Recently I ran across a list I compiled back in 2003, no doubt at a moment of frustration. It is a list of vacations or trips I have made with my in-laws since I wed the ‘love of my life’ back in 1979. In 2003 the list totaled at least 30 such trips and there have been many more in the last 5 years, including a trip to Alaska with a party of 10 to celbrate our 26 1/2 year wedding anniversary (we tend to do things on a schedule which makes sense only to us).
On most all of these trips I had the pleasure of driving or traveling with ‘Miss Trudy’, aka, my mother-in-law. These trips included, believe it or not, my honeymoon. Since my father-in-law passed away back in 1993 I have become the designated driver for Miss Trudy’s motorhome, her favorite way to travel and in 1998 we managed to have that vehicle in every time zone in the continental United States in a span of 30 days. I have driven said motorhome 22,000 miles which doesn’t sound like much until you factor in the knowledge that almost every foot of the way was with Miss Trudy’s coaching from her favorite perch right behind the driver’s seat, out of sight but most assuredly not out of earshot. That’s a fair amount of togetherness.
After yet another trip over Thanksgiving (sans motorhome this time) I reflected on a facet of my personal theology. Some people are put on the Earth so others can practice what they preach. I think Miss Trudy has been that for me at times, and I most assuredly have been that for her many more times. When I hugged her good-bye this morning I thought that I was fortunate enough that all of this practice has resulted in a bond with my mother-in-law that most married men would envy. God Bless Miss Trudy and the miles we have logged together especially the ‘bumpy’ ones. Sometimes blessings appear in strange guises and she is one I wouldn’t have anticipated all those years ago.