Enjoy the Journey

“Stand still,” my husband whispered. “I think I've got it.” I tried not to move, even though something was scratching my feet. I glanced down to see prickly little bushes pressing against my legs.

He moved in closer, aimed, and clicked, but not quickly enough.  The fickle little orange butterfly fluttered out of the camera's view to another blossom a few feet away. We tried to follow it, but we were waist-deep in yellow wildflowers and losing sight of our feet altogether.

“Wait, I told him. Here's another one over here.” Moving only his upper torso, he turned, leaned down close, and clicked again. “Got it,” he said triumphantly.

"Stand still," my husband whispered. "I think I’ve got it." I tried not to move, even though something was scratching my feet. I glanced down to see prickly little bushes pressing against my legs. He moved in closer, aimed, and clicked, but not quickly enough.  The fickle little orange butterfly fluttered out of the camera’s view to another blossom a...We were photographing wildflowers and butterflies along the country roads in South Georgia on our way to a family reunion. We could have booked a flight directly into the airport, but we decided to take it slow and enjoy the journey on a 22-hour road trip from Harlingen to Atlanta.

Road trips were fun when our children were small, but sometimes they were more interested in the destination than the journey. I remember trying to entertain them with drawing, singing, and games, but our conversations were usually centered on three things; “Are we there yet? I gotta go, and he's touching me.”  It took a lot of compromising to keep everyone happy.

When we took our first road trip without them, we had to learn how to compromise with each other.  I liked taking pictures of flowers, and my husband liked reading historical markers.

The first day of our trip alone, it seemed we read every historical marker along the way from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Williamsburg, Virginia.

It was hot, and I sounded a lot like the children with my complaining, “Are we there yet? I gotta go, and do we have to read another historical marker?”

We finally reached the Jamestown Settlement Living History Museum, where America's first permanent English settlement was founded along the James River.  Behind the museum was the James Fort with a self-guided tour through the first home’s relics, the first store, and even the first pulpit and church built in America.

In front of each was a stone marker with a written description on it and my husband read them all aloud.

While he was reading, I wandered a few yards away toward the river. I stepped off the grass onto a sidewalk. Beyond the sidewalk were a rope fence and a dark concrete bank sloping gently into the James River, where the three historical merchant ships, used to carry pilgrim passengers and their cargo, were docked.

I thought it would be nice to sit on the bank and dangle my feet in the cool water. I didn't notice the posted sign that read, “Stay on the Sidewalk,” so I stepped over the rope.

Instantly, my feet went out from under me, and I landed on my backsliding toward the water. Somehow, I flipped my body over quickly and reached for the rope. I missed it and finally stopped myself from sliding into the river by digging my fingers into thick mud on top of the concrete wall.

I called out to my husband, but he thought I was behind him, and he continued reading the markers to me. After struggling for a while, I pulled myself up.  I could see that my toe was bleeding, my clothes were muddy, and I was shaking. When I looked up, I could see him standing reverently in front of the ruins of the Old Church Tower.

A second call didn't get his attention, so I hobbled past the “Stay on the Sidewalk” sign toward him. When I touched him on the back, he began telling me about the courage it must have taken for the pilgrims to come to America. I whimpered.

He turned around and looked incredibly at me.  I told him what happened, showed him my bleeding toe and muddy clothes, and asked could we go now. The look on his face was utter disappointment, and he asked, “Can we finish the tour first?”

We've traveled many miles together since then.  We laugh about the day I almost slid into the James River, but we continue to stop at important landmarks and read the markers, and I try not to wander off.

We also stop to photograph flowers and butterflies, and he sometimes takes the camera away from me to take some photos.

I can't remember all the facts about the places we've visited, nor can I remember all the details of the landmarks in our life, but the journey continues to be the most interesting part of it all.

Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. Oh my! Love Colonial W'burg and visit often...what a way to remember your first visit. Glad you were okay and continue your adventures, Deana!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thanks Cat, I always appreciate your comments, my friend.Deana

  2. LOL, it sounds like my hubby and me. I want to stop to admire trees and he wants to get to where we're going so he can relax and have an ice-cold beer. And I remember the days when the kids were in the car with us so well too. OMW, "are we there yet" must be part of the lexicon of kids the world over.

    • Deana Landers -

      Michelle, I hope I get to meet you one day. We will have so much to talk about.Deana

  3. What a great story. I need to stop and take the time to enjoy such simple and beautiful things like the butterflies. Make the journey more fun.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Denise. I appreciate your reading and commenting. I think we all have to be reminded to stop and notice the beauty around us, sometimes.Deana

  4. Maria -

    Road trips are great now since the pandemic. It has motivated me to take more road trips instead of flying as well. It truly sounded like you guys had fun.

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, I love road trips. I would much rather take a car trip than fly because I am so interested in what I see and the people I get to talk to. Thank you dear friend for your comments.Deana

  5. Cute story, your husband is such a gentleman. My husband would have taken a photo of me laying it the mud because those stories are more fun.

    • Deana Landers -

      Anita, my husband is a die-hard historian. He is way more serious than I am:) I love that you always read, comment and share my stories.Deana

  6. the journey sometimes is the most intriguing.

    • Deana Landers -

      Yes, it is, Linda. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my stories.Deana

  7. I always get into mischief too when I wander off; I have a habit of walking into canons when I visit historic sites - lol. Glad you were ok!

    • Deana Landers -

      Sara, I always feel like we have something in common:) But I think mischievous people have more fun! Thank you for sharing with me.Deana

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