Hours on the road. Mosquitos the size of small birds. Bacon left raw on the ends and burnt to coal in the middle. Smoke stings your eyes while the sweet marshmallow melts in your mouth. Sleeping bags drenched in sweat in the middle of a hot July night.
Oh yes, it is the time of year every family dreams about. The time of year every family dreads. That time of year designed to test your commitment to family fun, outdoor living, and God-given sanity. Summer Vacation is just around the corner.
For many of you, Summer Vacation may be a burden beyond its worth. But I have several key insights that may help make the time spent with your family a true joy!
1. The price of gas is at an all time high. I estimate that we can make it to Fort Wayne before we will have to stop and sell plasma to pay for the next leg of our journey. Drink lots of water and take aspirin daily. It thins the blood and allows for faster bleeding times.
2. My children grow bigger each year, requiring more room in our Dodge Caravan. Yet, there are many essential vacation supplies that also demand the same vital space. The solution that has worked best for me is to strap one or more of the kids to the roof of the van. This makes room for my laptop, beer cooler, and television (the essentials for any quality vacation).
3. With the high cost of dairy and produce, food for a week away from home has become a true concern. Thankfully, summer vacation often comes at the perfect time of year. I have already started harvesting my neighbor’s garden to make the trip more economical. I love freshly picked tomatoes. Of course, picking them at night means that I cannot always tell the difference between the green and red fruits. This is not a problem. Sort your night’s work when you get home and return the unripened tomatos to the patch the next night. There is no point in being wasteful.
4. Finally, you must consider the sleeping arrangements. Summer vacation can force even the closest families to experience intimacy that would make the boys from “Deliverance” blush. When we find ourselves in tight quarters, or hot nights, or wet tents we make the ultimate sacrifice. We pay $29.00 a night for Knight’s Inn. All the rooms are on the ground floor so it is very much like camping, with a roof, air conditioning, and cable television.
Yes, summer vacation is a yearly tradition for many families across this fruited plane but it doesn’t have to be a burden. With advanced preparation and a little creativity, your travels can be a happy memory for years to come!