I can’t remember when I didn’t love to “go someplace.” My childhood memories could be chronicled in cars and the trips my family took in them. I loved, for example, the “Model T” kind of car my grandparents had with running boards and prickly hair-velvet upholstery, and I looked forward to the occasional days they would pick me up from school when my parents were away and take me to Tekonsha for ice cream or out to their farm to spend the night.
When I was seven my daddy bought a Hudson Hornet 4-door Sedan. It was big and smooth and low. It had a heating system that actually heated in the winter and even defrosted the windows. There was room up in the back window (in the space behind the back seat) for a small child to curl up and go to sleep. Those were the days before seat belts. I remember the magic of night trips when I would lie in the window and watch the street lights go by as we passed through the Michigan towns, and the moon smiling down on me as we traveled through the countryside.
I remember my first flight on an airplane (all alone to a speech contest in Washington, D.C.) and the trips our family took to camp meeting and fishing vacations.
The first traveling Bill and I did together was in a station wagon. Our small sound system and boxes of LP albums were in the back and sometimes extra boxes were even under our feet or on our laps. In time, The Gaither Trio graduated to a white panel truck that we called the “Bread Truck”, then to a Dodge motor home, and eventually to a used “Eagle” bus.
I always knew that “home” was a lot bigger concept than a house in one town on one street. Being a P.K. (preacher’s kid) the temporary places we called “the parsonage” were only “home” because our family lived and loved in those houses. By the time Bill and I had our babies, we were quite certain that “home” was portable – it was wherever we could be together, and when we weren’t together, it was never really “home”, even if one or some of us were at our house in Indiana.
We learned to create “home” in motel rooms and dressing rooms and tents and campsites. We learned to play games, notice things, and savor experiences along the way--together! We found that no matter where we were in the country or in life, it’s all about enjoying the trip…and each other on the way.
It is a good thing, I think, to know that home is portable, that home is a condition of the soul. In the meantime, we are allowed places to rest our souls for a while here, and wherever our souls are at rest, it is home.
I have a feeling that when we get restless on this journey we call life, if we listen, we just might hear our Father say: “Hang on, child. We’re not there yet!” I can only imagine, because of the wonderful places we have been allowed to “rest our souls” together here, what our Father has up his sleeve when we get where we can settle in forever. It will be enough just to take it all in and be together with no need to pull up stakes and move.