Have you ever taken a family vacation? I have. One specifically was when my family and I went to Branson Missouri. We had a great week at a resort going to shows and exploring the City and chilling by the pool. Wow great story… This story begins at the end of our trip.
On our way back from Branson Missouri the Left front wheel to our trusted steed of a van, Bessie, completely popped off. We were in Iowa, where all bad stories start… No offense if you’re from Iowa, but seriously, what’s wrong with you? But we were on the home stretch back to Minnesota just watching The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring on a small TV that plugged into the Van’s cigarette lighter and only took VHS’s… Some of you are like “What’s a VHS?” some of you are like “What’s a Van?” and “Who’s Bessie?”
Anyway we are at the part where Gandalf gathers the fellowship and they are about to start off on their journey and boom! Sparks spray up from the tar as Our van sinks into the highway, my Dad had a heck of a time wrestling old Bessie to the side of the highway, but after a few screams the van came to a halt on the side of the highway with the hazards flashing. We called “911” and the highway patrol and tow truck were there in no time flat. Since Bessie couldn’t be driven, the two oldest boys (me and my brother Douglas) rode in the tow truck with my dad and the tow truck driver, We’ll call him Earl, to drop off the van at Earl’s Auto shop, which was a shed in his back yard. My mom and the rest of my siblings rode in the highway patrol car to the nearest place to sleep, which was a 5 room motel with slanty floors and crawling with black cats. But it did have pool, so I guess that was cool. Earl dropped “The men” off at the motel and we all got settled in for bed. I took my spot on the slanty floor and we watched the trampoline basketball game “Slam ball” until we fell asleep. When we woke we knew Bessie wasn’t going to be ready for a while so we needed to find a way to kill some time at this motel in the middle of nowhere USA (or Iowa.) And Just when you’d think it couldn’t get any worse, after losing our wheel, and sleeping on a slanty floor at a sketchy motel owned by Cat Woman, after all that we thought we might as well swim in the pool and relax. But there wasn’t any swimming in that pool, because their wasn’t any water in that pool… Instead there was a wall of ivy and pile of greasy brown and green leaves and probably more cats. Right at that moment, my dad yelled to us while holding a giant box of Krispy Kreme donuts “Hey guys, I got donuts!” Turns out that’s all there was to eat for miles around so we piled donuts in our mouths as we piled into the tow truck back to Earl’s Shop, I mean his shed in his back yard. Their wasn’t much to Earl’s back yard besides his shed full of rusty pieces of metal and old tow truck parts, but way off in the distance, about 20 feet away was a trampoline, we were ecstatic because we spent all last night watching slam ball. So while My parents and Earl figured out how to fix old Bessie, us kids figured out how to turn this trampoline into a slam ball court. We played slam ball until Bessie was ready for the road again. At which point us kids were bummed we had to leave. We wanted to keep playing and hanging out in Earl’s back yard. “What do you mean Bessie is fixed? I don’t want to leave!”
For my parents our time in Iowa was a nightmare… like most time spent in Iowa, but our Van broke and we had to sleep at a crappy motel and pay some random guy who barely knew what he was doing to fix our vehicle after a vacation and just wanting to go home, that just screams no fun, but to my siblings and I it felt like a vacation extension.
“You’re telling me the wheel to our van is going to fly off while we’re going 70 miles an hour on the highway and sparks are going to fly all over the road? Awesome! and we get to ride in a cop car and a tow truck, cool! And watch slam ball and have a slumber party all together, and in the morning we’re having krispy kreme donuts for breakfast? Are you kidding me?!!! Then we’re going to our new friend Earl’s house and playing slam ball on his trampoline? Whoa That sounds like the best day ever!”
Looking back my parents laugh about it but when this happened they weren’t enjoying themselves, while the kids had an opposite view of the situation. Instead of focusing on the bad things, we focused on the good and fun things. We were thankful to ride in a cop car and tow truck, and spend another night in a new place and eat donuts and play slam ball at Earl’s house, we were thankful for the good things and because of that it felt like our vacation was extended a whole extra day.
Moral of the story: think like a kid. I don’t mean to laugh at fart jokes or run away from girls because they have cooties, but I do mean to not worry. Don’t worry about things of this world and focus on the good in your life because you will see that the good far outweighs the bad.