This past summer was one I will remember the rest of my life. Seriously, it was a wonderfully memorable three months. From seeing the Grand Canyon to building a house in Mexico, to riding roller coasters at Disney Land, it was one of the best summers of my life.
To be honest, I had apprehensions about the long days on the road, all cooped up in the little RV we borrowed for weeks on end, but it all went by too fast for me. I wouldn’t have traded the long hot days in Texas and the freezing mornings at the Grand Canyon for anything. We brought along a television, DVD player and some movies, but most of the time we just sat, talked, played with the few toys we brought and watched the countryside fly by. It was wonderful.
From Western Oregon to Southern Idaho we rode, and then on to Park City, Utah where my uncle lives. We then drove through one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been- Zion National Park. The rocks there looked as if they had been grazed by angels or magnificently swept by a huge paint brush. Then we came to Arizona, and stopped for a few days in the Grand Canyon National Park Camp Grounds. We hiked the very next day on the tourists’ trail, from which we could see the wondrous rock formations the Grand Canyon’s famous for.
After seeing what we had heard so much about at the park, we were ready to move on. We drove on to Gallup, New Mexico, then to Oklahoma to stop at a discovery center for an afternoon. Then, we rode south to Dallas, Texas where we camped for almost two weeks while my parents took some classes in the Pioneer Bible Translators’ head quarters compound. Then, we hastily made our way to San Diego to meet my father’s family so that we could proceed on to Tijuana, Mexico. Once we had set up camp, we settled in for a week of working together to produce a small, two roomed, stucco house for the family we were assigned to help. From hammering the boards of the frame together to slathering the stucco on the walls, to talking to the locals with the primitive Spanish we knew; we all, young and old, had something to do. That one week of toils-for-a-purpose was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever encountered.
Then came the well-waited-for occasion - Disney Land. We, as a family group, had a ton of fun! If you could swallow the pain in your feet (I swear we walked ten miles that day), you could really enjoy yourself. From Space Mountain to Buzz Lightyear to the Haunted House, you were entertained the whole day. It had almost everything a person could want to do and more. And with our own “personal tour guide” a.k.a., my cousin J.J., we could hit all the hot-spots during the low-times and get us in the fastest line possible. What a day! And we only saw a few of the sights there in Disney Land. It was a memorable day, indeed.
And, with that, I bring to conclusion the summary of my summer. After departing from the band of ‘cousins’, we visited two of my parent’s old college buddies and made our way back up to the little town of Independence, Oregon. And as we wait for next summer to arrive, we wait in anticipation pondering what those three wonderful months to come might bring.