(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)
We built our RV travel itinerary around two factors: the northern pacific thaw and an Alaskan cruise departing at the end of May from Seattle, WA. We kept a close eye on the weather forecasts and drove north maintaining steady daytime temperatures around 72 degrees.
We’d originally scheduled two weeks in the Portland area but my teens’ rebellion combined with the never-ending drizzle was like Chinese water torture. I needed out. From Oregon we had a route choice to make: continue northbound toward Seattle or drive east toward Kennewick, WA. Eventually, we’d see both places but in which order?
After a week of constant rain and a similar forecast looming over Seattle, we rotated our compass eastward and followed the Columbia River to Kennewick, WA. The most beautiful drive of our trip to date. The highway turned with the wide river, and the steady current created a canoeing effect as it veined us along our course.
Kennewick’s weather did not disappoint. In fact, nothing about this tri-cities area did. We knew nothing about the area other than my husband had customers to visit. Expectations can lead to disappointment. Having none leads to surprises.
On our first afternoon, we rented bicycles, a tandem for John and I, and rode along a river path. We wound through a beautiful city park and a neighborhood, and stopped periodically to read placards educating us on the local wildlife. I haven’t been on a bicycle in more than ten years well, unless you count the six-passenger version we rode in San Diego. The blue skies, clean air, and friendly passers-by energized my soul.
After our bike ride, I found a local disc golf course. Aleyna and I walked with the guys and enjoyed more outdoor time.
Day two, John worked and the kids and I reserved spots on the Hanford B Reactor Nuclear Plant Tour. We studied WWII the previous fall semester so touring the plant where plutonium was produced to make the atom bomb further enhanced the learning. It was fascinating. During the 45-minute bus ride out to the plant, a guide told us how 55,000 people worked at the plant and it took just 13 months to complete.
Inside the plant, retired workers walked us through the process of making and shipping plutonium, all while having no idea why they were doing it and the impact it would have. The government told workers that their involvement in the project was important and necessary.
I imagine that some of those workers died before the bomb was dropped and they never saw the fruit of their labor. I also imagine that other workers may have disagreed with the use of the chemical to end life and felt duped by having provided their time in such a seemingly disastrous act. Still others may have felt their part was insignificant, unrecognized, or superfluous to the end product. Most probably cheered upon hearing news that the war ended and counted their blessings for having been a part of such serious work.
I take my role as a citizen of Heaven equally as serious. No, I’m not subcontracted to build a bomb, but I am leading a troop into battle. As a mom, my involvement in my kids’ lives is important and necessary. I know that because the enemy attacks on ALL fronts. Some days my effort feels in vain. I have no idea why I’m doing it but I know it will have an impact. If the small part I play advances God’s kingdom in any way, then it’s worthwhile.
Parenting adopted children continues to be my B Reactor plant work. I’ve been asked to do some really hard work, I know that my role is important and necessary, but I don’t know if I’ll ever see the fruit of my labor. I pray that my children’s lives are productive, reverent of authority, and trusting of God as their Lord and savior. But they, like me, are given free will to make route choices and point their compasses in any direction. My daily prayer is for true north.
Next stop: Coeur d’Alene, ID