Notes from the church lady: Thousand-mile school bus trip ends up being blessing

“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.” Psalm 25:4

The last time I wrote about what I did on my summer vacation I shared some of the lessons from God on our way to Indiana. I was amazed at what God taught me as we toured the back roads.

What is a vacation, road trip, or whatever you want to call it without the trip home? Think about it…what was the last return trip like for you? Were you anxious to get home or did you savor the remaining time with your family?

Our trip to Indiana had a two-fold reason, to see part of our country together and to pick up Mark’s latest purchase — a school bus.

Yes, I am talking about a large, yellow school bus without air conditioning, but with row after row of hard bench seats. What it lacked in comfort it made up with built-in adventure, at least that was how I was trying to convince myself.

Mark thought about my comfort before we left and took along an air ride seat to install in the bus for me. With the push of a lever I could control the ride. I am so blessed to have a husband who is always looking out for me.

When I climbed aboard for the first time I struggled as I pulled myself up the steep steps. I tried not to think about how many times I would go up and down those steps in the next few days.

Gracie (our little dog) was more concerned about her bed behind the driver’s seat. I snapped on my seat belt and watched Mark pull the handle to close the door. Carefully he pulled onto the road and we were on our way. Suddenly I felt like the Partridge Family as the familiar music played in my mind… “Hello, world, hear the song that we’re singin’ C’mon get happy! A whole lot of lovin’ is what we’ll be bringin’

We’ll make you happy”!

Ooops… a bump in the road sent me airborne despite my seat belt.

For those who never heard of the Partridge family, it was a television show in the early 70’s about a single mother and her five children traveling around in a brightly colored school bus playing concerts. They faced many obstacles and trials along the way, but through it all they had each other.

During the first miles of our trip, I contemplated what lay ahead in our journey. We were already blessed because the bus was purring along and more important the weather was cooler than normal. I had worried about the heat on the journey home but now I realized the Lord led us to take our trip before the heat set in.

I felt such joy as I settled back into my seat and watched the countryside go by from my lofty perch. It is like the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 89:15, “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound…” Gone was the song in my head, but the song in my heart of feeling the Lord’s presence with us was much louder and sweeter.

We saw many interesting things on the way home and sometimes spent hours in comfortable silence. Other times we enjoyed discussing all sorts of things. I must admit when we arrived home I was exhausted and my legs were sore from going up and down the steps.

I never thought a thousand mile trip in a school bus could be so wonderful. I started with a pre-conceived notion of a hot, rough trip and wound up with not only making the best of it but actually enjoying myself.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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