Travels – through life and memories

While I generally blog here about travels I am going to digress just a bit today. It will still be about travels, but of a different kind.

Over the last 37 years we’ve amassed a lot of stuff. Kid stuff, business stuff, pictures and stuff (and when you’ve got a professional photographer as a father there are LOTS of pictures), military stuff, Air Force stuff, kid’s toy stuff, sewing stuff, family heirloom stuff… well, you get the picture. We have LOTS of stuff. And we live in the same house we bought when we had no children in 1977, and so we have had a storage room at Hide-Away Storage for a long time because there are some things we just can’t part with!

While Sonja & I have traveled extensively across America, the Caribbean, Asia, and I’ve enjoyed Europe and Alaska that isn’t what brought me to today’s thoughts. You see, it is really about boxes of memories.

37 years ago today Sonja was living in Iowa at her parent’s home in Chariton. She, just months out of college as a graduate of Olivet Nazarene College in Bourbonnais, IL, was making the final plans and arrangements for our wedding on October 16th. I was living in what would become OUR apartment in Swartz Creek, MI while traveling around Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky as the Regional Sales Manager for Dallas & Mavis Forwarding Company. Traveling…

After our wedding we headed out for our honeymoon to Lake Otsego and Gaylord, Michigan via Danville and Bourbonnais, IL and then Appleton, WI and the Upper Peninsula. Traveling…

Remember that storage space I talked about? Well, today we moved our stuff from a big one to one a little less big. After my lovely bride sorted through a lot of our stuff we loaded a couple of loads into the SUV and took it to the church for a youth sponsored yard sale. And, so, with less stuff to store we could move into a smaller space. And, while helping Sonja make the move today, I got to look at some of those things we’ve held onto for the sake of memories.

And some of the memories were pretty emotional. As I was sorting through some framed photos one of those I found was the frame of Allen’s USAF Basic Training photo with a signature frame around it. On that white frame are comments and best wishes and promises of prayer and fond memories. As I stood there looking at that picture and reading those well wishes I thought back to my time in the Air Force 30 years earlier of his, of the trips I took, and of my son’s travel to Iraq and Germany and Scotland. Of his excellence as an air traffic controller in the Air Force, and his travels from here, to Texas, to Louisiana, to Idaho, to Iraq, back to Florida, to Oklahoma, and now to California. And how much we miss him here, but how proud we are of his development at Oakland Center with the FAA. Travels…

Looking through a box marked “Ed” I find a lot of my material from my 6 years in the Air Force. Among that material was an envelope with post cards from my trip to Greece in 1972. What an incredible trip that was to Greece and Spain as we worked with our NATO allies. Travels…

Sonja has her Great-Grandmother Stanger’s White Sewing machine made c1919. Allyssa brought this back from Iowa several years ago when she was a senior at Olivet and she had my little pick-up truck at school. After going to Grandma Hixson’s she brought her mother her hope chest and this sewing machine. So, the 3rd generation lady has this sewing machine now after it traveled from Iowa to Illinois and down to us in Florida.  While Allyssa was in college at Olivet she was, indeed, far away.  But she came back for spring break every year, for Christmas, she traveled to Grandma Hixson’s for Thanksgiving, and I would help her move up and back at the beginning and end of each school year.  And each of those trips has special memories for Dad and his Princess.  Travels…

You see, while we love to travel, and we love to help people travel. sometimes the best travels are those that are memories. Memories of things we’ve done, memories of the successes and travels of our children, and memories of the places we been and the things we’ve done – even when that was a long time ago.

Sometimes it is good to just sort through some of our stuff and reflect on the places we’ve been and how those things became so important to us. And, then, when you do travel the next time (and we sure hope you’ll have Maltese Cross Travel help you make your reservations) and your bring back a few things from wherever it is your travel, rest in knowing that at some point in the future you’ll look at those and it will elicit a memory and bring a small… or even a tear.

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