A Different Perspective, The Victoria Advocate
My husband and I recently left town for nine days. Not sure you’d call it a vacation, but it at least deserved get-away status. We had two planned objectives—further evidence that it wasn’t exactly a vacation. I had signed up for a writing retreat in Hannibal, Missouri, and he wanted to see his relatives in Illinois. Since the locations were reasonably close together, we took the opportunity to put on our traveling pants in a post COVID world. Chief on my mind was, did we still know how to do this? What with lockdowns, social distancing, masks, and a new virus around every corner, we hadn’t traveled for a while.
Making arrangements before we left was a task in itself. Two sets of sisters came over to feed and play with the dogs, pick up the mail and newspapers, and water the garden. We informed our closest neighbors we were leaving so they could keep an eye on the house. Packing for the trip meant buying a new suitcase and smaller versions of toiletries. Finally, we were ready to go.
After a quick trip to New Braunfels to visit our daughter and family, we headed into San Antonio to spend the night and catch an early flight out. I’d forgotten how bumpy airplane landings and extra-long layovers build my faith. Due to severe weather, our departure gate at DFW changed four times. As much fun as it was to travel again, there were some things I didn’t miss. One of them was the guy in the airport who decided the delay was his opportunity to call his friends and talk extremely loud. The lady who didn’t mute her silly videos was another.
While we waited, my husband called the car rental in Springfield to inform them about the delay. However, he emphasized we would still need a vehicle when we arrived. The young man gave us our choice of three cars left. It was fun to watch my almost seventy-year-old husband’s eyes light up and say YES to renting a Dodge Challenger. And that was the car we drove between Illinois and Missouri. We loved every minute of it.
The weather in Missouri was still spring-like, so the first stop we made was to Wal-Mart for jackets. However, by the time we made it farther north to Illinois, it was in the low nineties again. It may be hard for Texans to believe, but AC isn’t a way of life for many folks who live up north. So we were hot—a lot. Despite the heat, my husband visited with his brother and sister, nephews, and a cousin who had just lost her husband to COVID.
The writing retreat was excellent. Now, if I can only apply everything I learned…the theme was “Perk Up Your Prose.” For a writer, that’s crucial. Readers aren’t always conscious of why they set aside a book or magazine, but often it’s because the writing is not up to par.
The trip was both sweet and necessary. We ate entirely too much and didn’t sleep particularly well. We still had an agenda, but it felt good to be away from my planner, regular workload, and schedules. I took a few exploratory walks and took pictures of flowers we don’t often see in South Texas.
Now that we’ve figured out we can still do it, we’re planning a trip to East Texas in June and another to Galveston in October.
The future is as uncertain as ever. But the Bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV) It feels good to move forward because I know He has my back always and forever.