Once, in the midst of a "conversation" with my son about our old cars, his ancient video game system, and the used ski boots I was about to buy to replace the ones he was rapidly outgrowing, he made some allusion to family values. I had been explaining the economic concept of opportunity cost and that families made different economic choices. I snapped back, "Travel is our family value!" The conversation ended. Even he, toes pinched, was not willing to trade our travels for new boots.
I was fortunate to to live overseas as a young child when my father was stationed in Europe during his military service. I have no memories of the time, but we came back to the States with some treasures, including my mother's charm bracelet. It was enormous - heavy silver charms on every link. It jangled and shone, snagged sweaters and even scratched hands. Some charms moved and each represented a spot Mother or Daddy visited. She had a story about every one.
When she died I inherited the bracelet. It was far too big and noisy for me to wear - impossible at work, church or school. I had collected my own charms, though my bracelet was a puny thing next to hers. Ultimately I decided to combine the two into a necklace. I wear it regularly and am reminded of treasured memories - Mother and our journeys.
Woods Hole Drawbridge
It was my go to classroom management tool when substituting in elementary schools. Few children could resist the reward of handling the charms and picking out one to learn about at the end of the day. I wear it to most family events - my own way of keeping Mother at the party.
And there's room to add more charms as we continue to explore.