Thinking back on my childhood, our family went on a few road trips and vacations. My favorite trip of all time was when we drove from the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State to Provo, Utah. I had never been to Utah and I was really excited. We went to Temple Square, watched Legacy in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and shopped at the BYU Bookstore. I saw more temples on the trip than I’d ever seen in all my life up to that point.
If you were to ask what my favorite part of that 6 day trip, I wouldn’t have to think long to tell you the answer. The memories that bring back to most emotion for me were created while sitting in the back seat of an old green Ford Galaxy 500 with 6 of my siblings. That’s right, 7 children in the backseat. Who needed seatbelts when we had a large back window and that many laps?
While we drove we listened to music on mix tape created by Ryan. Our favorite song was Piano Man by Billy Joel. Dad got tired of that song by the time we hit Twin Falls, Idaho so we quoted movie lines. Garen quoted lines from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for about 300 miles. The quote repeated the most often: You dirty rat. You killed my brother. Every time he said it, sounding like Michaelangelo imitating James Cagney, we all laughed. We were amazed at his skill to sound exactly like the movie. It came to a point where my parents were tired of hearing TMNT quotes and told us to choose something else. We didn’t. Finally Dad said, ‘If you say that quote one more time I’m stopping the car.’ We asked him what quote he was referring to and he repeated You dirty rat. You killed my brother. We all laughed, and then Garen responded, ‘Ok Dad. I won’t say you dirty rat. You killed my brother, again. More laughing commenced and he didn’t stop the car.
Memories are a funny thing. You go on adventures that you are certain will make a lifelong impression and then learn later the best part of the trip was being stuck in the car for 12 hours with those you love the most.
There are many wondering places to visit in this world. If you think about it, I’m sure you could come up with places you have been that mean a great deal to you. Are they important to you because you purchased something while you were there or attended business training? Or are they important because you spent time with someone dear to you?
The great thing about making memories is you don’t have to go very far or spend any money to create something that lasts a lifetime. Make a tent in your living room and invite your friends over. Sleep on your deck. Go to a warehouse store and have a ‘photo shoot’ with someone you are close to.
It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do when you get there. The memory is created by being there with the ones you love. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’ Learn to enjoy the journey.
Today I am thankful for road trips
and the priceless memories that accompany them.