Vacation Memories?

31 03 2010

I’ve only been on a very few vacations in my life. It just wasn’t something our family did as I was growing up, and, as an adult, I’ve rarely had the funds to do a “real” vacation.

So, as I look back, I see two vacations that stand out for me.

One was a single day when I was a teenager. My parents older cousins had come for a week-long visit from Pennsylvania and my parents actually closed their tavern/restaurant for a day so we all could go up to the Wisconsin Dells for the day. I was so excited!!! I’d heard all about all the attractions available and the Ducks and everything – I could barely sleep the night before, I was so full of anticipation!

The second time was when I was married to my second husband in approximately 1998(?). We had taken our tax refund and decided to make a vacation out of visiting w/ his sister & her husband in Door County. My husband and I, our three kids and a friend’s daughter who was living with us, all packed up and went up to the area, where we stayed partially at his sister’s and partially at a motel in town (not enough room @ his sister’s for all of us – and the tent idea just did NOT work! LOL) Frankly, though, aside from not being at home for a few days, this whole vacation didn’t excite me too much.

So – what made these two vacations of memorable purport?

In the first instance, I was horribly disappointed. My parents did indeed go on the Ducks, but after that? Lunch at a horrible restaurant and then the afternoon @ the Biblical Gardens. Not too exciting for a 15 year old, let me tell you! I wanted to go to Robot World, or see the Tommy Bartlett Ski, Sky & Stage Show, tour the “Mystery Spot” house, etc. Nope – my very Catholic Mom and her cousins (they were both ladies, by the way, in their 60’s) very slowly made their way around the statues set into the beautiful garden (yes, it was very pretty, very serene – I would love it, now), praying their rosaries and then spending what seemed even longer in the gift shoppe after. Nobody seemed to care what I might like to see, even though I begged and pleaded with my parents and even my elderly maiden cousins. But, this was part and parcel of what it was like growing up for me. My family didn’t pay too much attention to what it was that I felt I wanted or liked, it was all imposed on me – and I rebelled against it as soon as i could and began a long road away from God and Jesus.

In the second instance, I was expecting very little. By this point in my 2nd marriage, I was already at the “sick and tired of being sick and tired” stage and, sure enough, my husband’s drug and alcohol use became a factor. BUT, it was also during this week that I really began to get close to my sister-in-law, Carrie, and her husband, Mike. It was that week that taught me more about family, about being there for each other no matter what, than I had learned in the 30 some odd years prior to it. And, to this day, I dearly love these two people who have done nothing but love me, my kids and been there for us, time and again, asking for nothing in return, truly living what Christ taught. I may no longer be related by marriage, but our connection via my daughter still makes us family and that will never change. They were one step on the road back to the Lord I now serve and love

Two vacations, both with profound implications on how I viewed family and in its effects on how I viewed life and my place in it.

Opposing expectations that didn’t happen.

And, today, still having the love and relationship I have with my sister- and brother-in-law is part of the walk with my Lord that is the essence, the center, of my world.

But I still want to go to Disney World!!!! ~giggle~


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