The morning began with the smell of coffee and the distinctive sound bacon makes as it first starts to crackle in the pan. A plate of toast smothered with runny eggs and bacon slid across the counter along with a knife, fork and a cup of black coffee. For nearly forty years my dad has selflessly made my breakfast, whenever I was home, never asking for help in making or cleaning up. And after a 5,000 mile plane ride home this simple act of a father gave me a moment to pause and reflect.

Dad, me and the first Land Rover

Dad, me and the first Land Rover (Summer 1973)

I am not actually sure which came first, me or the Land Rover. I guess it doesn’t really matter. My dad had set out to take on the challenges of life a little different from the rest. A brand new Series III wasn’t even the start of the adventure. Our new home, a log house designed and built by my dad and his brothers would be the back drop.

While everyone else had double pained windows, central heating and cable TV we had a new Vermont Castings wood stove. As the cabin logs dried and checked, the cold easily snuck through creating steady drafts throughout. We would scrape the ice on the inside of the windows just to see if it had snowed the night before. The cup of water I kept at my bedside would be frozen solid each morning. In the evening Dad would open the front doors to the stove and we would sit together enjoying the only warm room in the house.

My parents sacrificed while at the same time involving us deeply in their own lives, interests and passions. We explored nearly every fort and battlefield from Virginia to Maine, crawled through caves, hiked mountains, carried back packs, and traveled coast to coast. We even crossed the country and drove through Death Valley, CA in the summer without a radio or air conditioning – exploring every historic site along the way. I don’t recommend anyone repeat a long distance trip in the summer without a radio and air conditioning; however, it does build character.

Now I’m home again. This time with all 9 of my own children. The 11 of us along with my parents, three sisters, two brothers, brother in-law, sister in-law, future brother in-law and a total of 9 nieces and nephews make 30. Thirty for me is my normal. It represents comfort and family. More on that some other time.

A long list of activities is the topic of discussion.Two activities top the list; zip lining and boating along the coast. Tomorrow, maybe bowling at a friends business as thunder storms are expected. Whatever we do it will be an adventure!

About The Author

With 10 kids, family is what we are all about. Whether building a shed or floating a river it’s about the time we spend with each other. Our adventures offer an opportunity for us to endure a challenge, take risks, and bond as brothers and sisters, parents and children, husband and wife. Find more about Childventure or visit Mike on Google+ and Twitter.

lorri sperry says:

This picture brought back so many memories. Your parents are even more awesome now!