My dad died in 2006, and every year since then, my mom has wintered in Clearwater, Florida. She was near or with my twin sister, Cindy. A tradition that started that first year was “Mystery Trips.”
Missing our dad, and feeling responsible in a new way for our mom, it became important for the three sisters to spend time together. So we have invaded Cindy and Ron’s home for her spring break week every year. That first year, with her creative juices swirling, Cindy came up with the idea of taking us on a mystery trip. The first was such a hit, that we’ve done it every year.
The body’s ability for incredible flexibility (not mine!) and skill amazed us at Cirque de Soleil’s La Nuba. One year we took an all-day pontoon trip down a river. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the pontoon while spying alligators, egrets and beautiful flora. Another mystery trip found us swimming with the manatees! We got close enough to touch them. Lipizzaner stallions’ spring training near Sarasota was a fun and unexpected mystery trip. That year we also made a stop at a u-pick strawberry farm. Cindy has come up with some delightful experiences. The only information Judy and I are given: what to wear and what time we’re leaving!
This year we headed north of Orlando to the Ponce De Leone state park, where you can find the Old Spanish Sugar Mill, which houses a unique pancake restaurant. Each table has a griddle built into it, and you cook your own pancakes right at your table. Batter comes table-side in unique pottery pitchers. Diners can order extras to cook in with the batter: blueberries, apples, pecans, etc. It was a yummy, fun experience, in a “sublime” setting.
After our late breakfast, we hopped in the car and drove south to Universal Studios, where we were just in time to see the uproariously funny and “ridiculous” Blue Man Group. As Cindy noted, “we went from the sublime to the ridiculous!”
The show was hilarious – so “out of the box” … out of my box anyway! The talent is incredible and the humor throughout catches you off guard! A favorite part was in the pre-show audience warm-up. They randomly select people’s names and make comments. It was hilarious when the announcer said, “We understand Cynthia Peabody is in the audience!” We three are more comfortable being under the radar! They talked about her having a headache and how she could get rid of it “by picturing it as a cow – a BIG cow! Then you can cut up the cow, package it and sell it to stores in central Florida!”
Before my vacation, I was telling friends about “Mystery Trips,” and how much I look forward to them. One friend commented that she would have trouble not knowing what the plans. It would be unsettling to her not to know the itinerary and what to expect.
I trust my sister. I know she has something wonderful planned and has my best interest at heart. She wants me to have a good experience, so it’s easy to go with the flow!
That thought reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
God has a full and wonderful life planned for me. There will be some hard or scary things (like being right up next to a 400 pound manatee?), there will be incredible things (those lipizzan stallions were beautiful and powerful!), and some rather simple things (cooking your own pancakes). Whatever happens in life, it’s important to remember who is the Author of Life, and what His promise is: plans to prosper you …