Sometimes we’re fortunate to find a place we can call ‘Home’ even though we don’t live there.
A place that satisfies our deepest yearnings. That feels so comfortable and ‘right’ we can’t imagine not spending time there.
For me, that place is Gulfport, MS, nestled on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, midway between New Orleans and Mobile.
Who could resist this view?
As a child, I spent many vacations in Gulfport, visiting relatives and taking a brief break from our harsh Midwestern winters. Something about the sand, sun, and salt air rejuvenated me. Healed me deep to the core.
It still does.
The raucous cries of sea birds as they fly overhead or swim in formation looking for food.
The rhythmic ebb and flow of the tides, the brine in the air that’s blamed for coaxing visitors to eat more than they intend.
The graciousness of the natives.
The small-town feel with the big city offerings.
All these comfort me. Satisfy me.
I lived in Gulfport for a few years but found it challenging to work when so many were playing. Vacationing. Boating. Being tourists.
Now that I live in Illinois, I appreciate Gulfport more.
And I miss the relaxed way I feel when I’m there. Miss stuffing myself with seafood, po’ boys, Barq’s root beer, butter-cinnamon drenched rolls, beignets. Miss wearing shorts and T-shirts practically year-round.
Miss hearing a Southern drawl, y’all.
Miss kicking off my shoes and walking barefoot on the white sandy beach. Miss how cool the winds feel the closer I get to the water.
Miss Mardi Gras, Spanish moss, Confederate jasmine, columned plantation homes.
Miss not having to shovel — even in January — because whatever snow might fall is gone the next day.
Even my Sheltie is more relaxed in Gulfport:
I don’t know if I could live in Gulfport again, but I relish the time I spend down there. For now at least, Gulfport is my home away from home.
Ed. Note: The very kind Priscilla over at DogVacay.com approached me and asked if I’d be willing to write a post about my Home Away From Home, what it means to me, and include any illustrations to that effect. Based in southern California, DogVacay connects dog owners with pet professionals who provide services such as doggie daycare for pooches whose owners must travel without them.