Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Family Vacations

Family vacations - hit or miss - something to look forward to - something to be avoided. When talking about an entire family vacationing together - a double edged sword. For years I have tried to encourage our sons to travel with my wife and I to Europe. We offered up different suggestions - England - Poland - Italy - their choice. For years we discussed and debated the pros - cons of making this happen. Conflicting schedules - the biggest obstacle - the age of  the grandchildren - ability to tolerate long distance travel - cost factors - interest levels of many different personalities and ages. To our pleasant surprise - last October - we were gifted with their decision to finally make this happen - a visit to Italy. Finally after years of excuses - everything fell into place - we were all free at the same time to make this happen. Adding extended family - a boyfriend - in-laws - a  group of fourteen was organized. Having traveled extensively on pilgrimages - working with large groups of people on various international journeys - I was selected to arrange the details. It was a task that took a lot more work than I expected - in the end - everything worked out. Thankfully - my sons and their wives - accepted the challenge and gave me a lot of help in making decisions - leaving the actual task of bookings up to me. Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!  The issues that arose during the trip - minor - the blessings received - beyond imagination. Visiting Venice - staying in a villa along the Adriatic - spending time with Italian relatives - wandering Eternal Rome - truly a great experience. The highlight - a gathering of extended family from the USA - India - Germany - Italy - 40 people gathering in the name of Family.


Very often God calls us to travel with extended families - friends - parishioners - as we journey closer to Him. Often we do not select those with whom we travel. Frequently issues arise - conflicts in expectations - disappointments in the realities of the moment.  Through all of this - God is always with us. In the good - bad - times - He is always there - helping us handle conflicts - celebrating the joyous moments. On this trip we celebrated our oldest son's birthday - his wedding anniversary and our granddaughter's engagement which happened while at the villa. Yes - a very awesome journey - many people and with Our Lord - enjoying every moment along the way. When you travel - invite God to travel with you - He is your willing travel companion. 

Deacon Dale 

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