We had an 8 hour car ride yesterday. With four kids. I think there should be an award of some kind for that.
8 hours of listening to kids movies and watching po-dunk towns fly by will make your mind wander.
Actually, the mind wandering started earlier in the week. You see, I read a book (recommended by Laurie Mounce) this week that was set in the mountains of Georgia. It didn't take long into the book before I was certain we needed to live in the mountains. Last year, while at Camp Ozark, I read a John Grisham book where a man was sent to Italy through the witness protection program, and I was most certain that we needed to live in Italy. (Or at least visit! I've never been to Europe.) Rusty has been to Europe and some other cool places, but prior to high school graduation, I'd only been out of the state to Arkansas. I come from a large family, and my Dad has always been in the ministry, so our vacation budget was nill. We lived in the Houston area and we vacationed in Galveston. Usually in a church member's condo, or some such free/cheap deal. I now realize that family vacations are about family time, but back then, I was more than annoyed with a car ride squeezed between my smelly, leggy brothers, perfecting their burps for the family vacation burping contest. (A contest I never entered. I was a girly girl.)
All that to say...I sometimes have the longing to travel! But I don't want to just spend a week or two in some interesting, completely different location. I want to spend a whole year there. I want to spend all four seasons there. I don't want to spend just a summer in the mountains. I want to see the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer come and go. I want to know what it's really like to live in snow; (if it is anything like I've romanticized it to be, or if I will totally hate it.) I want to know what it's like to hike up a mountain in your backyard everyday instead of going to the gym. I have so many questions! I want to know what the people are like...what their churches are like...how our lives would be different.
When we pass through a small town in Arkansas, I spend the next 20 min. imagining what it would be like to live there and go to First Baptist Church Delight, AR, etc. I do this with every place I see. I construct an elaborate imaginary life there. My kids go to the K-12 all-in-one campus, we go to Melba's Homecookin' Diner every Thursday for lunch, Rusty runs a small practice behind our house...it goes on.
So we've decided we could do short-term missionary work in all of these places. Rusty could set up a practice to meet a need in the community and immediately establish a rapport with us and the community. Then we could share Jesus with the people in our new temporary home! What a great plan! Do you think I could get the mission Board on board with this?
So here is the list I have compiled of the interesting places I want to live for a year each.
Preferably somewhere near the Barrier Reef. I understand this is a very unchurched region. I learned a lot about Australia this year in Kindergarten, and I'm fascinated. Besides, Emma would do anything to go to Steve Irwin's zoo where animals are NOT kept in cages! She is violently opposed to that! We have watched enough of the animal shows on TV to want to see a wallaby and kangaroo in person. And most of all, I REALLY, REALLY want to listen to those people talk for a year. It will drive Rusty nuts!
2. Roatan, Honduras.
We went there once on a cruise, and the beach was unbelievable. The poverty was heart-breaking. We've always talked about going back there to do mission work.
I am dead-set on living in the mountains.
4. The Appalachian Mountains.
Yes, the mountain people! Rusty hasn't read the book "Christy", so he does not share this dream. I am sure the mountain people need our help!
5. Lake Tahoe.
This is a gorgeous place! We visited there when we were first married, and we've always dreamed of retiring there. It has mountains and the beautiful Lake! Our mission here will be Ski Doctor. We can minister to all of the tourists via medicine, while my kids become expert skiiers.
I'm not sure I could endure this kind of cold in the winter, but this is Rusty's contribution to the list. (I'll throw him one.) However, it definitely is an interesting place. I could go with it.
That's my list for now. I have a feeling every book I read will add another year to the adventure.
I want to know what places you guys would choose...join my dream world.