My parents used to play Molly Menu and Captain Cafeteria in a radio melodrama. They would read the lunch menu in a largely over dramatic fashion, with a storyline that went on for years about Captain Cafeteria, the superhero of nutrition, Molly Menu, the damsel in distress and Jerald Junkfood, the dastardly villain. Neely commented on how hilarious that sounded.
(Shout out to Neely!
And that got me thinking.
My parents are pretty amazing people.
(My parents, at Rory's Christening in 2009. Good looking folks, aren't they? :))
When I was in 5th grade, my mom left her job as a kindergarten teacher. At the time, my dad was an insurance salesman with lots of flexibility in his hours. My mom wrote a one woman musical called "Mary...the story of Jesus through His mother's eyes." A family friend wrote the music but my mom wrote the script and the lyrics. It's a beautiful, moving, funny, intelligent piece of theatre. As a family, we traveled all over the states and parts of Canada, supporting my mom as she performed her play at churches far and wide. She performed, I ran the lights, my dad did the sound, my sister was in charge of costume changes. It was a family affair! My grandpa traveled with us lots of the time too.
We took several long extended "tours." One was six weeks long where we drove across the country performing all along the way. I've been to 47 of the 50 states with the ministry. I've seen the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, the Sequoia trees, the California Coast, the Alamo, the St. Louis Arch, the Mall of America...just about every landmark you can think of. To say I'm blessed in the travel department is an understatement.
Mom and Dad in Duck, NC last summer.
My parents' ministry years were tough financially. The Lord always, 100%, provided our needs, just not always our wants. My sister and I learned to budget, work hard to earn our money, how to determine a want vs a need, to be happy and completely satisfied with what we had, the value of our religion...so many lessons that can't be learned when children are given everything they want without working for it. (Another post for another time...) Not ONCE did my sister or I feel like we were "poor" (We certainly weren't, we were happy, healthy, fed, clothed and blessed!) We didn't get cars on our 16th birthdays, we didn't shop at Abercrombie and we didn't have crazy expensive sneakers at the start of each school year. But we were happy. And we learned so much. The lessons of financial responsibility, tithing to the church, being thankful for blessings and being good stewards of our money have lasted us into our adult lives and we won't forget them.
My parents are awesome people. Rory calls them Baba and Gaga. :)
Rory and her "Baba."
Once, on a trip for the ministry, they made us stop at this place called The Corn Palace. It's a castle made entirely of corn. It smells and it's weird. But they LOVED it. My sister and I still make fun of them for this one. :)
We also were forced to dress up in turn of the century costumes and walk around the set of Dances With Wolves. It's turned in to a total tourist trap, solely to embarrass tweens and their younger sisters for years to come. THANKS MOM AND DAD.
And no. Absolutely not. I will not share those pictures with you!
I had an amazing childhood, filled with wonderful trips and exciting times. My sister is my best friend and my parents are my favorite people on earth. I trust them with everything and I've never once been afraid to talk to them about something important. I won the family jackpot, for sure. I hope Rory and Trace will have just as exciting of a childhood growing up!