Today was a special day, as we officially began preparing our camper, affectionately named Memory Maker, for our third summer of adventures on the road! We’ve already selected several locations for this season, some in the mountains, some on the water, and some in National Parks. As soon as we opened up the camper this afternoon and began plugging things in and cleaning things out, I was immediately excited about our first trip of the season on April 1st. But all of a sudden as I was putting clothes in my cabinets, a fear came over me as well.
This year, the current racial climate in the United States has given me pause as our first outing approaches. With the ongoing clashes at political events that have at times spilled over into normal every day life, we are not only planning activities to participate in at campgrounds and in small towns, we are also planning how to remain safe if we are confronted by others because of our race. For example, if we are already at our selected campground and have unhooked our camper when an incident occurs, we are prepared to jump into our SUV and drive to safety even if we have to leave the camper behind. Neither the camper, nor anything in it is worth us being hurt or worse, especially when we have little Kendal with us.
I’m an optimistic and positive person as most people know, and I remain so about how much fun we will have this summer. But we wouldn’t be fully prepared if we didn’t talk about and make “escape” plans just in case we need them. It’s very possible that we encountered people last year who may not have liked us because of our race, but we weren’t aware of it because nothing was said or done to us. But this year people seem to be more bold, feeling free to say whatever they are thinking or to punch on sight. I certainly hope that our summer isn’t marred by any incidents, and that like last year we will only interact with waterfalls and mountains and people who love the outdoors just like we do. One of the things my Mom always wanted to do but never did was travel, so I can’t wait to show her this year’s photos because she can still recognize beautiful photos of nature when she sees them.
So I’ve said a prayer for a wonderful and safe summer of new sights, new friends and lots of new adventures and memories. I’ve also prayed that the racial divide in our country will begin to calm again after this election, and that people will be more open to honest dialogue as opposed to throwing punches. So while I’m definitely a little worried as we get on the road again, I’m certainly not deterred. There’s too much to see, do and learn to let the fear of hate change our plans or our spirits!