Holiness in our Midst: Session 110

Holiness in our Midst


Story Circle Prompt: What was your trip-of-a-lifetime? Where did you go? Who were you with? What made it memorable?

Our trip-of-a-lifetime, which I recall as the “Summer of ’66,” even has a theme song: “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson. For several weeks, we were like a band of gypsies going down the highway, my father Lloyd, stepmother Evelyn, younger brother Jerry, younger sister Jill and me. (Free as a bird between high school and college, I was able to savor a rare interlude without obligations or pressures.) Our starting point was the Denver suburb of Lakewood, where we lived. Dad, also an aficionado of frequently traded, brightly colored Volkswagen beetles, had rented a show stopping Rolite camper, collapsible for easy hauling on mountain roads. Packed tightly, music on the radio, our family set out to “see the sights.” Some vignettes from the open road, in chronological order: 

  • Watching the sun rise over multi-colored rock formations in Utah.
  • Breathing in the pine-scented air as we camped at Lake Tahoe.
  • Holding my nephew John for the first time when we visited my sister Janet in Napa Valley, CA. 
  • Looking out at the ocean, and later seeing the seals playing on the rocks below, when we dined at the Cliff House in San Francisco. (My parents had saved up for this occasion, and my dad convinced the staff to give us prime seats, even though we were dreadfully underdressed.) 
  • Feeling like I was in a cathedral when I walked in a redwood forest for the first time.
  • Smelling the roses in the Jackson & Perkins Gardens in Medford, OR. 
  • Nibbling on freshly picked Bing cherries in the car riding along the coast in Washington state.
  • Boarding the ferry in Seattle to cross over to Canada.
  • Beholding the lovely manicured Butchart Gardens in Vancouver. 
  • Viewing the scenery along the beautiful Trans-Canada Highway. 
  •  Riding a horse through the mountains in the early morning at the Kicking Horse ranch in British Columbia.
  • Sticking my head out the car window, not wanting to miss any scenic vista in the spectacular Grand Teton National Park. 
  • Stopping to photograph a weathered roadside chapel in Jackson Hole, WY. 
  • Pausing with gratitude back in our driveway at being able to take in so much natural beauty before resuming a fast-paced family life. 

Also, lingering still, is the magical memory of rolling into a different campground each night. Other campers gathered ‘round as we popped up the walls of the trailer and walked into a phenomenal furnished space, now twice its traveling size. On our last big family vacation together, we ourselves were a “road show” to remember.

What was your trip-of-a-lifetime?


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the following: Capture in words your trip-of-a-lifetime. Where did you go? Who were you with? What made it memorable?


 1.   Read aloud Session CX.

  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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