Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time to Go Home

Eventually all good things must come to an end.  We can't believe how blesses we were on this last minute trip.  For having no plans and not telling anyone we were going; until we were on our way, thing couldn't have been more perfect.   I am still in shock in how quickly we made it to Utah, it was amazing that people from the other side of the world happened to be visiting at the same time.  There are many friends and family that we missed and would have love to see, hopefully next time we will have more time to plan our trip and we can find a way to see each one of you. We were able to do and to see a lot of the things we wanted to, but missed out on quite a few, we wanted to stay longer, but we had to go back, Josh had to go back to work, and the kids needed to get back in their routine.
Going home proved to be quite the adventure.  We left in the early morning hours of July 6th, realizing how insane we were to drive that far in two days, we decided that we would take three going back.  (We have now decided that if we ever do it again we will take 4 days both ways)  McKinlee has let us know that she prefers to take a plane.
We left and noticed that our malfunction light was on, it comes on from time to time, usually because the gas cap isn't on tight enough or something silly, so we ignored it.  Just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado we could smell burning rubber, so we pulled off at the nearest gas station, everything seemed okay, some of the fluids were low so we topped them off and left, still the smell of burning rubber wouldn't leave.  We started to panic a little, we were coming into the canyons of the Rockies, almost to the point of no return, we had to do something.  We stopped again and Josh did a more through investigation, thankfully we found the source of the problem this time, we had ran over a hard piece of plastic that had melted on our muffler.  Not a problem for the car just smelly.  Phew...I didn't want to miss this.

I have always loved Colorado, I am more in love with this beautiful state more than ever. I want to move here!  It was by far the most beautiful part of our trip.  We put on John Denver, sang Rocky Mountain High at the top of or lungs and took in the spectacular view.
We traded the Rocky Mountain High for the Amber Waves of Grain 
Ryken wasn't impressed.
We stopped for the night in Hays, Kansas.  The kids loved swimming, Josh and I loved being out of the car and relaxing.  We also loved that the kids could burn off some energy before we took off the next morning.
We slept in a little the next morning, and by "slept in" I mean we were up by 6.  Grabbed some breakfast on the go from the breakfast room got the kids into the car, and were ready to go.  That is until our engine wouldn't start.  We had a dead battery, and did you know with all of the environmentally safe precautions that are being put into cars these days people are told they can't jump start other cars?!  We didn't either! We had the cables we just needed a car.  Praise Be to the breakfast lady she had a portable car jumper that she loaned us.  She was our hero of the trip.  So thank you Hampton Inn Breakfast lady, you literally saved the day.
We were off again and headed to Missouri.
We made a quick stop at Liberty Jail.  I don't talk about my religion very often in my posts, it's not that I don't have a strong conviction to it, it's more that a lot of my readers are already members and I don't want to come off as pushy to the ones who aren't.   In all honesty, I have to admit I wasn't that impressed with Liberty Jail.  Don't get me wrong,  it was humbling to see in person the trials and sacrifices made by others so our church could become the amazing source of strength, help and support world wide that it is today. I just expected it to be this incredibly spiritual experience, Josh had told me it was one of  the places, that as a teenager, his testimony was assured.  That is why out of all of the sites in Missouri, and our limited time, we chose that one.  I tried to reason that maybe it was because our tour guide was new, she was a cute, bubbly little 18 year old girl from Springville, UT. and she was more worried about getting the history right, than testifying.   Or maybe it was because I was with 4 kids, and Ryken wanted to climb in to the jail cell and I was busy keeping him out if it.  I could just see him ripping off one of the wigs from the statues.  I was bothered by my feelings, I started to think that maybe my expectations were just too high.  It was neat to see, I can't even imagine the suffering and the pain early members went through.  Governor Boggs of Missouri even issued an extermination order against the Mormon's, at one point while in Liberty Jail  Joseph Smith, himself, asked why God had forsaken him.
I have come to realize that it wasn't the powerful testifying moment for me because I am already past that level in believing.  I no longer need the testimony and sacrifice of others to help my own testimony,  I have already endured my own trials and ridicule because of my beliefs.  I haven't had the physical trials of my ancestors.  I haven't been beaten, ran out of my home, worried for my life like those who have gone before me, or those in other parts of the world.  But I have had to make the choice to believe or not to. I have had to stand up to my friends and others for what I believe, I have listened to them make fun of me, try and persuade me, try and pressure me into changing my belief's and values.  At one particular difficult time in my life, I even questioned if God himself had also forsaken me.  Please don't take this as I have had major trials, I know things have been more difficult for many others in the world, and I in now way compare myself to them.  However,  I have had to make a stand for what I believe, even when everyone around me said I was wrong.  I know I am the better for it, so although it was amazing to see, I am more proud to say that I have endured and hopefully made those who have gone before proud.

Not many people know this about me, but I have a fear of bridges.  Let me clarify that, I have a fear of driving over a bridge suspended over a body of water trapped in my car, and having 4 little ones I have to worry about getting out has intensified this fear.  I would say irrational fear, but the bridge collapse in the mid-west is still very fresh in my mind.  It doesn't help that I live in the US City of Bridges;  but that's a different subject.  Somehow, I don't know how, I am sure my kind, considerate, and very loving husband didn't intend for this to happen, I was the one driving each time we crossed the Mississippi.  I was nearly in tears the second time over, the first time it was dark and although I was having a little anxiety, I couldn't see what was beneath me.  Josh was so kind as to snap this for me.  I guess the plus side to me driving across, is my eyes would have been closed if he had been driving.  So thank you honey for taking one for the team. Next time let's plan the taking turns out a little better.
 That night we stayed in Bloomington, IL at my Favorite Aunt Kathy's house.  It was so wonderful to see her.  We took the kids to an adorable park, stayed up late catching up, I found out that is that side of the family that is so fertile...that may be a little too much information but I have 3 unplanned children, and I was doing everything right in planning out my kids.  It was nice to know where it comes from.  She also let us play with her new "baby" her quilting sewing machine.   Mia loved being with her, she loved quilting, she wants us to buy her one, I think she needs to get closer to Aunt Kathy.

The next day was the last of our trip, in total we drove almost 5000 miles, saw many friends and family along the way, gave the kids both good and I am sure some bad memories, but I have to say the gray skies over Pennsylvania never looked so good.

1 comment:

Zent Family said...

I'm so glad you got to take this amazing trip!!! Heading home is always so bitter-sweet to me...