I’m back home again! It’s always great to make the turn around the block to my street and see the house standing, and then unlock the door and find everything in place. My tomato plants had grown quite a bit in the ten days I was gone. What a blessing to have a home to come home to!
I feel eudaemonia—the satisfaction of having been able to take my daughter and my grandchildren on a vacation. Eudaemonia is a word I learned today (reading Thank You Power by Deborah Norville), and I’m using it so I won’t lose it. You know, “use it or lose it”!
I’m very proud of my grandchildren for their good behavior during the trip, and even more proud of my daughter and son-in-law for teaching them the good behavior. It could have been a disaster with seven people cramped in a van, in the super-hot days we have had. Our “salvation” were the modern I-phones, Leapsters, DS, and DVD-players that kept them occupied. Looking back at my own childhood, when my parents took us kids on a similar, but even longer, road-trip (Toronto, Canada to Florida, for example), the thing I mostly remember is our fights about who would sit at the window. And we did not have comfortable vans in those days! What an adventurous spirit my parents must have had to go through with it! (This was a leg in the journey from Sweden to the mission field of Peru!)
On our trip up to Wisconsin from Missouri my daughter did the driving. We rented a van and to put me on as a second driver would have cost us one hundred dollars more, that’s the reason.
Looking back over my travel log I marvel at the few stops we made. The children had spent a few days with their grandparents in California, so that is where we started the trip (California, Missouri, of course!). We had breakfast at Denny’s in Warrenton. There we met a gentleman at the door who wanted to know where we came from. Why do I always think of things too late? I should have told him California! I just said the kids were from Oklahoma.
This was the only Rest Area we stopped at, but here Brianna expressed the sense of freedom I’m sure we all felt. It’s a memory to cherish for a long time!
I kept busy reviewing notes in a Bible for children and passing “games” back and forth to the children. “You’re acting like a waiter!” said David. That’s what it feels like many times with the kids, but it’s a good eudaemonia.
After a stop at McDonalds in mid-afternoon we just kept driving, and driving, and driving to arrive in Green Bay for an evening cook-out with my Swedish relatives. We hit Milwaukee in rush-hour, having to make a detour downtown because of road construction. Not the most pleasant experience. If that didn’t make us happy, there was something Brianna thought made God happy, that they were watching a “movie about God”—Bible Man. Brianna declared that she only wanted to watch movies about God.
On one stretch of the journey David had been promised to watch a Star Wars movie. What a melt-down he had when his mom discovered that she had the case for the movie but the DVD was still at home. That could disappoint any seven-year-old! He finally calmed down when promised that his dad would bring the movie when he joined us for the last few days of vacation. Of course, than he had to figure out how his dad would bring it safely since we had the case. As we know, where there is a will, there’s a way. And he got his movie, to watch on the way home!
Our day’s journey started at 6.20 AM, the sun just rising above the horizon. At 7.20 PM, thirteen hour later, we arrived at my brother’s house in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
It was a great reunion, as my father, my brother and sister-in law, and one sister and her husband from Sweden had arrived (just missed Ingrid). We are not as scattered today as we were at one point. How about this?
- Our parents in Peru
- Me and my family in Florida
- Ingrid and family in Guinea-Bissau
- Agneta and family in Spain
- Pepe and family in Wisconsin
- Lars and family in Bolivia
That most of us could meet at this point was really eudaemonia. Nothing is more fulfilling than the happiness that comes from making others happy!
I asked David what his most happy moment of the day had been. This was it! To see his mom’s cousins light a fire. So this is where we’ll leave off and pick up tomorrow. A good vacation should be eudaemonia for everyone!