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Life With Livingston Dental
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Finding Our Way Along the Road or Waves
Jeanelle had graciously prepared meals for us before she left, but on our last day without her, all the meals had been eaten. There was nothing left in the fridge, so I suggested to the kids, “Why don’t we go out to eat?” Of course, they were excited. We drove the five miles from our home into Afton to get burgers. During the drive, my son David suddenly announced, “Dad, I could never be a good cook.” “I don’t have a driver’s license,” David said, completely straight faced. David equated my cooking skills with my ability to get us to a Burger King or Taco Time. Twenty years later, David is pursuing his dream of a culinary degree. He’s a prime example of how you never know the path your child will choose. Speaking with him recently, I asked if he remembers being certain he would never be a good cook. David started laughing. “You were a great cook, Dad.” “Why not?” I asked, truly perplexed.
We docked in Juneau, where we got to visit the state museum, which displays the document showing our country’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The price? Seven million dollars! At the time, the exchange was called Seward’s Folly, named after Secretary of State William Seward. Now, though, I don’t think anyone questions our purchase of Alaska, given its bountiful natural resources and unparalleled beauty. Sometimes, it takes time to see how a decision will turn out. One thing I recall from every road trip was cleaning our car before we left. What month-old mystery food would I find wedged in the seats? It was always an adventure, though sometimes it was less pleasant than others depending on the kids’ snacks on the previous trip. The other mystery? All the change I would find! I made money by cleaning out the vehicle. With each of our kids, the journey was unique. Parenting is such a fascinating journey. You think you learn everything with the first child, but we’ve raised five kids. Each one is different, and some are polar opposites. By the time you get to the last kiddo, you’re closer to figuring it out, but it’s still a lifelong journey.
When our kids were little, we wanted to show them different parts of the country, so we took them on various adventures. One year, we rented a motor home and took a 1 1/2-week vacation to Disneyland. We stopped whenever we needed or wanted. The kids had never been in a motor home before, so it was an entirely new experience for them. They enjoyed playing games as we drove down the interstate. Every time we pulled over, the kids climbed the trees, scrambling to the top until the branches swayed under their weight and forced them lower. The hardest part was getting them down when it was time to get back on the road. Somehow, we all made it through unscathed and had a great time in California. In fact, we enjoyed the journey as much as the destination. Another year, we took a cruise to Alaska up an inside passage on a route that normally catered to seniors. The cruise line was offering a good deal, so we booked a trip along with Jeanelle’s sister and her family, who had children around the same age as ours. Aboard the ship, we found that the population consisted mostly of newlyweds and seniors. It was our first cruise as a family, and we enjoyed seeing this stunning part of our country from our new vantage point.
That’s hindsight for you.
Once, when Jeanelle was out of town for a few days, it was just the kids and me.
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