have joined us for a second year. I think my friend Naldy is coming with. I just heard that my sister-in-law may be joining us. Are you joining us? Let me know.
Last year I picked a verse for my journey – it will do again this year; I find it a multi-purpose verse, one that can motivate me and others on our journey. My verse for this journey is…
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,