Fun and Free in the Mini-Van

It was a gorgeous day. We had a tropical storm that entered into the Gulf Waters, but our area was calm and beautiful. The skies were blue, and the early morning had a little bit of a cool breeze. College football has just recently started back up since the Covid pandemic. Our son, David called us to see what we were up to. We are blessed and grateful that our children check on us, as well as invite us to hang out with them. After Bob and I went to the gym to get a short work out in, grabbed a wheatgrass shot, and picked up some snacks, we headed to David’s house to hang out, and to watch Saturday football with him, Shannon, and their four sons, Neyland, Bennett, Malachi and Ramsey. It is fun going to their house. It is a colorful array of love and life. I love going to all of our children’s homes. Again, Bob and I are so blessed they are close by. One day soon, we hope our daughter, Abbey and her husband to be, Seattle will be living in this area. Our kids always make Bob and I feel so welcomed and comfortable, and just basically fun to hang out with.

Neyland, Bennett, Malachi and Ramsey met us at the door in their colorful cartoon caricature underwear, shirtless and shoeless. This is what they do…and it’s one of the things I love about them. They are fun and free. David asked if we wanted to go to the beach for about an hour as we wanted to catch some football games later, so we all threw on our swimsuits, flip flops, grabbed a towel and loaded up in their mini van. I get tickled when I say mini van. I get tickled when I see David driving the mini van. It actually is kind of comforting for a mom to see her son drive a mini van. It seems like it’s a sign of maturity. Maybe a right of passage into fatherhood. David is a family man with a wife, four boys and a mini van. Life is good!

Being a stay at home mom, I had a lot more time to teach the kids how to drive than Bob did. I taught David how to drive in our 1999 Chevy Suburban, with his 3 year old little sister sitting in the middle strapped into her carseat. After he got his driver’s license, he drove my father’s old white Buick Cadillac. It was big and safe. David would put the red leather seats back, drive with one arm extended out on the steering wheel and just looked “too cool for school”. My mother always said David was cool! His first car we bought him was a used black Grand Jeep Cherokee. Years later, after college and right before marriage, he bought an emerald bluish/green Chevy Tahoe. It was honestly the prettiest Tahoe that I have ever seen to this very day. It had a cream interior and when the sun shined on it, it little glistened. One day though, to our surprise, David traded in his Chevy Tahoo and drove up in our driveway in a used grey Honda Civic (later named the Silver Bullet). He told us about a man named Dave Ramsey, and that is why he traded in his Tahoo for the Silver Bullet. Cars, like families have history. Today, I made the army crawl in the back seat of my son and daughter in law’s mini-van. It was a little challenging and I felt like a pretzel or maybe a yoga teacher as I was heading over the seat, but made it safely to my destination and was rewarded with being sandwiched between two of the grandsons. I love it and always have loved being locked down in a car with my family, having mostly undivided attention with everyone.

Our family has lived and played at the beach for years and we never tire of it. On this day, like most days the Gulf of Mexico was prettier than any beach in Hawaii or the Bahamas. My grandsons and I dug for those little clams that bury themselves into the sand as the water passes over them. We played, swam and had such a fun time. I would throw the football to Neyland and watch him dive for the ball. Then, Neyland or David would throw it back to me and I would dive for the ball. I don’t mean dive under the water, but what you do is throw the football out a little ways so that you have to make this fabulous looking catch, as you splash into the water.

This day, like many other days was one I enjoyed because it was one I spent with those I love, and getting to ride together in the mini-van.

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