Stepping Out of the Rut

So, we had the really great opportunity to spend a nice long weekend in Pigeon Forge. Just me and Neal. Away from the ringing phones and work. What a wonderful time we had! Who knew the mountains could be so beautiful in the spring? We always go in the fall to see the leaves or around Christmas to see all the lights. But we've never been in the spring.

It's unbelievable how many different colors of green were in the trees on the sides of the mountains. And they were dotted with flowers in every color of the rainbow. I think the wild dogwoods were my favorite.  It was an amazing trip with gorgeous scenery all the way.

Once we arrived we quickly found a few old friends (no insult intended guys) and spent the next few days taking in some of the local attractions. Of course we went to Walmart once. You can't go anywhere and not go to Walmart right?  But most of the time we just wandered around seeing the sights and eating food that we can't get here at home. 

It was a great trip with enough memories to take up at quite a few pages in a scrapbook. It made me think about how good it feels to climb up out of the rut occasionally. Don't get me wrong. I love my life and every busy little piece of it. But sometimes it feels good to sleep on a bed you didn't make (okay, I don't make many beds, but I digress)  and eat food from places you've never tried before. It feels good to share a few stories and laughs with old friends. And show new friends pictures of your kids and brag about how handsome and smart they are (yes, I did. Several times. Why are you surprised?) 

Isn't it amazing how wrapped up we get in the every day busyness of life? There's always work to be done, bills to be paid, calls to return and a chicken that refuses to thaw in time for supper. There are tires to be rotated, grass to be cut, trips to the grocery store and a doctor's visit you just can't cancel again. Before you know, weeks run together and a whole month goes flying by and you keep thinking "why am I so tired?" and "we just celebrated Christmas, how can it be March!" And you think about how you're going to make some time to soon as you get everything done. And that time never comes.

But a vacation--even a short one-- reminds you of when you were young and unencumbered and could get off work on a Friday, throw some clothes in a bag and point the car in a direction and just go. It makes you realize the world can go on at least a day or two without you. And that you actually still like one another when you're not debating (notice I did not use the word 'argue') who left the iron plugged in and who left the front door unlocked all night. It feels good to sit up late and sleep in, eat junk food that you wouldn't dare keep in the house and go in search of bears, wild turkeys and waterfalls far off the beaten path.

So, here's to vacations that challenge the humdrum and invite that invigorating sense of adventure. Sometimes we just need a break from the ordinary to really appreciate the ordinary. Maybe that's why when we talked about staying just one more night, we talked ourselves right out of it. Although it was all wonderful, we both couldn't wait to get back home and see the kids, the house, the animals and yes, sleep in our own bed.

So, even though I enjoyed every minute of our trip and will probably be ready to go again very soon it all just reminds me of one simple fact. It's not where you are or where you go in life. It's who you have beside you on the journey that makes it all worthwhile. It's good to be home.


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