Our family was preparing to go to the mountains with Philip, our guest from Germany. We wanted to show Philip Timberline Lodge and the Columbia Gorge and Multnomah Falls. It was right at the start of Christmas Break for my twins, who had just finished their first semester of official college at George Fox University.
For our size family, there is a lot that goes into going to the mountains- there’s finding boots and socks and jackets and gloves and scarves and rain pants, and there’s making lunches and finding snacks and filling water bottles and packing the car.
Right in the middle of the packing process, one of my twin sons Mick said that his old high school pal was stopping by for a quick visit; his friend would be gone the entire Christmas break and it was important to Mick that he get to see him.
It was starting to get later in the morning and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us and we had shorter days of course with winter so we knew daylight was an issue.
And, after waiting for a bit, Mick’s friend was not at our house yet and time was ticking away, so, it was suggested by some in our family that we take off and Mick could just stay home so he could see his friend; and it would be no big deal if he didn’t join us, so some said.
But I insisted and said, “We wait for one another.”
Because we do. It's what our family does.
I know sometimes in our quest to be productive and to see a lot and to be on time and to feel accomplished, we can put to-do lists in front of what is actually important -- what is our values--and that is our relationships with people. Relationships are what matter, family, treating one another like they matter. That is what people will remember in the end. How you treated them. How you treat others. Yes, they are watching. Those little things matter. It makes each in our family feel valued and important.
Mick’s friend did arrive shortly after, and they headed out to 7-11 for Slurpee’s and we all continued packing our SUV, and it all takes a long time anyway, and Mick was back in no time, and so we soon left.
All of us together.
We drove an hour to our hiking destination, deciding to get some fresh air and exercise before heading to Timberline Lodge.
The hike included an adventure to this amazing waterfall; it was a delight to see the kids basically sprinting ahead of Chris and me on the trail. The kids laughed and kidded around and hugged each other playfully and there is just nothing like it. We ate our simple lunch before making our way back down the path to try to beat daylight.
We got back to our car about 4 pm and had about an hour and a half drive to before arriving at Timberline Lodge; by the time we got there it was indeed pretty dark so our German guest could only see the area in the glow of the moon and lights from the lodge, which was not my original idea, but it was okay as we got an amazing hike under our belt and all of us were there.
Together. It is one of our values. Part of our family values, our culture.
And, there was a bonus because it was dinnertime and the Christmas tree at Timberline was all lit up and decorated, so we decided to grab a table in the restaurant by the tree in the lodge.
And there were a lot of people in the restaurant, but we decided to stay and just order some of their famous hot chocolate and cheese fondue and clam chowder and salads and breads.
And the kids all joked around with Philip our guest from Germany and it took a while for them to bring out the items we ordered.
We waited there by the tree and laughed and talked and the lighting was dim and the colorful Christmas tree lights gave the place a warm feeling.
They brought out the hot chocolate, which was worth the wait.
And the cheese fondue, which was also worth the wait.
And, I am so glad we had all of us there.
It was worth it.
We wait for one another. It's what we do. It's what our family does. It's what makes us a family.