Treasures and tradition.
Treasures and tradition bring us home. That’s how it was, and how it still is.
Every fall when the leaves were at their peak, we waited anxiously for the day Mama came to pick us up from school. She monitored the changing colors and, just when she was certain the leaves were at their peak, she planned the trip.
Instead of riding the bus home from school, Mama came to school at the end of the day. We piled into the station wagon, ready for this autumn adventure. Mama drove the wagon along backroads where trees of most brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown covered the landscape. We traversed back roads we hardly travelled any other time of year. What treasures and tradition.
When we were old enough to have our learner’s permit to drive, we were trusted to commandeer those back roads under her patient instruction. Sometimes we pulled over so pictures could be snapped or seats swapped with siblings. Sometimes there was supper in the picnic basket.
The treasures I have because of tradition
I am amazed at these yearly treasures and tradition when I look back at it now. What made it so special? We made memories and established an unplanned tradition, that’s for sure. Mama was a busy, hardworking businesswoman, and she didn’t need extra things to do.
- Change of routine. Usually we’d come home from school to complete homework and help with chores around the house. This day, we headed away from home, chores, and homework. Sometimes we squabbled about whose turn it was to sit in the front or by the door. Sometimes we quibbled about other things, but we were together and doing something different nonetheless.
- Supper away from home. What a rarity this was! We hardly ever ate out. When we did, we had to find the cheapest items on the menu because money was tight. The picnic supper of sandwiches was nothing extravagant, but we were together. It was a picnic, and Mama was taking time with us.
- Enjoyment of nature. Why was this time so special? We had maple, oak, and walnut trees lining our own long dirt lane, so why was this so unique? Mama thought the leaves were worth seeing. She felt it was worth the trouble of getting us into the backroads to find the prettiest trees of the year. So we went. We enjoyed and we stood in awe.
Make memories by establishing traditions
Folks, our kids need us to be present with them instead of shelling out money for the biggest, latest, and the best. We need to drop what we are doing once in a while and revel with them in everyday things of life. We need to help our kids learn to get away from the rat race. In finding beauty in simple things and things that cost us mostly just time, we gain.
As couples, as friends, and as families, we need to experience events and make memories in the moments. This only happens when we form traditions and delight in the treasures found in family.
Credits for photos in this post belong to Julia Tice and Eli Yoder, both friends from my home community. The photos in this blog are taken from my home county, where we traversed the back roads each year to view the best autumn foliage.