I plunged my hands into the soapy water and fumbled for a dish. We are finally going to leave! I thought. I could hardly believe it. When we'd first moved into the park, I'd thought of it as “temporary.” Five years and three kids later and I'd resigned myself to the fact that we'd never leave.
As a kid, the green grass and wild flowers made great fodder for my venturing imagination. My dolls and I would go on safari spying animals from the safety of our lookout. So I thought RV living would come naturally. Evergreens, tall and majestic, would guard me by night. Birds, with sweet melody, would wake me by morning. And Cinderella would live day in and day out with her sweet Prince Charming. I didn't read the fine print.
The faucet creaked as I turned on the water and began to rinse. A nuthatch caught my eye as it perched on a branch near the large rhododendron outside my window. It had upset me to learn that the rules stated only native plants could be grown here, but looking at the large pink blooms I realized some really gorgeous plants originated here.
I remember when I was first acquainted with “the rules.” Our twenty-seven foot fifth wheel had been slapped with a fine for being “more than fifty percent dirty.”
“More than fifty percent dirty!” I'd whined to my husband, “How do they calculate it? At what point do they determine 'Oops! That's fifty-one!'”
Sometimes husbands have more wisdom than their outrage-minded wives. With great loving perspective he told me that a little money and a bucket of soapy water would fix it and there was no need for panic or fear. I preferred to work on my grudge, but knew he was right that I would have to let it go.
I rinsed my last cup and grabbed a towel to dry. That wasn't the only time reality had trumped fantasy. That winter our pipes froze and I had to trek out to the other side of the trailer in my slippers to fetch water from the hydrant. I'd complained to my grandma about that.
“Ah,” my grandmother replied, “That is tough. When I was young, every morning I had to haul all the day's water from the pump.”
There wasn't much I could say to that. Grandmas have a way of humbling their grandkids sometimes.
I put the cup in the cupboard.
“Mommy, can I have some milk please?” A little voice said.
“Sure, honey.” I pulled the cup back out and filled it with milk.
I put the milk back in the fridge. I remembered having to clean that fridge. The smell of mold and putrid food had been overwhelming. Hot tears of self-pity had just begun to form when a thought crossed my mind. Some people don't have fridges, much less food to put in them. My face grew hot with shame at that. Then the words of Jesus came to me, reminding me that when He was here on earth, He didn't have a home. “Jesus,” I had whispered, “I'm sorry for my attitude. You are welcome here with us.”
I pulled the drain and tucked the dish rack under the sink. I looked at my cozy little kitchen. It wasn't exactly what I had planned. Too small, inconvenient at times, but it was where God had us and I knew I needed to be grateful.
“Wherever you take us, Lord, let us follow with our whole heart,” I prayed.
I wasn't sure where we'd end up, but I knew wherever it was, with God and our family, it would be home.
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