May 17, 2020

Summer is upon us, and, despite some authority figures telling people to stay home, there will be those who want to take a summer vacation. 

I always enjoyed a nice vacation. Sometimes it would just be two or three days, but what a great feeling of relaxation our vacations always were.

When I was living at home with Dad and Mom and my siblings, Daddy didn’t always have much time to take the family on a vacation.  By the time he drove to work and back plus the seven 12 hour days he worked, he actually had only about 5 days at home before he had to leave for work again.  And he had to rest sometimes. There was always something to do around the house; things that David and I were just simply too young to do ourselves.

But I do remember when I was around 14 years old, Daddy had some extra time off and told the family were were going on a real vacation.  Daddy had met a man many years earlier that he worked with and they became very close friends until the man died.  Pete was living in New Mexico and had been inviting Daddy and the family to come visit him and his family.  He told Daddy there was plenty room, no need to worry about motels.

So, we went to New Mexico.  While there, Pete asked Daddy if we would all like to visit Carlsbad  Caverns.  Pete and his family had visited the Caverns many times l, and talked Daddy into going too.

I had heard of the Caverns and read about them before. I even had seen photographs of them.  But there was no way to anticipate the beauty of them.  It was an experience that would live in my memory for the rest of my life.

About three years ago, Sandra and I took a vacation and took two of our grandchildren, Summer and Jay, with us.  We went to Carlsbad Caverns. Sandra had never been there and I think she was more excited about seeing the Caverns than Summer and Jay.  It was again a very awesome experience to me, too.

One could not help but marvel at what God had made.  I have toured many caves and always it’s the same to me –  another of God’s wonders.

Sandra and I have vacationed in Las Vegas twice.  We don’t gamble, but the restaurants are wonderful there, any kind of food one could want.  And we always saw at least one good show.

On our last trip to Vegas, we decided to take a tour bus and make an entire day’s excursion to visit the Grand Canyon. I had seen many photographs of the Canyons, plus some good videos.  But again, one could never visualize the awesomeness of that Canyon.  It’s 277 miles long and in some places it’s a mile wide.  The tour guide told the group it took the Colorado River millions of years to erode the Canyon down that deep, some spots a mile deep. Another of God’s handiwork.

I love the wonders of nature, but I also love seeing things that were made by men.  One of my most memorable vacations was when Sandra and I visited the World’s Fair in San Antonio in 1968.  We enjoyed the Fair, but my favorite site in San Antonio was touring the Alamo.  It is beautiful, and so historic.

While at San Antonio, we decided to go to Houston and visit what was another modern wonder of the world at that time.  We visited the Astrodome.  It had been built in 1965 and we had seen it on television when the Houston Astros played there.  I was overwhelmed.  It was a miracle how the engineers and architects achieved such a a spectular structure.  I still gave God credit for instilling such knowledge into human beings.

One vacation that John Paul and Rachel took with Sandra and me (Spencer was in college) was to Chicago.  We toured the Sears Towers. We went all the way to the top. It was 110 stories tall – 1450 ft.  We were all amazed as we looked over the parapet wall to the streets below.  We could literally see the building shifting in the wind.  The guide told us it could sway back and forth as much as three feet from side to side. It was built in 1973 and  at the time it was the world’s tallest building.  Another engineering miracle, I thought.

These things I have listed above are just some of the miracles I’ve seen.  But much of what I want to see has not been done yet.  I still want to see the ancient Pyramids in Egypt.  Till this day, even the smartest engineers from all over this planet can not say for certain how they were built.  From the Sphinx to the Hanging Gardens and many other things I don’t have time to mention, we see God’s hand at play.

I also want to see the Giant Redwoods. Some of them predate the birth of Jesus.  There’s just too much to see in one lifetime.

What do you enjoy doing on your vacations?  What would your children or grandchildren like to see or do?  You are not just going somewhere on a vacation, you are building memories that will last until you die or your grandchildren die.  Plus, look at how many people you will no doubt tell of these adventures.

All you will ever see is something God made, either directly or indirectly.  Even if you don’t have time to travel to a distant location, you can enjoy seeing God’s work at a nearby lake or river as you picnic or fish with friends or family.

I’ve heard many say, “Take time to smell the roses.”  I never knew what that meant besides the obvious, smelling of God’s roses.  But maybe those using that phrase mean for people to slow down, relax and take time to enjoy life.

When you think about your next vacation, whether near or far, plan for some fun, and for building memories.

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley