A grand adventure

March 16, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


A couple of weeks ago, we moved our daughter’s furniture to a temporary residence that allows her to go visit her Grandad every single day.

I have to give her credit in this move… she made all the arrangements for the rental truck and whatnot. I was going to drive the truck and we were going to try and find people to help load the truck and unload the truck.

Brenda was going to drive up to help with the loading. Then our daughter asks her brother, Josiah, if he wants to come that morning and bring the kids – he can help load up and then the kids get to see their Grams and Papi and after we load the truck, we could all go out for breakfast.  (Everything always sounds so good on paper… breakfast never happened but we did eventually have a pizza lunch on the floor of her apartment.)

In a conversation with Josiah about this, I throw out the wild idea, “Hey, you want to go for the whole trip in this move?”  His sister throws in, “Why don’t you bring the kids?”

As time went on, I thought Josiah coming was an extreme idea and didn’t think it would happen. But a few days before the move, he lets us know that he is going to go… and he is bringing the kids with him (a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son). He tells me he wants the kids and him to experience an adventure. And I am sure the opportunity for him to see his Grandad and for his kids to see their great-grandfather was another very big factor.

So… Josiah, his two young kids, myself and his sister with her dog, The Party Gus (a rhinoceros in dog’s clothing), embark on a 1,000 mile round trip journey in 3 days with the loading and unloading of his sister’s furniture.

Needless to say on such an extreme trip, there were a few meltdowns. And then there were the kids.

When Josiah first told me he was going to bring the kids, I thought to myself, “Wow… this is going to be a tough trip.”

But life moves on. And you never know when the opportunities are going to be. I began to see his heart and vision for an adventure… the grand opportunity to have a memorable experience… and an even grander opportunity to see Grandad. I so admired Josiah as I watched his love and patience and compassion with his kids on this long trip.

Each leg of the journey had its own adventure to it. My favorites were stopping at Wawa, getting lunch, and having a picnic on the tailgate of the truck in the parking lot. And then running up and down the hill with the kids and them laughing the whole time. Or maybe even more memorable, being at the rest area on the way back, at night, in the dark, 37 degrees out, having a peanut butter and jelly picnic dinner at a picnic table somewhere on I-81. Papi is doing jumping jacks and jumping up and down to try and stay warm and the kids are just happy to be out of their car seats. (Although, the only thing Emerson wanted to eat were the Doritos. And he let everybody know it… in his own 1-year-old, endemic language.)

There were some great conversations in the truck:

Josiah: “Eleanor, you need to give Emerson his toy.”
Eleanor: “But Emerson doesn’t want his toy.”
Josiah: “That’s not the issue right now; I’m asking you to give Emerson his toy.”
Eleanor: “Emerson could share with me.”

A lawyer in the making.

If Josiah had not been there, there is no way this move would have been pulled off. He became the lead engineer on loading and packing and getting things into the house… along with being the main grunt force. He is the reason I am still walking upright today and am even alive to be able to type this.

You never know when the opportunities might be… so it’s best to make the most of them. We can just go from point A to point B… or it can be an adventure. It is up to us.

There is a joy in the journey.


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].