Change of Scenery… by JoAnn

A yellow house sitting on top of a hill.

I consider myself a homebody. I believe it is due to my upbringing. My parents were 40 years old when they had me. By the time I came along, they no longer had the energy to take their three children on vacation. Not that often anyway. We would visit family that lived up in the mountains once or twice a year, but only for a day and only when the weather was nice. My parents didn’t want to take the chance of getting stuck in snow/ice or getting flooded in.

We never stayed overnight. To my knowledge, my parents never stayed in a motel or hotel for the remainder of their lives after I was born. My first time staying in a motel was when I was 18 and staying with a friend. It felt rather strange, but I also enjoyed it due to the nice change of scenery.

We not only never stayed in a motel, but we also never went to a restaurant where we sat down and were waited on. We did go too fast food places, and I always enjoyed that immensely because it was fun as a kid. We didn’t go but maybe a couple of times a month, but it was a nice change of pace. My mama’s food was much better, but the fast-food was different. I think we all just crave different sometimes.

After I was married and had my own family, I tried to do more traveling than my parents had done with me. I miss the summers when I would take my three daughters for their summer vacation to my parents. We would spend a couple of months at their beautiful Tennessee mountain property. My dad would grow his beautiful vegetable gardens, and we would reap the benefits. My children could play on the exact property that I had played on as a little girl. Everywhere we went, there were beautiful mountains in our view. The air was cleaner, and the sky seemed bluer. Maybe they were bored at times, but I tried to keep them entertained. I hope those memories are as good for my kids, all now grown, as they are for me.

The most crucial part of going to my parents every summer was that it was a much-needed change of scenery. We couldn’t afford a traditional vacation like many people take every year. So there were no motel stays, swimming in a hotel pool, or eating out. But I loved being in my old home again, being around my parents, and I loved the fact that my children were also spending time with them.

As I’m getting older, I have spent more time remembering the good times of the past than I have making new memories. I crave a vacation! I “need” one every year but certainly don’t get it. I miss my visits to my parents, as they have been gone for many years. I still can’t afford the luxury of flying off to somewhere beautiful or driving to somewhere I’ve never seen before. But I am hoping that will change soon, and I will be able to get in the car and just go!

One thing is for sure, when I can take a trip, I will make many stops along the way. I will stay in hotels, be waited on in restaurants, and take my time thoroughly enjoying the change of scenery! There will be no time restrictions, no rushing, and nothing will be off-limits. I will go with the flow of life wherever it leads me.

I wonder if everyone craves a change of scenery like I do. I don’t believe my parents did. If so, they never spoke of it. I am glad that they seemed content with being at home. They appeared happy. Maybe they weren’t, though. Perhaps they had dreams just like I do of seeing someplace new. That thought saddens me.

Wherever you are, I hope that you get the opportunity to have a change of scenery if you crave it. Perhaps I’ll see you someday in my own travels.