The Detour


The beach was fun, but now we’re done, and we pile sand and wet clothes and runny noses and sick children and ground up granola into our truck and head for home. Home is the destination and we want to be there soon, because we are sick, tired, irregular, and uncomfortable. Home is where we will be healed through rest that doesn’t come from a hotel room and a pack-and-play and a three year old with a cold. Home is where the pillows are, and the fruits and vegetables, and the sweatpants, and the deodorant that has gone missing along with the sunblock.

We drive and the children sing and fight, fight and sing. The adults stare and try not to be carsick and ingest caffeine while debating the existence of dirty diapers.
And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind. ~Dave Barry

It’s a long drive and we finally reach the fields, almost home, just a few more hours, just a little while longer. I have to go to the bathroom, but I missed the chance, and I am waiting, longing for home.
The orange sign glares through the harvest air, the sky blue shrouded in brown from the dust and we breathe thick and despair. DETOUR.
We see our turn off, but the road is closed. DETOUR. The detour is long and the GPS shows a straight line, going and going, and it does not show the finish line.
We pass a building, “Bean & Seed Co., Inc.” and I think about Inc. and Co. and the difference, and why both, and we drive on, past rows of cotton and tomato grids. Wooden boxes are stacked in a row and it is a barren place full of produce.
Caravans of harvest trucks rumble past, kicking flurries of hay into the air, and as they settle on the asphalt I begin to loathe DETOURS and feel afraid and helpless. We are alone with machinery and everything is tame and there is no wilderness and we are lost without toilet paper and the children are crying, but we cannot stop. We must get home.
Harvest time is impersonal and too-personal and I watch the plants surrender their labor and the machines shake them dry. The leaves will be brown soon.
We drive through a town the size of a blink, but I don’t stop because I don’t speak the language of the Market, and the people look dusty. I tell my husband that I’ve never heard of a missionary going to Huron, and the apartment buildings have tinfoil windows.
We drive on and I wish for home again.
And when my faith wavers, and I am frightened for myself, and worried about the people who block the sun with tin, I remember His words, which are true and good. I know again that I have a destination; detours are part of it.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” -Deuteronomy 7:9
Thankful along the detour for:
Family at the beach over bowls of clam chowder

propane heaters on a restaurant patio, scenting the coastal air with gas and warmth

nieces to hold

early morning mocha’s

husband who turns into rock when it seems like the tide is going to wash us away

modern medicine

Kleenex

serious conversations about whether God can eat a rocket ship

sand and babies and babies in sand

full tanks of gas

fast food salads

knowing that someday I’ll be Home

knowing that the journey is important

excitement in the unknown

fabric softener
#239-254 of gifts I’ve found along the way. Click below to start your own list, they’re especially helpful during detours.
holy experience

22 thoughts on “The Detour

  1. Loved it! We have had a super hard week that has really stretched us. I am thankful that God showed me His love for me in unexpected ways this week. Missed you and your posts. 🙂

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  2. Did you see the part in my BAS about Pismo Beach? Or maybe I didn't specify Pismo Beach, but I'm pretty sure I specified San Luis Obispo. Crud, now I'm realizing that I think I was on Pismo Beach and a Google search just told me that they are not one and the same. Now my whole story's gone to pot.

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  3. What a great list! I have one of these: “husband who turns into rock when it seems like the tide is going to wash us away” too! Sometimes I wonder where I would be without him…my best friend and husband of 27 1/2 years. Thankful for him more every day…Thanks for sharing and stopping by my place.

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