It's about the 'Experience'..RIGHT? …WRONG!! It's about the Relationships

January 24th, 2010 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

So, as a result of Roanoke’s freezing rain Thursday night, school was cancelled for the kids on Friday. By about 10:00 a.m. we were nestling into our standard rituals. Checking email for me, cleaning the house for Chris, and xBox on a day off for the boys. Now, I don’t claim to be ‘spontaneous’ by any means, quite the opposite…I prefer to have things planned out, but Friday was different. I had everyone get dressed and we took a ride to Staunton, VA, to visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential library. The family moaned and groaned all the way to the car!!!

Certainly, not a destination spot for the kids, or Chris, but I had been wanting to go there for a couple years now and never planned it. The trip started off eventful, though:
1) As we got closer to Staunton, the temperature continued to drop to freezing and it started to snow
2) In my anxiousness to leave before anyone could talk me out of it, I had forgotten my coat!
3) When we got to the library, we learned that the library was closed for renovation…until…the next day, Saturday!!! This would have been something important for the organization to post on their web site, I thought, but I am glad they didn’t…WHY:

We had a great EXPERIENCE because of the people we met:

  • First, we had a great lunch at Emilio’s restaurant and our server did a real nice job telling us about the history of the restaurant and some of the events that may draw us back to Staunton one day.
  • Then, we got to meet a fine man, Mr. Martin from Ohio, who walked the tour of the home with us and shared a similar interest that I have: To visit all of the Presidential Libraries!
  • Also, our tour guide, Bob, was fantastic, and he ended up taking us into the Library while it was under repair and got us a close-up view of Woodrow Wilson’s Pierce Aero limousine, which was really cool! We could not have done that on a regular tour!
  • But, most importantly, I was simply amazed with my boys’ knowledge of history. As Bob would ask questions about the events of Woodrow Wilson’s time as President, Brendan and Joseph BOTH reeled off answers that had Bob‘s jaw dropping, Mr. Martin’s eyes raised, and a tear in my eye!

It could have been just another day off of school when it started, but I am so glad that we went on that little trip Friday. It wasn’t about Woodrow Wilson, or the restaurant, or the food, or the weather…it was about the people we met and the time we shared as a family. Life really is about relationships…the rest is just details!

Can you share with me an ‘experience’ that you had that started off uneventful and turned into a great experience?

  • Eric Rauschenberg

    That is a wonderful story John. To one day have those types of experiences with my own kids is what keeps me excited about the future.

  • John Gallagher

    Exactly right, Eric. The future is bright!