Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. (1 Peter 4:10)

Journey 4.0: Ready!

Of course, I was awake at 5:00 this morning. It happens every time I am getting ready to travel, and it makes me think of that wonderful TV commercial from a few years ago. It’s the night before a trip to Disney World, and the parents are trying to get the little ones to settle down. And this adorable little boy says, with the most delightful giggle in his voice, “We’re too excited to sleep!” That’s me, the night before a trip. All my life. There is something about beginning an adventure!

So yesterday I had this moment where I was sure we’d never get everything into the Equinox. Sophie is roomy but she does have limits. My grandson, Matt, and I got to work yesterday afternoon loading things, and amazingly, it all fits!

Rewind just a little. Earlier in the afternoon, I enjoyed a little pre-trip lunch with Mary, Matt, and Michael. Between Michael’s razzing about the selfie-stick we are taking, Mary’s very sincere (and hilarious) talks with Matt and me about how to deal with each other on a long road trip, and Matt’s and my reactions to her assessments of likely issues (??!), I laughed louder and more joyfully than I have in a very long time. When she said, “You know how I can be just a little grouchy once in awhile? Well, I come by that honestly” — Well, I just felt compelled to respond with, “See? She comes by it honestly. It’s not inherited.”

Really. I think I have mellowed considerably over time. I’m a much more patient person than I was when I was raising my children! Anyway, Matt and I agreed that we are going to get along just fine.

Back to the gear-loading. It quickly became apparent that the 12-volt cooler wasn’t going to hold everything, so I grabbed the old green-and-white Coleman out of storage. That cooler is way over 25 years old and has held the bevers and food for many, many good times. It was Tom’s long before we got together, and it has been around! I dare say this is the first time it’s chilled out with dry ice, though. I didn’t even know you could buy dry ice at Meijer.

What an odd mixture we have packed. High tech stuff like laptop and Surface notebook; iPad and Bluetooth speaker; and then there’s the camp stove, tent, and canopy, complete with battery-pump air mattresses and sleeping bags. All kinds of groceries. A little entertainment — cards, a cribbage board, a DVD, and of course my knitting and some reading material. Clothing — for hot days and chilly nights. The question that cannot be answered until we get back: What things are we taking that we will end up never using?

That little obsessive-compulsive part of my brain is screaming quietly about not having a place to sleep lined up for every night of the trip. I finally got it to quiet down by doing a little online research, late last night. It seems that we should not have much trouble, especially as we are willing to use motels if we can’t find a tent site.

Last night, I took JD over to Paws A Playin for his own vacation. He made himself right at home, and several of his home-away-from-home pals arrived later in the evening, so he is all set to have a great time too.

And so, the time has come to comb my hair, put on my shoes, load the final items into Sophie, pick up Matt, and head out. By this afternoon, we’ll be hiking and perhaps even kayaking at Pictured Rocks!

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