My family has about two more weeks all together before our oldest heads back to Brazil and the rest of us remain in the States for a bit longer. In just a few days things will never be quite the same again. My dh really wanted to take the boys for a short vacation to do some things that they had been wanting to do while here in America.
We kept trying to make it work, but with teens there is always something on the schedule to "mess" things up. Finally this past Saturday we just made it happen and got ready to go.
We went to Greenbrier County, West Virginia and jumped right in kayaks for a 2 hour ride down the Greenbrier River. I wasn't sure I could keep up and I was scared stiff when I heard the first set of roaring rapids. But I made up my mind to keep going now matter what, and I made it.
We camped right along the river inspite of bad storm forecasts. All was well with campsites with special awnings like carport coverings.
The next morning we went in search of Organ Cave with hopes of the guys taking a real spelunking adventure tour. Since our trip was last minute we had no reservations. The dear lady at the cave didn't seem too happy to accommodate. It seemed rather hopeless. We took the regular tour and got ready to leave. As we left my dh tried to call another nearby cave with a similar adventure tour. No hope there either.
It was already close to 12:30 - lunchtime! As we sat in the car near the entrance to the cave site, a pick-up truck drove in. I had a sudden thought that maybe one of the cavers the lady had tried to call had received the message and come by inspite of our lack of a reservation and planning...
I said a little prayer and suggested we go back to the picnic tables on the cave property and go ahead and eat our lunch. The guy in the truck was not one of the cavers. Seems he was a yard boy! But as we ate our lunch, the lady (who had not been incredibly helpful in the beginning) came out of the office/souvenir store and looked all around. When she saw us eating our lunch, she came walking over with a smile. One of the men that does their special tours had called back in response to a voice mail left for him earlier, he could come and would be there in one hour - would we wait? Yes, we would.
The guys all got to go into the depths of the cave with lanterns on the heads and kneepads. I didn't take part in their adventure - I went into Historic Lewisburg instead. The boys were very happy, especially my oldest who repeated over and over how this was one of the things he had always, always wanted to do! Small miracle accomplished.
Our trip lasted about 52 hours, but we did a whole lot. That quantity/quality thing is hard to balance. Families need lots of quantity time but that time does need to have a special happy quality. Everything about our weekend was not perfect, but God took care of each of us and of many of the little details.