We woke this morning to the sound of pouring rain hammering our roof and the wind whipping the trees in our backyard. Tropical storm Debby is churning up the Gulf waters and growing stronger and stronger near our central Florida home.
As of today, my family is supposed to be on vacation. For six months we were planning it. It was to be an epic family road trip from Clearwater, FL to Cook Forest, PA. About 20 hours of driving, with all seven of us crammed into the mini-van, along with a week’s worth of stuff packed into suitcases in the back.
We were all anxiously anticipating it—road trip and all. We had planned out where we would stop along the way and what fun things we would do when we arrived. My aunt and uncle own a spacious cabin up there and they had invited us, and the rest of the extended family, to come and stay in their cabin for a family reunion and week-long vacation. My aunt had written us and told us about the tubing and the fishing and the exploring we could do. She had sent the kids postcards from the area showing them just what the gorgeous scenery looked like. The kids have spent the last year exchanging letters with her and building a wonderful pen pal relationship and the trip was as much about meeting their beloved great aunt and pen pal as it was about the woods and the cabin.
Then Tim lost his teaching contract. He found his new job and our plans for two months of uninterrupted family time crumbled. Our plans for our vacation fell apart as well. It would not have been right to accept a new job and then ask for a week off, just two weeks after starting. Besides that, the rest of the family had had their own problems. It seemed no one could find the time or money to invest in a week in the forests of Pennsylvania. So, we called the whole thing off just about three weeks ago.
The kids took the news pretty well. We decided to plan a much smaller road trip for later in the summer, just our family, for just a few days to St. Augustine. It will not be the same but will still be fun, I’m sure. So this week finds us not on a fun filled family vacation but at home experiencing a rain filled tropical storm.
We have all heard the phrase “we plan, God laughs”. That has been the theme of our life the last few weeks. First, Tim’s job, then this. I know God must be laughing up there in heaven right now. You see, we had planned to visit and vacation with Aunt Debbie in Pennsylvania but we ended up being stuck at home in Florida with an unanticipated visit from Tropical Storm Debby instead!