Reminiscing in the “Memory Maker”
Yep, this is a classic “Why, when I was a kid” story.
I couldn’t help thinking of it when Queen Karina and I bought a motorhome last week to travel to a family reunion. It’s the first one we’ve ever owned, only one I’ve ever traveled in.
She’s a Class C named Memory Maker. Sleeps six comfortably, eight if you squeeze a bit. Bathroom with toilet and shower, full kitchen, master bedroom with a bed that’s more comfortable than ours at home, air conditioning, the works. Thirty feet of traveling bliss on wheels.
We drove her from southern Utah to Washington state to my parent’s house last week (we’re still here as I write this). Counting a stop to sleep, our whole family (four kids) was in her for twenty-three hours straight.
Let me tell you, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s so much fun. The kids watch movies, play games, read, and sleep while we drive. I lay in the back bedroom and read while Karina drives. No need to make potty stops. Cooking meals on the road. Sleeping like a baby. I mean, this is traveling in style.
It makes me feel like a kid. Maybe that’s because when I was a kid, I could only dream of traveling like this.
Memories were triggered when I asked my nine-year-old, Libby, what she thought of the motorhome and she kind of shrugged and said, “It’s okay.”
I wish I could transport her back in time and let her ride with me and my family for a trip.
No motorhome for us — in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a situation that was more opposite.
Two parents, six kids (the first seven had already left the house). Eight people total. And a big, hairy dog to boot.
All traveling for twelve hours (one way) crammed into every nook and cranny of a little navy blue Chevy S-10 pickup. Parents and one kid up front, with the kid riding the hump. Canopy on back. Luggage in the bottom of the truck bed. Mattress laid on top of the luggage.
One kid would crawl in and lay down parallel to the cab. The next would squirm into position beside the first, with his or her head at the feet of the other. Five kids would pile in, one after another, and layer ourselves like sardines. Then the dog would be squeezed in.
The only air conditioning we had back there was cracking open a canopy window and letting hot air pour over us. It was more like a convection heater. We had very little room to move. We had feet in our face the whole way. Dog hair would fly around and cake on everything.
The whole arrangement was undoubtedly against the law in all fifty states, not to mention a direct violation of the Geneva Convention.
It makes me shake my head in wonder that we even survived. But you know what? We did. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I’m so grateful for that experience because it gives me a frame of reference that enables gratitude in the first place.
Our most difficult challenges don’t just make us stronger. They increase our capacity to feel gratitude.
It’s impossible for my kids to feel more grateful for our motorhome because their frame of reference is nowhere near as extreme as mine. The easier life is, the more we take it for granted.
Thank God for the lows. Because without them, you’d never think to thank Him for the highs.
We’ll make some memories in Memory Maker, all right. But they’ll never compare to those my family made in the back of an S-10 pickup.