Jessie quietly sang, “Rain falls, sweet rain on my window and the columbine are bending their heads in the rain,” as she listened to the sound of the rain falling on the trailer roof, mingled with the sound of bacon sizzling.
“What are you so cheerful for?” Austin grumbled. “Now I can’t go fishing this morning. We’ll probably be stuck inside the trailer our whole vacation.”
“I like the sound of the rain,” Jessie answered. “Plus, Mom’s cooking my favorite. Mmmmm, bacon. I am sorry, you don’t get to go fishing, though.”
“We can still go fishing after breakfast,” Mother interjected. “I brought the Go Fish game.”
“Oh, Mom,” Austin groaned, pulling his sleeping bag over his head. “It’s just not fair. What did I do so wrong that Heavenly Father has to punish me like this?”
“Come on, Champ,” Father said, pulling the sleeping bag away from Austin’s face. “You know that’s not how the Lord works. Think of it as a test, not a punishment.”
“A test is punishment,” Austin complained.
Father brushed Austin’s hair out of his eyes. “Son, do you remember what Elder Eyring taught us during General Conference last October? ‘The great test of life is to see whether we will obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life.’”
Austin thought about what Elder Eyring had said. “Like when we have a test at school! No matter how hard it is, you don’t cheat?”
Father smiled at his son’s analogy. “That’s right. Now, think about how you might feel when you get a ‘B’ on a test you did your best on, apposed to getting an ‘A’ on a test you cheated on.”
“I’d feel good about a ‘B,’ but, I’d feel guilty if I cheated, even if I did get an ‘A’,” Austin concluded. “But, what does all of this have to do with our vacation being ruined?” Austin grumbled.
“If this is a test and we spend the whole time moping around and blaming God we’ll be miserable.”
“But,” Jessie responded, “If we make the best of it. We can still have a good time. Rain or no rain. Right, Dad?”
“That’s right, Sweetie!” Father agreed. “Did I ever tell you about when I was a kid and we were on vacation in this exact same spot?
“Here we go again,” Austin teased sarcastically.
“It was raining cats and dogs, just like it is today. But, instead of being in a nice warm trailer we were in a leaky tent.”
“Even I don’t like the rain that much,” Jessie said, rolling her eyes.
“Well, Uncle Rhett’s family felt the same way, Jessie. They packed up and went home and spent their vacation cleaning out their garage. How would you like to spend your vacation doing that?” Father asked.
Jessie and Austin both shook their head, “Not at all!”
“If you ask my cousin Ken, he’ll tell you it was the worst vacation they ever had. But, it was one of the best vacations our family ever had!” Dad reminisced.
“Why? What did you do?” Austin, curiously asked.
“Well, we all bundled up in our sleeping bags in a circle and played games, munched on Grandma’s homemade caramel corn and drank homemade root beer.”
“You ate caramel corn for dinner?” Jessie asked.
“No, at dinner time we made ponchos out of black garbage bags. Then Grandpa built a bonfire with the dry firewood we had brought from home and we roasted hot dogs and drank hot chocolate. Mmmmm.” Father closed his eyes and smiled at the memory, “It was the best meal I’ve ever had up camping.”
“Can we roast hot dogs in the rain for dinner?” Austin asked.
Mother laughed, “We have a warm trailer and a nice stove to cook on.”
Father winked at Austin. “But, Honey, roasting hot dogs in the rain makes memories!”
After dinner when the kids were asleep, Mother and Father huddled under a tarp by the cozy fire. “Thanks for helping the Savior calm the storm,” Mother whispered.
“But, it’s still raining!” Father said puzzled.
“I know, but you brought His love into our storm tossed-boat and now our children are happy and peacefully sleeping.”
by Margie Nauta Lee