First, the disclaimer:
I am not a writer. Never have I
held any sort of illusions to greatness with the pen. Concordantly let me offer my apologies for my
inherent shortcomings in this regard and say thank you in advance to my wife
(who is a fantastic writer by the way — see honey, I said something positive)
for her editorial skills. Oh yes, and
one more thing, you can be assured that anything I compose is the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth.
No really… I promise.
Here we go! The 2nd
annual family vacation! I must begin by
admitting to the reader that I have a superpower. (No, it is not my striking
good looks) What is it you ask? I have
the ability to Worry and Stress at superhuman levels! I know, I know… I have read all the scripture
in this regard and I am painfully aware of what it says… but still, I worry… a
LOT. (Is that bad…? should I worry
about my worry?) Now, being the man that
I am, I have found ways to use my superpower for good. By trade, I deal with demand planning, sales
forecasting and fulfillment. I live
inside spreadsheets, statistical tools, planning models, etc. I have measurements to analyze the validity
of my measurements! It is FANTASTIC!!! Within this realm, my power of worry is
AWESOME. However, with the light, there must also be
darkness and I find that my abilities become somewhat burdensome as we plan the
family vacation. The night before our
trip, I thought of every possible scenario that could go wrong with the van
(aka Church Bus) rental plan. Next, I
spent hours calculating routes, unforeseen expenses, what to pack, when to
pack, the weather, what my workout plan would be (that’s important!), possible
escape plans from alien abduction all this and I have not even begun to discuss
what might happen to our house when we are gone!!! As it turns out, everything worked out
fine. I went for my morning workout,
picked up the Church Bus without incident, got packed, and most importantly
figured out a workout plan for the stay and we managed to leave as scheduled.
As the wife mentioned, we are taking the high road this year. The family church bus is rolling! I thought about getting some of that white
shoe polish and writing “Follow me to the RAPTURE”, or “Exposure to the SON could
protect against BURNING!!” Don’t worry…
I held back.
I take the first leg of the trip. This is the fun part…getting out of the DFW
metroplex via LBJ Freeway to I-20. I
love my wife, God knows I love my wife.
That said, if could tranquilize her for this part of the drive I
would. Nothing major… just a hit of oxycodone
or something to relax. I mean, if there
is a better way to get on LBJ please someone tell me now!!! I recall the immortal words of Winston
Churchill, “If you’re going through hell,
keep going”. We make it out of the DFW, and hit the open
road. After our first stop, we enter the
lovely state of Louisiana and finally feel like we are getting somewhere. I know we are in Louisiana in two ways…first
the sign, Welcome to Louisiana” and second the fact that the roads have gone to
crap!! I mean really…?! At
this point, I recall getting a little drowsy.
I was doing the whole “blinking” thing.
So the wife takes over at the wheel.
Now she says that we hit some rain or something… I don’t recall really…
I was passed out in the back seat with the Man-child. The next thing I knew, we were moving into
the land of Mississippi.
We stop in Vicksburg for some refreshment and rest. The wife wants to stop here… I want to push on
further. (I mean, on my memorized planning models for the trip, we need to push
on to maintain optimum performance measurement and schedules). In retrospect, I will only say that it MIGHT
have been a good idea to stop. Why you
ask? Well, as we fly by what I think
was the city of Jackson; we find that between Jackson and Hattiesburg, there is…
wait for it…. NOTHING!! Well, I mean if
trees, dirt and the occasional shanty count then there was something. So, after pooh-poohing my idea to stay under
the JESUS billboard motel, we push on and find a Holiday Inn just outside of
Hattiesburg. After check-in, we immediately
proceed to become law-breakers by executing the Dog-smuggling plan. This consists of a lookout, a cute
unsuspecting dog, and a blanket. You can
fill in the details.
To make a long story short, we arrive at the house, and God
smiles again and we check in two hours early.
After a trip to the grocery store, we start having fun. I will stop to say at this point that for all
the worry and stress, I peek out the window at my family enjoying time in the
pool and feel a deep sense of gratitude.
My wife glows while surrounded by her children, and God whispers to me… “smile
and see the blessings I have provided”.
Life is good. On to the beach!