why travel?

lunch is in the oven, & i’m thinking down scones & potato salad.  the sink is full, & the laundry basket, & the living room floor.  i need to air out snowpants from newbie cross-country skiers, & there’s a cat around here somewhere.

just now i’m wondering why.  we’re tired, there’s much to do.  i just sent the little boys down the hall to do their screaming somewhere-not-here.  the long list i pencilled last night, an hour after we got back from michigan, is cackling at me, chuckling at my ambition.  tomorrow we leave for north dakota, the second leg of our first annual winter grandparent tour.  WI to MI back to WI to ND & back to WI.

why would a young family, toddlerhood still hanging off the last one, travel in the winter on a super-low budget to somewhere not-warm?

all i can offer for explanation is a few photos.

michigan tech’s winter carnival snow sculptures.

andy’s newest addition to screenprinting, ice t-shirts.  jay kay.

their first time on cross-countries & snow shoes.

they can fight even on skis.

i was so happy to see this random person flying a kite out on the lake.  because, why not?  my life could use a little more “why not?”.  yours, too?

then a trip to houghton’s library.  my boots:  actual size.

the SNOW, people.  i don’t know if you know.

& pasties with my cute MIL.  because PASTIES.

hanging out with papa.  & cousin Ever, the delicious.

the beautiful auntie Elizabeth brought over her watercolors.

& uncle Ben the Benevolent provided the entertainment.

ive-year-old selfies.  

so, truly.  why, when it’s a boatload of work, & inconvenient, & hours in the crumb-laden van, would we value travel as a way of being in the world?

i think it carries over to everything:  doing the things we really want to do, living our ideals, living an intentional life, is a boatload of work.  & though the work is just that, work, how can we not put in the extra grind?

andy said yesterday on our drive home, as we were talking life & philosophy:

we’re past impossible.

meaning, we’ve lived a long time referring to different pieces of our lives as impossible.  but is anything, really, if we’re meant to do it, impossible?  or is it just difficult, inconvenient, work?  i mean, i want the good life.  & that life is not the one on billboards or on the news, in the sunday paper advertisements.  it’s more mysterious than that.  it’s deeper.  i dare say it’s simpler.

& part of that inconvenience for us, that impossible, is back-to-back roadtrips with four smallish children in the winter to cold destinations.

it is travel.

did i mention the water heater just died?

4 thoughts on “why travel?

  1. Having done similar trips, in the winter with little ones, I know now the memories are worth it. Talking with adult sons….they remember. And now that the grandparents are gone, those memories are not only precious, they guide how the future generation is being raised. The values of time, family, simplicity, love…they last because of those memories….those experiences.

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