Well, this summer I had nothing but time on my hands. After about a week of resting and being lazy, I thought it best that I start on some of the many things I’d planned to get done this summer. I cleaned out closets, scrubbed floors and shower walls, and organized my never ending pile of paperwork. I even started on the garage. The operative word in that sentence is ‘started’, because finishing is a completely different word!
Then the fun really started! I had plans to, at some point in the summer, meet my new grandson and spend some time with my older one. Somehow, this little trip turned into a mini excursion as I thought about all the friends I’d love to see and spend time with. I have met and built so many positive friendships throughout the years. Many continue to live in states where I’ve lived and some have moved. I miss my friends. I miss hanging out with them and so I thought, why not? Since I’d decided that I would drive to North Carolina, I figured it would be just as easy to drive to Atlanta and South Carolina as well. Mapping out my trip, I began to get excited. Could I really do this? Of course, I could!
Leaving my home on June 24th, I stopped in Atlanta, Georgia. My friend, Lissahn lives there. She and met about twenty years ago when both of our boys were in Kindergarten. She is an amazing, fun, and loving person. I truly enjoy her friendship. Also while in Atlanta, I had lunch and dinner with my friends Renee and JD. While we do stay in touch, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’d seen them so it was a great opportunity for us to catch up.
From Atlanta, I headed over to North Carolina. I knew this stop was going to be a challenge for me. I miss having my son close to home. I am definitely grateful that he is not more than five hundred miles away but it would sure be nice to have him and my grandsons here in the Tampa area. The bulk of my trip was spent with them. I spent eleven days watching my three year old grandson run through parks, chase butterflies and explore waterfalls. He is definitely a child that requires outdoor play everyday. Meeting my one month old grandson for the first time was a true blessing. I had to tell myself often to lay him down. Leaving North Carolina was very hard. I would have loved to have packed them all in the car and brought them home with me.
In North Carolina, I had also planned to see my niece and my friends, Katie and Simone. Unfortunately, scheduling didn’t permit. Katie and Simone are friends I met in Atlanta. Shortly after I moved to Florida, they moved to North Carolina. The three of us spent a lot of time together and we ate a lot of pizza, which is Simone’s favorite. My hope and prayer is that I can plan a weekend trip soon just to see them.
My next and final stop was in Beaufort, South Carolina to see my friend and mentor, Denise. This lady, I met here in Tampa. After a few moves with her job, she retired and settled back in her hometown. She and I keep in touch quite often. Once roommates, we learned that we are similar in so many ways which makes hanging out and finding things to do that interest us both very easy. In South Carolina, we fed my soul with history tours about West African slaves and their journey to freedom in the Beaufort and Hilton Head areas. Hours upon hours of conversation brought me back to myself and gave me the clarity I needed to focus on my goals and dreams.
As of today, I have been back home for four days. I missed my family but I also realize how important it is for me to take time for myself, to do things I enjoy and to be pushed out of my comfort zone. It is true what they say, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Grateful for my journey…:)