In Fort Worth we had to make a decision. Go to Arkansas and see my 98 year old Grandparents and visit with them, adding more time to the trip, meaning we would get home late Christmas Eve, or skip Arkansas and have time to prepare for Christmas.
We deliberated, counted the cost, figured that it would be costly, both in travel money and time.
Earlier that morning I was praying, seeking wisdom. Went to the Proverbs. The chapter of the day included the verse, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
It flashed at me like a neon sign.
I knew we needed to go see my grandparents so my children would learn to value the elderly. So they could hear stories and see old precious faces and hug necks and play the piano and sing songs and give joy. If we didn't they might learn the lesson that decorating the house and wrapping presents is more important that family.
So we set our faces to the north and joined the masses of cars heading out of the city and drove toward Arkansas.
Tired of the van, stories finished, we sang Christmas song after Christmas song, scanned the radio stations, bickered, ate oranges, bickered, ate Aunt Jo's christmas cookies (YUM), and silently watched the flat lands turn into the Ozarks.
We tried to figure out how in the world we were going to eat locally as the money drained into the gas tank. We found a Braum's, a regional icecreamery/burger joint. Instead of the prepared foods, we went to the grocery section, bought a loaf of discounted bread, lunch meat and cheese and made sandwiches in the car as we drove. No romantic picnic grounds, just plain sandwiches and the road.
Sort of local.