Before I think about packing clothes for a trip, my children are making all sorts of plans. I usually tell them they may pack their purses, then I’ll go through everything with them and discuss with them what may or not may be good items to take along. We learn as we go; who will want to go after all the missing pieces of a travel checkers game or beads that strayed while threading them? As they grow older there will be plenty of time for the likes. For now there are a lot of more travel-friendly options such as looking at books, telling stories, or our old faithful games of ABC or I see something.
Hosanna’s imagination keeps me going. She is packing daytime and night time purses to take along on our bus ride to Iowa. I was intrigued with the homemade schoolbook she made for herself to work along the way.
Packing light is my motto, I remind the children that every item that gets lugged along will need to be put away after we come home. Who relishes unpacking?
The older ones enjoy packing their own clothes and if I put enough thought in ahead to make sure we’re well-stocked on clothes, I find it very fulfilling to pack for travel. On occasions we’re gone for a week, I take a Rubbermaid tote from one room to the next and stock it with each child’s pajamas, the boy’s pants, and such. The shirts and dresses are placed in a garment bag with my name sewed on it, which my parents gave to me as a teenager.
I’m finding that a bigger key for me is to not get stressed about clothes and all that needs to be packed and once we’ve hit the road, quit trying to figure out what I may have forgotten!
Traveling is a highlight for all of us, that is, until we hit lots of curvy roads. Sometimes I wonder if it makes a difference that our children sometimes get carsick, since they don’t drive with a vehicle much and are more used to a horse and buggy. So far they seem to be outgrowing the motion sickness which we’re thankful for.
I do not cease to marvel over the difference of traveling with only three booster seats and only one car seat, instead of multiple babies who are too young to know where we’re going. But then what is more fun than to take yours babies to out-of-state family and watch them bond with one another?
Oh my, why not embrace each stage as it comes? There is only one today and one opportunity to wing it, knowing that God’s got it. Tomorrow I will not need to fight today’s battle again if I have given it back to Him as He unwound it minute by minute. Reminds me of a wind-up clock I was fascinated with as a girl. Isn’t it amazing, this moment is only here for now, in the next breath it’ll be gone for good. What will I do with it?
Holidays have a way of marking more time elapsing. Honestly, in some ways I don’t feel like facing them minus Daniel, my beloved husband. Deep down, under the tears I know that the pain faced today is not wasted. God will use those moments of pain. I don’t know how it all works, I only know who He is — the One who will not leave us comfortless.
This year instead of our regular family gathering we look forward to visiting Daniel’s widowed cousin Mandy, and her family in Seymour, Iowa. This past summer some of us had attended her husband’s funeral, now it just seems right to go spend more time together.
The day before Thanksgiving Daniel’s siblings from Danville, Ohio plan to travel to Indiana where we’ll meet them, then travel the remaining six hours together by bus.
Thanksgiving Day will Lord willing be spent with Mandy, her siblings, parents, and five precious children. Friday we hope to work on things around the house including making firewood for them to use for heating the house this winter.
Lastly, I’ll share this broccoli casserole recipe Daniel used 13 years ago for my 21st birthday. Though he was never so fond of cooked broccoli he kindly made it for me. At suppertime he admitted it really was better than he thought it would be. Corn flake chicken and a cheese cake finished of the birthday meal. Those moments have passed; now in 13 years from now what will have become of the moments we now call today?
2 pounds fresh broccoli, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup shredded cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup crushed snack crackers
Wash broccoli and place in a heavy sauce pan. Steam 6-8 minutes until crispy — tender. Place in a casserole dish. In a bowl combine soup, mayo, cheese and lemon juice. Pour over broccoli. Sprinkle cracker crumbs on top. Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes until heated through.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish house-wife in rural Illinois. She is the third writer of The Amish Cook column since its inception in 1991. Yoder can be reached by writing: The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 157, Middletown, Ohio 45042.