Spring ushers in new life and color. It is my favorite season. Its teeter totter temperatures create a wild weather ride; from warmth and sunshine to fierce thunder and pouring rain. I love the thrill of lightning, such a wondrous display of God’s power. Birds make melodies to their mates and hatch-lings sing for their supper. Pink snow falls as blooms give way to chartreuse and emerald leaves.The air fills with the smells of both flowers and fresh turned soil. Spring throws a party from the thrifty stores of winter and I love parties.
In my last post I shared a bit about my Grandma and her 100th birthday party to celebrate her life. This past Tuesday I returned from another celebration of life. My mom and I had a spring fling in New England. Our travel plans emerged spontaneously. My Grandmother died April 11th. My mother’s Cousin Bobby, on hospice fighting a losing a battle with bone cancer, is still alive. She wanted to visit him last year but she had a stroke before we could make plans. Then my Grandmother required more help. Now with Grandma gone and Bobby alive she was ready to roll. “I want to go soon. If we do this I can bury my mom’s ashes with her parents. When can we leave?” she asked me.
We bought our tickets to Boston two days after Grandma passed and flew out one week later for a whirlwind road trip. With all the fury of a spring tornado our unexpected adventure took us to three states, six relatives, eight of my mom’s high school class mates, an old graveyard, and several nail biting detours through Boston.
I had a hard time packing for this trip. Spring is that way; never know what the weather will do. I failed to remember Maine and New Hampshire are right up there with Canada and even thought our tulips and daffodils were past theirs were just starting. It was cold and found me unprepared but I managed to layer up sufficiently.
I also found my heart battling anxiety before my departure. The roads in New England are the worst in the country. I hoped I had exaggerated this when I asked my Bible study group to pray for me. Then one of my friends asked why the roads were so bad, "Is it the road conditions or the traffic?"
Another friend piped up just as I answered and simultaneously we said, "BOTH!" So I'm not crazy!
The phrase "You can't get there from here." was coined by an New Englander but apparently the google maps programmers didn't realize this. It became obvious as I followed their directions they had never used them and were only making wild guesses based on satellite photos taken hundreds of miles away. This lead to my new road trip phrase; DeTour de jour! (Blame it on my French heritage) I have only been lost once. Then Jesus found me. Since then I take unplanned detours. If I end up where I'm supposed to be I am not lost. My mother and I experienced at least one detour a day and two our last day in Boston.
Another component to my uneasiness was the realization that I may well be both pilot and navigator on this trip. My mom and I had not done a road trip since her stroke. I felt she may not have regained her excellent map reading skills. I was right. At one point on a detour during Boston rush hour traffic that was rushing not gridlocked, this became comical.
I had to pay attention to traffic because I was driving. So I asked my mom to please, try to study the map and help me get back to where I needed to be. In a fairly freaked out voice she exclaimed, 'I CAN'T DO THAT NOW! I HAVE TO WATCH TRAFFIC!"
Prayerfully and as patiently as I could I responded by saying, "Then I guess neither one of us will know where we're going."
"That's right!" She snapped.
In spite of white knuckle driving God is good. I am so thankful for those who prayed us there and back again. I feel blessed that God interrupted my calendar with this tornado of travel. We were able to visit every one on my mom's list plus more. One of her class mates arranged a reunion party on very short notice allowing my mom to reconnect with her class for the first time in sixty years.
My mother turns eighty in November. This may well have been her fair well tour. She hugged her cousin Bobby good-bye and kissed him on the cheek for the last time. I am glad God used me to make that possible. She never would have made this trip alone. We also got to see two Maine lighthouses (fodder for anther post) and had a relaxing tour of Boston from a trolley bus. And yes my grandma was laid to rest in her parent's family plot. My mom shared her gratitude for my willingness to take her by sending me the lovely basket of flowers you saw in the "Happy May Day" picture.
I'm glad I made the great exchange; His peace for my stress. I confessed my fear and chose to fear Him more than driving in New England. That's the beauty of fearing God; no fear of anything else!
Oh, I did promise a party too. May is my birth month and I'm serving tea in my next four posts;
You are cordially invited
to join me for a birthday celebration
as I serve you tea for the remainder of May.
One party favor a week will be given to someone who leaves a comment and emails me their address along with one element of their birthday; month, day or year.
Hope you join in the fun!