(Click on pictures for larger image. Left to Right: Outside Sun Studios, Gibson factory,
Sunset at Sandbridge Beach, Sunrise at Sandbridge Beach, handwork at Martin factory,
fancy inlay in the Martin factory museum)
Over the years I’ve taken a variety of vacations. When I was a pre-teen, my parents took me to New England for a month during each of two summers when my minister father exchanged pulpits with a friend in Springfield, Massachusetts. We stayed in one another’s parsonages and took dozens of side trips to New York City and other sites in New England, not many of which were of great interest to me at that stage of my life. But they provided a definite change of scenery.
Vacations with my first wife consisted mostly of trips to visit her family. As much as I loved my in-laws, that wasn’t my favorite kind of vacation, and I finally had her use the vacation money to fly fly her and our daughter rather than all three of us drive in the car. So my vacation consisted of staying home by myself!
Actually, there were a couple of exceptions to what I just said. We took a quick trip to Connecticut to visit the Ovation guitar factory. Because of a mixup on their part, we got a private tour by the marketing manager. Wonderful experience.
The other exception was a family trip to Australia, using some of the inheritance I’d gotten from my mother’s estate. We stayed with friends from my numerous previous trips there and also went to far north Queensland to a beach area, from which we took a side trip to the outback. Undoubtedly our best vacations of all time.
Marriage to Kathleen has seen a greater variety of vacation trips.
Yes, we’ve taken trips to Memphis to visit her parents, but that gave me a chance to visit Sun Studios, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. I also took a tour of the Gibson guitar factory. (On another trip, we went to Pennsylvania to tour the Martin guitar factory.)
Last year we rented a beach house for a week and enjoyed sharing that time with Kathleen’s two girls (my daughter and her family couldn’t come, unfortunately). Even though the beach isn’t my favorite place to be, I had a great time taking pictures.
We’re trying something different this year. Kathleen has a first cousin in Carlsbad, California. (No, the caverns are in New Mexico. She checked.) They’ve seen each other twice in fifty-some years, so this visit might be considered overdue.
Although visiting family doesn’t normally constitute vacation for me, this trip will be an exception for two reasons.
First, the Taylor Guitar factory is within easy reach of where we’ll be staying, and they give daily factory tours on week days. Since I have a Taylor, that’s a huge draw for me. I just hope they allow cameras. (The Martin factory does. The Gibson factory doesn’t.)
The other reason this trip is more appealing is Katurah. No, not the Katurah who was one of King David’s wives, but the ten-year-old granddaughter of Kathleen’s cousin. Katurah and I almost share the same birthday in September, but that’s not what makes her special. She has had numerous health problems since before birth and still doesn’t live a normal life. Her health continues to be up and down.
But she’s alive and seems as well adjusted as one could hope from someone who’s been on our daily prayer list for the last ten years. Kathleen has been sharing Katurah updates with a number of interested individuals, and we have no doubt that prayer has been largely responsible for her doing as well as she is.
So we’re both anxious to meet Katurah and her parents and siblings and let this young lady who’s been special to us for so long become more personal. I dare say I’ll be doing at least one blog post about Katurah when we get home.
What’s your favorite vacation memory? Or do you have a horror story to tell about a past vacation? Just leave a comment.
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25.