My fiancé and I drive over the road for a living. A great benefit of this job is having the opportunity to travel the country. In just over a year, I have been to 44 of the lower 48 states. Simply put, this is amazing.
Last week we had a load that took us near the river towns on the Mississippi River in Southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. As we traveled, I suddenly had flashbacks of the Mississippi River trips I took as a teen. Our family traveled the rivers of the Mississippi and St. Croix, by boat, swimming, camping and making family memories. I believe it was my parents’ fondest hope to instill us with good childhood memories. The family still sits to revisit these memories with many laughs.
Traveling through this area, I was amazed to find myself regaling these great memories to Shawn. The story of our tricky travel through title waves on Lake Pepin. I kept him on the edge of his seat, explaining how it felt to see nothing but walls of water all around us. (This is very scary in a 19-foot boat). I educated him how the barges passed through this part of the river leveling the waves and leaving calm in their wake. This was how my father saved the day. He tucked our small boat behind the barge named Sallie Ann to pass safely through the lake that day. [Yes, I still remember this with all my teenage drama].
Then there was the Gone with the Wind Camp. The wind blew through the camp while we were sleeping. I remember waking up to the tent on top of us. Dad and Mom holding each end of the tent while my older brother pounded in the stakes. The tent vigil went on most of the night. We soon learned our tent stakes needed to be 24 inches long in sand versus the 8-inch ones we normally used. Later that week, we experienced Noah’s Ark. The rain poured down. The bottom of our tent became a water bed. The boys were set to digging moats and trenches to draw the water back to the river. The pictures we have of that week are now yellowing, but they still make me smile.
The excitement of being in this area, compelled me to call my mother. I needed to know where that ice cream stop was located. Catching her off guard, Mom was confused. “You know the one,” I said, “we had to walk forever from the river into town.” Mom couldn’t remember, but I still think it was Prescott. It was an exciting way to spend the afternoon. I enjoyed sharing these memories with Shawn. I most treasure the good memories my parents took time and hard work to give me. What a great gift. Thanks Dad & Mom!