The plan began with a desire to see my husband’s family for an upcoming holiday. But gathering in Texas would require 2 very long days of driving for us, pulling a travel trailer. One family member suggested we meet in Arkansas instead which would be closer to the university where a younger family member is studying. Cut off one full day of driving for us? Yes, let’s go to Hot Springs, Arkansas instead.
This plan continued with the hope that we could camp at the RV Park inside Hot Springs Village. My Mother-in-Law has a house in the Village and we would be closer together. But the campground will be under construction for the months of November and December to have sewer hook-up lines installed. It’s going to be closed! Yes, let’s go to an RV Park about 30 minutes away on top of a picturesque mountain top instead.
The plan originally included having Steve’s daughter travel with us then the idea popped up to have both of Steve’s daughters stay with us in our travel trailer. Oh what a blast that would be! We now have the room to accommodate them but I simply cannot do so at this time. I was devastatingly sick for 4 days this past week when some new fragrances triggered my worst symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. Geez, we don’t even know how we will have family over during the Christmas holiday let alone have them visit overnight when both are back in town. (Our attempt in September failed.) But to stay in closer quarters of a travel trailer while away from home in a less-controlled environment? Yes, we want to be together but no, let’s at least travel and stay separately this time. Again really.
This plan got even more complicated when planning our trip scheduled for departure not long after that horrific flare up last week. I saw my newer Functional Medicine Doctor who spoke frankly and clearly: I don’t think you should travel now. What? She said it would set me back even further, even if she could find a replacement for a treatment that contributed to the flare-up last week. So her recommendation posed a dilemma for my saint of a husband who wants to see his elderly parents-n-family AND be with me. Did I mention that our wedding anniversary is coming up? But I really don’t want to be alone on a holiday much less our anniversary! Yes, we want it all and may need to split up the holiday into a shorter trip, a shorter anniversary celebration. We are used to compromises.
The planning behind the scenes for this month involved a recall notice for our new-to-us travel trailer. We bought it after the original owner had it for about 3 months so we never got the national recall notice; it was for a safety feature that could pose a grave threat if not corrected. We found out about the recall in a Facebook group! Nineteen phone calls over the past 15 days resulted in a plan to have the recall work done at a local RV repair shop. But it got too close to our potential departure date to get the trailer to the shop-and-back: 2 trips of 3-hours of travel each time. Yes, we are no longer travelling with the travel trailer so we have more time now to get it fixed!
This trip required me to get the oil change and tire rotation for my truck that was coming due. We just figured out that we were not travelling cross-country but I decided to get the maintenance done anyways. On the way to dropping off my truck at the shop last night I HIT A DEER! The impact trashed the right-front quarter panel and headlamp of my Nissan Frontier. The turn signal stopped functioning correctly. There is no way we could travel cross-country (which always includes nighttime travel for us) with a damaged headlamp. Yes, you can see now that the door to travelling this holiday is now fully closed.
The plan may change to include my hubby travelling alone for a shorter time while I rest up; we are holding our breath for now. But what if it snows? He needs new tires on his car before the next time it snows, according to the professionals. Yes, we will find $800 for tires if we need to . . . That’s about how much a longer trip would have cost anyways, if we helped with housing for Steve’s daughters. Which we would offer, of course.
This but that, but this! Such is life in this fallen world in which we find ourselves. Many times I have said that when the trials have come, seemingly often of late, that I am holding out for the hope of heaven. Heaven indeed. The late Pastor Billy Graham wrote:
Paul wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19). But our hope isn’t only for this life! In the midst of life’s storms, our hope in God’s promise of heaven is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).
He said that if we are ever going to live for Christ, then do it now. I was reflecting on these themes when I was emptying the trash the other day. I hit my head leaning over to remove the top of the can as the can was positioned between the toilet and the bathroom sink cabinet. The top slid back behind the toilet, my head brushed against the toilet paper dispenser, and something fell back there too. I wondered if in heaven things like emptying the trash would always go smoothly? Then I realized that there is no trash in heaven! We know this from Revelation 21:4 that tells us:
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I imagine that there will be no long days of driving with cracked headlamps, recall notices, endless phone calls to make things right, separation from loved ones, suffering, cramped bathrooms or travel trailers, worn tires from roads traveled, nor heartache in the dwelling place of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is a plan upon which we can depend for those of us who believe. Now that’s a trip I’m already on. How about you Gentle Reader? JJ