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Plan For The Worst, Hope For The Best

Updated on January 19, 2017
The breathtaking foothills Ellijay Georgia.
The breathtaking foothills Ellijay Georgia.

Last week a hurricane began to brew in the Atlantic. This was the week before labor day weekend. Labor day is a big deal in the south as we truly enjoy boating, grilling and celebrating what would typically be the end of summer in most parts of the country. We watched both local news stations all week, tracking this history making hurricane. We watched both because that’s how you form a solid opinion. Thursday came and we knew it was time to come up with a plan as the storm was due to hit soon. We ordered Chinese take out and sat down to dinner. We discussed whether evacuation was necessary and argued our highly weather related educated opinions. Then we opened our fortune cookies. My husband‘s fortune read, “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”

It was a sure sign. We must evacuate.


By this time it was seven in the evening. Time for me to wash the dishes and for him to wash the kiddos. Still, we couldn’t ignore the sign. So we threw some clothes in the suitcase, answered about two hundred "why’s" from our toddlers and then hit the road. Gaahhhh! Who does that?

Anyone who knows me knows I have to have a plan. I need to be prepared. We must make and then follow the plan. I literally make pre-lists to prepare for completing final lists. Yes. This is a true story based on actual events. Someone, somewhere once told me that preparation is the key to success while chaos is the key to failure. They did not tell me any other options. So it’s either preparation or chaos. There is no in between. I can not comprehend plan for the worst, hope for the best. Which one are we going to experience because those two lists are not the same!

When planning a vacation I typically plan three outfits, per person, per day. All of this is based on the assumption that we can not access our closet while away and need to be prepared with a suitable wardrobe on the off chance that we may meet a celebrity for dinner or we may end up eating tacos while pushing strollers up a mountain. You have to have to right shoes for that, ya know. We must be prepared! Then there are maps and timelines and naps and meals and …. I think you get the jest.

Us throwing some clothes in a suitcase and just pulling out of the driveway within one hour was just … mind-blowing. I did not expect success. I’m positive that the only reason I agreed to this last minute evacu-vacation was based solely on the fact that if we stayed home we would spend our weekend eating canned foods over candle light..with toddlers. I have to admit that’s some pretty amazing motivation to get in the car and go.

Here is my confession. This may have been my most favorite weekend away with my family. Our wardrobes were ill planned, less than classy and oh so comfortable. We had no timelines or expectations to meet. No one to impress, no check in times, no routes to map.. we just went with what came to us in the moment.

It. Was. Beautiful.

We ended up seeing some pretty spectacular sights and making some amazing memories together. When my husband asked me what my favorite part of the weekend was I told him it was being able to spend every moment of an entire weekend soaking up precious moments with my favorite people. I shared a bed with my incredibly gorgeous two year old daughter and we stayed up late giggling, cuddling and singing every night. We all slept in and took our time getting ready, not once did I have to say … we have to go now, we must hurry up. We were dressed and ready within thirty minutes and our attire was always appropriate for the day. I climbed a waterfall with my son and watched his eyes light up like little stars when he reached the top. I witnessed my husband‘s eyes fill with tears when he caught a glimpse of me in a moment of sheer bliss as I reached my hand out to pet a baby manta ray. I watched my little ones in awe as we picked apples on the side of a mountain. There were so many moments like this that I don’t have room to write them all here on this page. But, they are definitely written on my heart forever.

So, if you ever find yourself in a moment of indecision over your weekend plans, here is my suggestion. Just throw some clothes together, load up your pajama dressed family and go! Don’t sweat making a plan. Don’t stress where to be next. Just be in the moment.

Don’t be the schedule keeping, organic snack packing, groupon searching woman with the referee whistle around her neck. Just be momma, just be wife, just be you…just enjoy this beautiful life God has blessed you with.

You will have the time of your life.

H Rainey

Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls

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    • Kristina Hearn profile image

      Kristina Hearn 

      16 months ago from Iowa

      Great article! I'm currently on a road trip with 2 toddlers, and this is a nice reminder for me to go with the flow a little more. Everything was meticulously packed when we left, but now the car is a disaster. And that's ok. I enjoyed your writing!

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