Have you ever been on a road trip with your siblings?
When was the last time you drove a U-Haul truck all day?
What is your favorite traveling snack?
Have you ever seen a herd of camels?
Last week I got to experience each of these questions. I along with my older brother, Penney and older sisters Janice and Charla, embarked on the exodus. Our ages range from my 62 to my brother’s 68.
We drove 2,314 miles in a U-Haul truck with my sisters driving a car behind us. Why? Well my sister’s daughter and son and their families live in or around Portland, Oregon. They moved up there 12 years ago and my sister, Janice, has wanted to move up there ever since. She worked in Dallas as an attorney with City Square (Central Dallas Ministries) for over ten years, and finally decided it was time.
We loaded up the rented 26 foot truck on Saturday, drove to Lubbock on Sunday, where Jan stayed to play with the grandkids and my brother joined me to help drive the truck. On Monday we drove to Denver, Colorado. On Tuesday we drove to Twin Falls, Idaho and Wednesday we drove to Salem, Oregon. The average time on the road for the last 3 days was 12 hours. Our shared snacks ranged from Fiddle Faddle to Fig Newtons to Maple Nuggets to trash to Hot Tamales.
We quickly realized how unusual this grouping was. To have four brothers and sisters who got along well enough to even attempt a long trip like this was extremely rare. The four of us grew up in a dysfunctional family but were still blessed by a great church and youth group and all four us still have great faith in Him. A lot of that had to do with an amazingly patient, peaceful mother who many of you knew.
The states we drove through included Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Oregon–some of God’s most beautiful creation! Out our windows, we saw “where the deer and the antelope play”, the “buffalo roam” and a weird herd of camels in Colorado.
God was evident all along the way–no one got sick; both older vehicles had no mechanical problems; all drivers stayed awake and alert; weather was perfect the entire trip; no one got mad at another brother or sister; and no accidents! Not bad for 4 old people.
When we arrived Janice said a number of times, “This is a dream come true!” She is finally living close to her children again.
Our lives and this trip was a reminder of God’s promise–“All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 Our trip was work. The driving made us weary down to our bones. The highways were not smooth. The days were long and tiring.
But God! He made it fun. He made it a joy to be with siblings on a journey that allowed us an unusual, incredible type of reunion. He showed us love through family once again.
He showed Himself.
Philip Nichols alias Nichols Worth