Many students, teachers and faculty members are spending this week enjoying a mini vacation either at home or away. I heard many families headed to the beach for some sun and sand. Although the weather is still cool at the beach, I am positive listening to the waves crashing and seeing the sun glistening on the ocean is entirely relaxing to all who are at the beach. The mountains may have enticed others to spend snowy days in the Gatlingburg area. I, on the other hand, am sitting in a nice warm office writing, enjoying listening to some of my favorite songs and seeing the beautiful rays of sun shining through the front windows of the office. I am content.
For many years when our children were younger (they are all adults now) we would always head to Panama City Beach or Destin for our spring break. The ocean was always too cold for me but our children could withstand the coldness on sunny days. We have sweet memories of walking the beach, finding seashells and building sand castles. There were a few times the children “buried” each other or their dad under the sand with only their faces peaking above the sand. Austin loved to tickle his dad’s nose with a bird feather while dad was incapacitated. The tickling always caused huge sneezes, which blew sand forward. Those were fun vacations.
The downside of playing in the ocean was we would occasionally encounter a jelly fish in the water or on the sandy beach near the water’s edge. Stepping on one of these caused great anguish and required immediate attention. The last time one of us was stung by a jellyfish, someone in our family heard a great way to stop the sting was for someone to urinate on the sting area. That might be true but none of us wanted to be the subject or the perpetrator. There are just some things you don’t want to do on a public beach!
The mountains have a special place in our memories too. We haven’t gone to the mountains as many times as we went to the beach but that was my children’s fault. They love the ocean. I enjoy both but a spring or summer trip to the mountains gives me a wonderful appreciation of God’s creations. The scenery in the Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Red Top Mountain in Georgia are magnificent. The colors, the majestic mountain peaks and the clean, fresh air sooth my soul. It has been over twenty years since we have been to the mountains in this area of the country. I think we are due for a trip soon.
I have experienced the beauty of Wintergreen, Virginia. The mountains, flowering trees and gardens along with nature trails is one of my favorite vacations. Wintergreen is a ski resort. I have never skied and I don’t think it would be a good idea to try to learn at my age. Walking through the nature trails, which border a beautiful golf course, is more suited to my abilities.
My children and grandchildren usually go to the beach at least once a year now. They have discovered the expense of a week-long trip to the beach. They much preferred when dad would cover all the costs. Now that we have seven grandchildren along with our six children, we would need to take out an additional mortgage on our home to finance a trip for all of us. Never say never!
I hope everyone who has spring break enjoys their time off. Whether you are at home relaxing and sleeping late or gone on a trip with family or friends, memories are being made. Tuck those memories in your heart to bring out later to bring you joy.
Brenda Daher is editor of The Baldwyn News.