What a weekend! I feel like I am paying for some horrible sins – perhaps the sin of not liking South Dakota OR maybe it is the curse that people who never understood put on my exit from South Dakota. As with all experiences of this type, you do learn. The best thing I learned – something I did already know but was reminded of this weekend, is that my daughter Bethany is amazing. I don’t know anyone else, family or otherwise, who would sacrifice and do what she did for us this weekend.
We had a grueling trip to South Dakota and back. We out beat the blizzard that dumped 11 inches on Brookings SD. We spent about 62 hours on the road covering about 2000 miles. In between the hours and hours in the car, and the little bit of sleep, we packed our two bedroom apartment in South Dakota and loaded it on a truck and trailer. To say that she and her family did 95% of the work is no exaggeration. We stopped and paid respects to my parents at their graveside. It's almost a year since they were rejoiced in heaven. I am blessed.
However, we didn’t sing kumbaya the whole time and it certainly was not a trip without its share of tension. The truck wasn’t big enough so last minute we had to get a trailer. There were differing expectations about times to stop, where to stop, what time to leave, etc. Nothing major, just normal stuff. I decided that Bethany and I were shock absorbers for all this stress. She would call me or I her with every change. I guess it was because we wouldn’t get mad at each other and everyone else was at times on edge.
I learned that my two grandchildren, Jesse and Alysabeth are pretty great kids. On the way we stopped at a Subway. I learned that Jesse is very conscious of his health and Alysabeth didn’t like Subway – she had pizza though and it wasn’t that bad. As we sat there, I looked at us spread out over three booths with little Maria bouncing around with her beautiful smile and hair sticking up and laughed. I laughed and laughed. I wasn’t terribly loud and probably no one really noticed. I was laughing with an odd type of joy. I was laughing because God had preserved us all as a family. There are so many reasons why we never should have been together in one place, enjoying a meal on a stressful trip and still loving each other. Only God's grace can do that.
I learned that Gerry is a pretty amazing guy as well. He’s got a huge responsibility with his family. He keeps them together and provides strength – he’s very good at driving a truck for long hours too!
Now I face the task of trying to find a place for all that stuff in the truck and trailer outside my house. I have no idea where it will go or how we will manage. There will be differing opinions of where things should go – I am dreading it more than words can say. However, it will get done. Maybe not to my liking and probably not without stress. But I’ll find my deodorant and toothpaste once again. I’ll also be thankful and amazed at my daughter Bethany and her wonderful family.