A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. ~Earl Wilson, American journalist
The pressures had been building for some time.
An aging parent. A fur-kid with arthritic hips. A new laptop that I didn’t have time to set up properly. A work-in-progress that was going nowhere, thanks to some web design projects demanding my full attention.
In short, an overburdened psyche.
So I did what any rational person would do — called my sis and persuaded her to take a vacation with me.
Neither of us wanted to travel far and wide. Nor did we want to spend pockets full of money that we’d miss later.
What we wanted was simple.
Peace. Relaxation. Good weather. Long walks. Shopping. Each other’s company (something that had been missing for four whole years).
I reserved a place at the kennel for Dallas, encouraged Mom to hire help to pitch-hit for the week, packed my suitcases, and hit the road.
Here are some of the beautiful things I found while strolling around my new locale (see if you can guess where we met up!):
Hmm, could that be a Magnolia? Sure looks like it, with those glossy oval leaves. But that doesn’t tell you much, as Magnolias can be grown across the U.S. these days.
Are you thinking Kentucky? I certainly can picture horses racing over the grassy hills and approaching this fence to beg for an apple or a carrot.
I’m afraid I have no clue what this beauty is. It had no noticeable odor, and we don’t have them here.
Are you getting closer? Somebody planted a red rosebush just beneath this Magnolia tree. The juxtaposition of colors and scents was magical.
Ah, now you can see this is a Southern Magnolia, often considered the gold standard of the genus. Such a perfumy aroma! Did you know Magnolias are believed to be the earliest known flowering plants, with fossils dating back more than 100 million years?
Okay, I don’t think you’re going to guess, so I’ll just tell you. We met in Oxford, MS, home of our alma mater, and the next two shots show you my favorite places — the Band Rehearsal Hall and our marching band practice field.
Of course these facilities have seen extensive renovation since I graduated, but it always feels like “home” being back at Ole Miss!
So, be honest — did you guess?!?
You are so right. The last few weeks have been based on a few concepts. The first of course is trying to keep my wife on this planet one more day. Then it’s consolidate and simplify everything while I try and figure out how to proceed with my writing stuff. Kentucky is a beautiful state! Good luck.
Uh-oh, you read me wrong. I went to Mississippi, not Kentucky (though that, too, has a lot of beautiful spots!)
old age will do that to me!
I did not guess at all. hope the trip was restful.
It was, John. Such a blessing to be able to take a few days off, away from the things that have been pressing in on me!
Yes. Deep breaths help too.
Debbie, good for you! And I applaud you for taking a vacation when you felt the time was right, and just did it. Bravo! You know, sometimes you just gotta stop everything and think about your own sanity and well-being. And as you said, you don’t have to spend a ton of money and go far to accomplish that. You can do “simple.”
I just recently made a change as well, so I can identify with your feelings.
Your photographs are STUNNING! The Southern Magnolia’s are gorgeous. I LOVE their scent! And no, I didn’t realize they were the earliest known flowering plant!? How cool is that.
Really loved the interior shots of the Band Rehearsal Hall. I bet it felt wonderful to be back there.
Glad to hear you had a great time on your vacay, my friend! Welcome back! And have a great rest of your week!
A “change”?? Hmm, now you’ve got my curiosity going, Ron. Perhaps you’ll post about that??
Aren’t those Magnolias gorgeous? My mom always calls them “trashy trees” because of all the stuff they drop, but I think they’re beautiful. We have pink ones up here, but they don’t seem as regal as the ones with dinner plate-sized scented flowers!
It’s funny about the Rehearsal Hall. It looked completely different from when I was in school! Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but envy (just a wee bit!) the young people who get to play in such a facility.
Yes, a vacation is a necessity, and I won’t be waiting FOUR more years to take my next one either, ha! xo
I guessed Mississippi, but I didn’t guess Oxford. I’ve been there! and it’s a wonderful place. My first visit was after my senior year in high school, when we went on what we thought might be our last family vacation, and I got to pick the place. I wanted to see Faulkner’s home — and we did.
I think those flowers you couldn’t ID are a form of sage. A friend has some that have exactly the same form, although they’re pink. And you’re right about the beauty of the southern magnolia. I had no idea it had such a history. That’s really interesting — there are so many mysteries to be explored!
It’s great that you were able to get away and enjoy yourself. A week’s a nice length of time, and it sounds like you had decent weather. Perfect!
You know me too well, Linda! I’d have loved going all the way to the Gulf, but Oxford is like home to me since I went to university there. So you’ve seen it, too? Did you go through Faulkner’s home? I took oodles of photos there one summer when I was taking a photography class (back before cell phones, ha!)
Sage, huh? Well, I suppose so, though I hadn’t considered that. Whatever it was, it was delicate-looking.
So glad you had the chance for quality sis time & a chance to recharge your internal batteries (plus Mississippi certainly has lots of good eats as my brother & I discovered while visiting 2 years ago.) Our magnolias are blooming here in Virginia, too. Travel Blessings, Debbie! ☀️😎☀️
Thanks so much, Virginia! I’m a BIG fan of vacations, and I refuse to wait four more years before I take another one! As I keep reminding my mom — everybody gets time off every now and then, and who more than caregivers need it?!! I should have realized Virginia would have Magnolias, too. Lovely trees in every season!
I wouldn’t have guessed but I should have, you’ve talked about wanting to go to Mississippi for awhile now…didn’t know that was where you went to school. Did you make it to the coast? I hope Dallas was OK at the kennel.
We didn’t make it to the coast … this time. We’ll need to go back, for sure. I have been longing for some sun and sand for a while now.
Poor Dallas. He did just fine at the kennel (though you’d never hear that from HIM!) I called every day to check on him (we were transitioning to a new food), and they assure me all was well. I imagine he will bark about it before too long!
Are you doing summer band? Our first concert is Thursday night, and I’ve got that excited/scared feeling going on.
Love a trip with the ladies. My sisters and I will be taking my mom to see her sister. I hope we find adventure.
I hope you do, too! How wonderfully unselfish of you girls, taking your mom to see her sister. Family is so precious, Miss A!!!
I couldn’t figure out the location, but I guess any place shared with a sister is extra special. What a wonderful way to reboot. Makes we want to plan a sis trip ASAP.
I definitely recommend it, Pat! I have friends who regularly take sister trips to fabulous places, but even just a get-together for a few days can be refreshing. Rebooting is guaranteed!
Hi Debbie, it’s been so long since we’ve connected. Good for you for taking care of yourself with this restful vacation.How often do we talk about getting away, but don’t? It’s notable that you did and such beautiful pictures. So glad to see you are doing well, my friend!
Kathy, what a delight hearing from you! I think about you often — forgive me for not dropping by as often. It was a wonderful trip we took — we hope, the first of many. Nobody should go YEARS without a break — it’s not good for spirit, mind, or body. Hope you’re doing well — I’ll drop over ASAP!