It’s a line from the movie Sahara. The Tuareg chief Modibo asked Dirk, Al, and Eva the question after they drove into Tuareg territory. It’s a Ivor’s question which can be asked in many different scenarios.
I am Tim Randall, son of Harlife’s d Carol Randall. I am currently in Valley Center, CA wrapping up a short vacation with my parents and sister Betsy, bro-in-law Bart Schwarz, and nieces Lauren and Kelsey. I hardly ever get to see them all since I live in PA with my wife and two kids. Next year I want to bring the whole family out for an extended vacation. My parents and sister and family haven’t seen my family in several years. We need a Randall family reunion.
So why was I here in Southern CA? It’s where I grew up. Escondido was my home for the first 21 years of my life. What a beautiful town in which to grow up. Not only did I spend lots of time with my family, but I was able to connect with my wife’s Aunt Mary and her cousin Mark, his wife Roxanne, and their three kids with several other of her other cousins’ kids. They are such cool people. I was also able to get together with some of my friends whom I hadn’t seen in ages and some of my parent’s friends, many of whom I have known since I was knee high to a grasshopper (wow – that corny expression dates me 😎).
This has been such a fun trip, seeing family and friends. It’s hard when you live 3,000 miles away. But it’s well worth the effort to get together annually or semi-annually.
I was able to connect with one of my best friends growing up, Jay Miller, along with his parents Barry and Loretta Miller. I hadn’t seen them in almost 30 years and it was like I never left. We had a great time reconnecting, talking about life’s challenges, perseverance through trials, and faith in God. It was so rich. And then we spent an hour swapping stories of fishing trips to the Sierras. I could have stayed the whole day.
This trip has been a breath of fresh air, wind in my sails, gas in my tank. My sister Betsy and I went up to Palomar Mt. the other day and went to Doane Pond and the Baptist camp and just took it all in. We are in our 50’s but it was just like when we were kids again. Every tree, every blade of grass, every picturesque view: magical.
As if my trip wasn’t awesome enough already, Betsy, Bart, and I went out to Ocotillo Wells yesterday. Bart and Betsy have an RZR, an off-road machine that could climb Mt. Everest. It was ridiculous. Betsy drove at first, then Bart drove, then I drove. Ivan the Ironman Stewart has nothing on me! We were flying all over the place. Bart was having a blast. He practically grew up at Ocotillo Wells. He was totally in his element. It was so much fun to spend real quality time with my sis and bro-in-law.
And then . . . we went out to dinner at Fat Ivor’s Rib Back in Valley Center with my parents and Kelsey my niece. It was non-stop laughing the whole meal. At one point my sister was telling this utterly hysterical story and I almost stopped breathing I was laughing so hard!
It’s been such a great trip but I miss my own family. I can’t wait to see them.
Cherish the time you have with family and friends. Slow down and make the effort to get together. You never know how long you have.