"There comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life
when he has a raging desire to go somewhere
and dig for hidden treasure."
My favorite adventure of the fall started with a week filled with nagging and disgruntled sighs. Me praying for more grace and the boys grumbling over homework and chores. I was desperate to make a happy memory and take a break from the routine. We all needed it. Jeff was out preparing for Young Life club and would be gone until late into the night. I don't know why on earth I thought to google old train cabooses. I did, and only one applicable heading came up. " navigators scavenger hunt ...old abandoned caboose near lake in Sperryville, VA...woodward Rd..." Sperryville is a tiny town twenty miles from our house with no train tracks running through it. Why would a caboose be there? Intrigued I grabbed snacks and drinks and dressed a sleepy toddler up from nap. By the time the boys stumbled off the bus the van was running and waiting to be boarded.
The boys were surprised and then thrilled that an abandoned caboose was waiting to be discovered. We drove into Sperryville and on an old gravel road. Past small houses and towering trees and still no caboose in sight. Two turn arounds later I put on the courage of my mom, it was time to ask complete strangers questions. We pulled into a parking lot with four locals leaning on the back of a pick up truck talking and laughing. I hopped out and asked about the caboose, suddenly feeling foolish. They replied all at the same time, eyes twinkling. With four slightly different directions we set off again, going further on the same road. The boys got impatient. All three were chatting, wondering, even the talk of hidden treasure in the caboose was brought up...what if... We drove on peering through the gravel dust and trees. An older man with a walking stick and small dog came into our sight. I slowed, and asked if he knew of it, thinking I had gone too far. "Oh yes, it is there! It is just up ahead, you just have to slow down and really look for it. It is hard to see something in the woods that you're not expecting to be there." I asked him who brought it there, he said it was a train engineer who had worked in Luray, VA and brought it over the mountains to turn it into a fishing cabin in the 1950s. It never happened and has sat there since. We thanked him and slowly rolled forward looking in the woods this time expecting to have a caboose come into view.
I saw the pond first. The leaves had not yet turned and fallen, but the pond reflected the sun and I stopped. We pulled over and Luke and Levi ran ahead screaming as if we had found gold. Ian and I tripped trough underbrush and finally caught up. THE CABOOSE. It was found, we found it on an ordinary Tuesday that was suppose to be filled with homework and chores.
We spent until sundown exploring and breathing deeply. We walked the pond, found an old out house and well pump, and laughed at our luck. It will be a day forever locked in my memory.
We are designed for adventure. The kind that makes your heart pound and hands sweat. The kind that leaves you feeling like maybe your world was a little too small. I feel like that day made me long for a life of adventure with Jeff and the boys. Honestly, before that day the move to Basque Country seemed scary. Fundraising overwhelming. Too hard, too much... But that day changed things. I realized maybe not knowing all the details is okay. And maybe living it out little step by little step is better then always prepping and bracing for it.
I hope you get to run away for a day or hour and see where your world might be getting too snug. I pray you get to see how God is orchestrating adventures for you daily, we just have to slow down enough to see them through the woods.