The Great American Family Road Trip [2017]: Day 4


When you get married, you don’t consider all the things that can go wrong – the things that WILL go awry. 

In many ways, Karen Carpenter was right: You’ve only just begun.

And little did I know that – just before our eighth anniversary – my husband would be driving me up a steep mountain road in the pouring rain with two excitable children in the backseat…thousands of miles from home.

Thanks, Expedia.

Day Four required patience. Yesterday morning saw each of us dragging. We left our hotel late and spent a few hours playing at Denver’s Children’s Museum.

Unfortunately, our exhaustion had begun to squeeze our optimism.

Even though it was a light day of travel, my husband and I still found ways to crawl under each other’s skin. And our afternoon didn’t prove to be relaxing or relational.

And then came the rainy mountain road – only partially paved. A remote lodge in Colorado offered a bed. Really, just one.

Booking error.

The whole scene would have made Stephen King proud. And the waterfall just outside our room added a perfectly creepy Twin Peaks feel.

But we used a necessary “keep going” attitude to prevent our discouragement from reaching the kids. After eight years of marriage, it has become essential in conflict resolution.

After we shivered in a slightly heated indoor pool and put the kids to bed, my husband and I retreated down to the communal television area.

When the satellite programming ceased functioning after five minutes, we were forced to talk. It didn’t take long to get to the real issue.

How do you stay connected to each other when work and family consume the days?

But just above us, the kids were sleeping, and there would be no magic bullet tonight. Truly, these kinds of answers only come with time.

And I recall a woman I had spotted on the foot bridge outside our lodge just a few hours earlier.

She was crying, as her husband embraced her from behind. A plastic bag emerged from her pocket and its ash contents were scattered to the roaring waterfall below.

Marriage is poetic like that.

And perhaps to preserve the moment forever in only my mind, a single raindrop fell and blurred the lens.

One Year Ago: The Sweet Enemy

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