As Ken and I prepare to drive out to our cabin in Colorado this week, we’re making plans to see good friends, visit interesting places, and enjoy the ride as much as our time at the cabin. Our family has always held the belief that the journey is as important as the destination. No matter where we go, especially if we are driving, we always make the travel as important and fun as the actual vacation. As far as we’re concerned, it’s one and the same.
When our girls were little, we drove from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Southwest Colorado almost every year. It’s a 36 hour drive, and believe me, a journey of that length with three little girls is no picnic, but we found ways to make it not only memorable but downright enjoyable for all. Our girls still talk about the Mitchell Corn Palace and the Giant Concrete Buffalo like they’re the Eiffel Tower. Okay, maybe not quite that, but they were just two of the memorable stops on our travels that we marveled at and smile about today.
There’s nothing like discovering a hidden gem like the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Missouri, or the Medora Music in Medora, North Dakota. While the journey might be long, there’s always something to make it entertaining, even exciting.
A Child’s Dream Trip
When our youngest was little, she developed an obsession with Abraham Lincoln. Honestly, we have no idea how this came about. She was about five-years-old when she first became fascinated by the 15th President, and to this day (at the age of twenty-one), his bobblehead sits on a shelf above her bed. When Morgan was eight, the five of us sat down and began planning our journey out west. We laid out the map and looked at possible routes, and Morgan asked, “Is there a way that takes us to places where Abraham Lincoln lived?” Notice the lack of formal title–by the time, Morgan and Abe were old pals.
Looking back, I think we all agree that was one of the best drives we’ve ever planned. We visited the birthplace of Lincoln, his boyhood cabin home, his adult home, and the Lincoln Presidential Library, among many other fascinating stops from the St. Louis Arch to the Great Platte River Road Archway (one of the coolest museums EVER). Morgan was in a state of awe throughout most of the trip.
Building Knowledge, Creating Bonds
How we loved those journeys and all the things we did and saw. Our girls learned more from those road trips than they could ever learn in school. From spending the night in a covered wagon on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homestead in South Dakota to visiting the Alamo to walking the yellow brick road in Kansas, these trips provided both entertainment and education that we could never replicate any other way.
To be honest, I think these long treks across our great nation built our girls into the adults they are today. They have respect for other people and cultures, respect for this beautiful country we call home, a love of learning, and most of all, a deep love for each other. Spending 3-4 days together in a cramped vehicle on each end of a two week stay in a remote cabin at the top of a mountain in the Rockies, requires patience, understanding, compassion, and love that can’t be nurtured any other way. Our girls stick by each other through thick and thin, no excuses or looking away or being unsupportive. They are the best of friends, and I think it’s because of all the experiences they’ve shared.
It’s the Journey that Counts
I wrote a few weeks ago about life being a highway we all ride to our final destination. We meet with detours and roadblocks and dead ends, but there are many wonderful highlights along the way. I said in the post that these trips are my favorite memories of the past twenty years, and I pray that my children feel the same.
There is so much to learn on this journey we call life. So many never think about the journey, and some are focused entirely on the destination. But it’s the journey that counts. It’s what we do with our time, the joys we share with others, the love we spread, and the things we learn along the way that make a difference in our lives and in our time on this road.
Two weeks ago, I reminded everyone that this life we live is the longest thing we will ever do. We need to make every minute count. That’s not the same as living a rat race and being busy every minute of the day. It’s living our lives with purpose, enjoying all the blessings God has given us, and relishing all the opportunities and learning experiences He has laid along our paths.
Follow our travels over the next weeks, including the journey to get there, on my Facebook and Instagram accounts!
Enter the Contest!
Don’t forget to share your Selfie with a Saint to be entered into our end-of-the-summer drawing to win a copy of our new book, Meet the Satins From A-Z, A Children’s Introduction to the Saints. Just take a selfie of yourself with a saint, and share the picture with me! Find a statue of a saint at your church, on your campus, or during your travels this summer, and take a picture with him or her. Then post the picture on Instagram or Facebook, and tag me in it–@AmySchislerAuthor– with the hashtag #Meetthesaints. All photos must tag me, use the hashtag, and be posted by August 30.
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Dates are being scheduled for the fall. Watch for information about Abbeyfest in September and about a workshop Amy will be giving in November.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, will be released June 15, 2022. Pre-order your copy now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021).