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Carol Perkins: Beyond and Elsewhere

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By Carol Perkins

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, most of my classmates never knew what a vacation was except to travel to far off distances such as Louisville or somewhere in Indiana to visit relatives.

My dad wasn't keen on taking trips. My mom said it was because of being gone from home for five years during WWII. I'm not sure if that was the case or not. We took one vacation in my growing up and that was to the Smokey Mountains. Guy said his family never took a vacation except to visit relatives.

Even as a young girl, I wanted to see beyond my town and state. I wanted to "dress up" and take a flight somewhere. Back then, those who could afford to fly dressed in their finest. That has sure changed! Before we married, Guy and I never talked about what we liked or didn't like to do, so I never asked if he wanted to travel. At that time, traveling was still a dream.

His time in the Navy, I discovered, pushed him to want to see more of the world. Once he visited the Vatican, he knew he wanted to take me there. We talked about that trip often, but I never believed I would go. Yet three years ago that dream came true.

Our first vacation before Carla was born was in the Smokey Mountains and we could only afford to stay two nights. This was long before reservations, so we looked for "Vacancy" signs and pulled into the front office parking lot. After several stops and the shake of the head as Guy headed back to the car, we found a place. Not as nice as I would have liked, but it fit our budget.

The first major vacation, however, was not until seven years later when Jon was three. That was the first time I saw the ocean. The stretch between Panama City Beach and Destin was deserted, and we could barely see the ocean for the sand dunes. Guy parked the car along the side of the highway, and we climbed the dunes. I almost cried at the sight before me. No matter how many beach vacations I might have taken, this one is the most memorable.

Right now, families are looking forward to Fall Break. Their reservations are already made for another week at the beach. I love their pictures! Retired people stay away from the beach when school is out! I am waiting for the cruise ships to be safe again. While we're able, we still want to see "beyond and elsewhere" (a line from the book The Giver.) I know I can't travel forever, but I will think about that later!

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2021-08-20 09:26:32
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