When I was growing up there was a staple that we had at every fancy meal: Pink Stuff Salad. It was a combination of cottage cheese, cool whip, pineapple, and Jello powder. Sometimes it was strawberry flavor, sometimes raspberry. Sometimes we got adventurous and used lime flavor, which, of course, changed everything and made it Green Stuff Salad.
The only problem with this salad was that no one liked it.
I mean, sure, we all took tiny helpings to be polite, and we choked it down as quickly as we could. But it was not tasty.
Finally at one Thanksgiving we had The Talk with my mom.
“No one likes the Pink (or Green) Stuff Salad.”
She took the news quite well, and never again have we had that stuff on our table.
Well, a few days ago I wondered if this Journey was the kidlets’ Pink Stuff Salad. Was this something that Davey and I love, but they just don’t enjoy? Were they going to look back on this summer as something annoying that they had to endure, or do they love it too?
I got my answer in three very unique places: Just outside of Winnemucca, NV, just outside of Lincoln, NE, and just inside the Pennsylvania state line.
In Nevada the kidlets were talking about whether or not they wanted a teleporter to just get to where we were going. The answer was a resounding no.
“Then we’d miss The Journey,” The Girl said. “The Journey is a big part of the fun.”
In Nebraska, Davey and I were trying to decide whether or not to stop at a hotel or drive through the night. The kidlets just listened to our conversation, not saying anything. We finally realized that in order to get where we wanted to get, we needed to just press through. Once the kidlets heard our decision, they all responded in the exact same way.
“Yes! We love driving through the night!”
Finally, we crossed into Pennsylvania just as it was getting dark outside. I looked and saw a firefly, and I got so excited.
I love fireflies.
I pointed it out to the kidlets, who were watching a movie at the time. They decided to turn off the movie so they could watch the bugs outside.
For the next hour they stared out their windows, excitedly pointing out every time they saw a flash of light.
So I am so happy to know that they love this just as much as we do.
No Pink Stuff Salad here.
Speaking of this…
Since my last post we have travelled an additional 2900 miles, bringing our total 6700. We have also spent 60 more hours in the car, bringing that total to 125.
We saw more great friends, camped in ridiculous wind, and visited our nation’s Capitol.
We walked along the Vietnam Memorial, slowly looking over the seemingly endless list of names.
“That’s so sad,” Jar said.
“So many people,” The Girl added.
We stood on the spot where Martin Luther King delivered a speech about his dream. We looked out over the same sights he did, and wondered about what he’d say today.
We read the Gettysburg address, etched on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial. We talked about division. And turmoil. And hope.
We read the signs of the protestors outside of the White House and Supreme Court, and we talked about freedom. Freedom to speak out, and freedom to stay silent.
We walked the steps of the Supreme Court, and we talked about decisions that impact the lives of people everywhere.
And today we rest.
Once again we are settled in a campground, and as I write the kids are reading, journaling, and playing with the little trinkets they’ve picked up along the way.
Tomorrow we head out again. We will make a few stops along the way, but our destination is Cooperstown, New York.
We will spend two whole days exploring a town that is devoted to baseball.
Those will be great days.
Until then, we will continue to rest.
Oh, and eat soft shell crab and Philly cheesesteaks, because what’s a Journey without food?
See you soon!