Long before the church encouraged Family Home Evenings, our family was spending quality time together. We studied scriptures, prayed, and played with one another.
Every summer we had a family vacation. My parents didn’t believe in leaving the children home alone or with relatives. We all went together. After seeing the movie, Home Alone, it’s a good thing they took us along because I have a mischievous brother. I can only imagine the trouble he would have caused if left alone for even a weekend.
When I tell this next part you have to remember this was in the days when there were no seat belt rules. My dad packed the car so the back seat was flat, and we children could sleep as they traveled in the dark of the night. I don’t know why we always left on vacation in the evening, or even sometimes while we were asleep. Many times, we children didn’t even know we were going on vacation until we were well on the way.
My younger sister tells of a time after I was married that they were ushered into the car late at night. The only thing my parents told them was they were going to go see a man. My husband and I were living in California, and my little sisters had no idea they were coming to see us.
I’ve wondered many times why my parents didn’t tell us we were going. Maybe they didn’t want us asking for days when we were going to leave, or maybe they just liked surprising us. My children always knew when we were going away because I spent months planning where we were going, and what we were going to do.
As we were riding, we played games and sang. My parents took us to visit many National Parks. Dad loved the outdoors. We also went to see the Temples that were within driving distance. They would go on a session at the Temple and we children would wait in the visitor’s center.
Sometimes we spent our vacation camping with the Boy Scouts. Our family had our own tent, and my dad allowed us children to hike with the boys. We always had a good time.
After I was married, with a family of our own, my parents invited all of us to go with them one year in a motor home. My oldest son is only about 3½ years younger than my youngest sister. The thing my children remember the most about this vacation is their grandpa singing I Found a Peanut, and other songs all day. He never ran out of songs to sing.
I’ve always been glad that my family spent time together, and they taught me to do things with my own children. Because of this lesson taught, my children also enjoyed many fun vacations as a family.