Ρhat had a week-long training seminar to attend in Austin and I wanted to go. Nothing exciting to see really, it just beat staying home with three little ones. We could all pile in the car and spend the week in a hotel with an indoor swimming pool. He received a stipend for food and hotel so, if we were very careful, we wouldn’t spend more than we normally did for groceries. Instant vacation for Mom and the kids…a change of pace for Dad!
Every day was spent at the pool while Phat trained. It was a normal work week in the Fall so no other patrons were around; we essentially had a private pool for the week. The boys learned to swim as my baby girl, Tink, kicked round the pool in her yellow innertube. At rest time Tink and I cuddled up to nap while the boys watched cartoon network (quite the splurge for this cable-free family). We ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch and dinner out with Dad every night. After dinner we plunged into the pool once more to show Daddy all the new tricks learned that day – “Daddy, daddy! Watch me, watch me!!” Afterwards…family story time, kids fell into bed exhausted, while Mom and Dad watched a late movie.
The last day of the week we found an arboretum in the city park. It was free with a splendid Japanese garden. The kids were delighted with the unusual landscape and koi pond. We spent hours walking the acreage enjoying the beautiful autumn day. It is a lovely memory.
Our first ever family vacation wasn’t much to brag about, but we felt we had experienced the best.
Now we have a pool in the backyard (mostly due to this memory) and promotions have allowed for “better” vacations: walking along beaches, hiking up mountains, exploring dark caves, tubing down rivers, exhilarating amusement parks…yet, that simple time years ago still brings to mind the beauty of time alone, no worries about spending money, just enjoying eachother’s company.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. ~Philippians 4:11-12
Learning the secret of contentment, seeing the blessings in the simple pleasures of life, loving eachother and celebrating shared moments. What simple memories bring you joy?
Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. ~Mark 6:31
Need a vacation? Jesus says, “Take one!”