A Vacation Adventure

We told you last month that our family was going on vacation. Well, it turned out to be quite the adventure!

We rented a motor-home and were taking a couple other vehicles with us to travel through several states and camp along the way. We would meet up with family to work and have a fun day, we’d enjoy a picnic we had organized at the park, attend a wedding and meet up with some clients.

So, we packed accordingly. Steven made his recipe for homemade marshmallows for our s’mores around the campfire. (Let us know if you’d like to see his recipe in a future issue of Living Richly.)

As we started packing the motor-home with food items, I came to a halt upon the discovery that there was no oven. Staring at the spot where the oven should have been while I processed the fact, didn’t change anything. Certain food items were sent back in the house…some to the freezer, some to the pantry. That was a minor alteration.

Once the packing was done, the house plants watered and other last-minute things were checked off the list, we started out.

The first night we expected to go as far as we could and then dry camp. And that’s exactly what happened, although it didn’t happen as expected. Not quite four hours into our trip, long before we were ready to quit for the night, a warning sound suddenly went off in the motor-home accompanied by the “stop engine” light. Tom pulled off quickly as soon as he could find a wide spot on the deserted highway. Our other vehicles pulled over too and we began to investigate. Coolant was pouring out the back and appeared to have been leaking for some time.

At first, we thought we could wait for it to cool down and then add some water. But upon further investigation, it became apparent that more than the passage of time would be necessary to get us on our way again. (“If only I had the welder with us,” Jesse said.)

Pictures of the problem were taken with a cell phone, and a couple of the party drove off to get cell service. Fortunately, that was only a 4-mile trip back down the road.

Several hours later we were promised a tow truck that would take the rig back to Las Vegas and we would journey on without the motor-home.

With several more trips to find cell service and “check in”, a tow truck really was dispatched, arriving almost 14 hours after our breakdown. We did get to dry camp the first night, but certainly not as planned.

Our vacation turned into quite an adventure! But oh, the stories we’ll have to tell…like right now, even!

Arriving the next morning, the tow truck driver went to hitch up the motor home and he called us over to look underneath at what may very well have posed an even bigger problem down the road. The stabilizing bar had not been properly torqued and had come loose.

So, while we were disappointed with our circumstances, and our vacation was not going as planned, we could trust that all things were working out for good.

It reminded me of what we would always tell our children, especially when they were young, “If the Lord wills…” The passage comes from the book of James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

The disclaimer here is that we have to be earnestly taking action and making plans. There are some who do nothing and then say that the outcome, whatever it is, is “the Lord’s will.” Yes, the Lord allows things to happen if you don’t take certain actions, but as you know, you can’t blame God for the circumstances in your life…especially if you do nothing to prepare for better circumstances.

At first, we thought we might be able to rent another motor-home along the way, so we were stuck in a transition phase with all the items from the motor-home hastily packed in pillow cases and then in our rigs. Once resigned to the fact that there was to be no motor-home, we re-packed the rigs once again…with our camping items less accessible, wedding attire laid carefully aside, and the rest of our clothes transferred to boxes obtained from a grocery store instead of pillow cases. I could only imagine that the boxes looked better when we checked into hotels, than having pillowcases slung over our shoulders!

We went on to our destination, joined with relatives where we worked and played together. We had a wonderful picnic in the park with friends, clients and family.

And we did make it over to Eastern Oregon to visit our clients who own Nature’s Pantry. We had a tour and enjoyed dinner in their back yard.

The next day we traveled McFie style…over 800 miles to get home early! By that time, we were ready to unpack all the camping gear that couldn’t be used! We used the extra days to rest and enjoy the amenities of home.

But our next camping trip, sitting around the campfire, what do you think we’ll be talking about? “Remember the time when we rented the motor-home…” There will be lots of laughter, but a note of seriousness too when we recall that God was watching out for us.

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