Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of accompanying Asher and her kindergarten class on a field trip to a local dairy. We rode in a hay wagon, fed some hungry barnyard mammals, and stuck our fingers in the sucking extremities of a cow milking machine. One of our neighbors was also a chaperone. As I extended a pellet-filled hand to feed a voracious, slobbering goat, she observed, “This is normal for you guys, isn’t it?”
What she meant of course was that for 11 months every day was a field trip for our family. As master itinerary and activity planner, the Julie McCoy of our RTW adventure, I got to decide just how exciting or different each day would be. Would we ride elephants, teach English at a school, raft down a river, explore ancient ruins, or wander through a museum? Would we take an extra day in a city to relax or book a bus to a completely different destination? Would we climb a snow-capped mountain, descend into a glowworm-filled cave, or venture into a critter-filled rainforest? No matter what we decided to do, it was always engaging and never mundane.
Now, three months after returning, a field trip is an exception to our schedule rather than the norm. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t make me sad. I pine for the freedom and adventure, for the intellectual stimulation and physical challenge our travels provided. As the weeks roll by and the distance from our traveling days grows, I wonder how long it will be before we can set off again. Perhaps what I really should think about though is how can I make each day at home inspiring for my family, just as I tried to on the road.
Maybe we’re doing better than I give us credit for. In the past week, Dax’s band threw a concert/party in the yard, we had Asher’s last soccer game and party, we went to a christmas tree farm for a “trunk or treat,” we attended a city council meeting where the Mayor presented our church with a proclamation we sponsored (and I submitted as part of my current calling), Tom carved pumpkins and roasted seeds with the little kids, and I shepherded them through the neighborhood while they gathered enough candy to feed a small country.
Not bad, but here’s where we were this time last year…Sigh….