Road Trips and Time Off

So wow, a whole year has gone by, and I haven’t written a single blog. Shows how busy my life is. Or that maybe I want to do something besides blog in my spare time.

I went road tripping in May with a college friend, my freshman roommate, Sally. Since then I have felt more energetic than I have in years. I think it was like pressing the Reset button on an electronic device. Why do we have the tendency to not listen to our bodies and spirits when they are crying out for rest? That’s sort of a rhetorical question, but my life post-road trip has made me think about the value of “sharpening the saw,” as Stephen Covey described taking time off in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

When I press the Pause button on my life and take a couple of weeks off back-to-back, I think about all sorts of things. I thought about retirement and when I want to retire. Not sure I have a clear answer on that one yet. I came back to work reenergized and rarin’ to go. Since the road trip, I have decided I want to pursue a certificate in spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Further education at this juncture in my life, on the surface, doesn’t make sense. I’m not doing it for the sake of advancing in my career. I’m doing it because I love a challenge, and I want to keep my gray matter functioning, and because I love thinking about spiritual stuff.

Taking time away from my family made me appreciate the unique gifts of my husband, son, and daughter. My son broke up with his girlfriend of almost two years while I was away. My daughter got another job than the one she had planned to start this fall. (It’s good…she just realized that she couldn’t teach Spanish at a high school level because her licensure covers only middle school). We are excited that she will be teaching at a great middle school, John Trotwood Moore…and she won’t be the only Spanish teacher at her school. I think JT Moore takes Spanish seriously, so none of this “Well, we’re not going to offer Spanish next year, so we need you to teach 5th grade science and social studies” stuff like she endured at her last school.

And John, well, let’s say I got a little frustrated trying to get in touch with him while on the road trip (I kept getting a busy signal when I called), but there was a reason I was able to reach our children and not him for a few days. We finally got connected, and all was well. Since the trip, he says I’ve changed, that I act more like Sally. Well, that’s a good thing. Sally is an assertive woman who knows her own mind and is practically a genius. She taught me much about laundry, wovens and knits, and lots of other things on the trip. I realized how much I didn’t know about her job as a professor at Texas Christian University, even though we have corresponded about our work and personal lives for years. Sally and her husband, Jim, have been married about 1 1/2 months longer than John and me. It’s fun to see the different ways we interact with our spouses.

I came home appreciating my spouse for allowing me to be who I extravert who has introvert tendencies and needs solitude at times to figure out what the heck is going on in her life. Spending time with a longtime friend is a precious gift. Sally and I never turned the radio or any music on during the trip. We kept a conversation going most of the time. She also introduced me to a new author: Louise Penny, who writes murder mysteries. I didn’t start with the first book in the series but now will have to go back and read that one after I finish A Rule Against Murder.

I am grateful for time away and look forward to another road trip sometime! John and I took a brief one over the 4th of July weekend and caught up with several relatives and one lifelong friend. More road trips to come!

Anne and Dad 1

I also thought about my sweet dad a lot during the road trip. I miss him every day. This pic was taken at The Upper Room Agape Garden when he was nearly 90 (so I think it was around 2011 or 2012). He lived to age 93 (one month short of turning 94). Daddy was a very kind, humble, Christian man, and I am privileged to have had him for 25 years after my mom’s death.






5 thoughts on “Road Trips and Time Off

  1. Anne, Thanks for the update. So enjoy hearing how you are doing in your journey through life. I retired 7 years ago. I missed the kids really bad the first few years, but knew I was doing the right thing. After lots of struggle, I found joy in other things. I am taking art lessons and voice lessons. I’m also in a Bible study group that meets on Tuesdays in the leader’s home. We are studying a series of books covering the Old Testament. The author wants us to see Jesus in the Old Testament. It has really been an eye opener for me. I love the ladies and the time we have sharing what we’ve learned through the scriptures. Tim is still working at his law practice, but he has started slowing down. He brought an associate in and she is buying his business. Our daughter graduated from college with a teaching license, but has decided not to teach. She has kinda job hopped around trying to find a fit for herself. She will be starting a new job with the State of Tennessee soon. She feels this one is more to her liking. We will see. Tim and I took an Alaskan cruise on the Royal Caribbean last Fall and had a blast. We loved the whale bubbling along with many other excursions. We went with a group on the bank board where Tim serves. I’m not much for trips or traveling, but I would definitely do that again. We moved from our home in Hendersonville of over 30+ years this Spring into a house we had built in Gallatin. We planned the layout of this one and had it built to be our retirement home. Well, just wanted to catch you up on our family happenings. As always you and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers, sweet friend. Virginia

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi, Ginny (do you still go by that?). I just found your note from July today…Oct. 15. I noticed I haven’t seen any updates from you on Facebook, so I presume you aren’t using it any more. I was thinking about you and Connie Powell just in the past week or so and wondered how you were doing.
      Sounds like you are doing well. Your daughter will figure out what she’s supposed to do. Our daughter wound up teaching, and she didn’t get a teaching certificate/license in college. She was a teaching assistant in Madrid for 2 years and that’s when she decided she wanted to teach. Her first 3 years were full of stress (she did enjoy several good months at Rose Park Magnet School, but the rest of that time was awful). Now she has a job teaching Spanish at JT Moore Middle School and loves it. She is also working on her master’s in teaching a foreign language. Our son got laid off last May from Barnes & Noble where he was operations manager. He worked for John in his pool business for the rest of the year. Then he got a job in maintenance working for Marriott Hotels (three brands under one roof) and he really likes it. John and I are putt-putting along. Age brings challenges but also new opportunities. I am taking a seminary course this semester and am working toward a certificate in spiritual formation, so I stay busy. Well, gotta run. Good to hear from you! Love, Anne

    • Virginia, I am bad about checking my home email, so I just now found your message from over a year ago. Only running a little behind! Glad to hear you’ve retired. I would hate to be teaching this year with all the COVID craziness. Julie is teaching her first year in high school (Antioch). She’s working on her master’s in teaching a foreign language and will be certified from grades 7-12. She taught middle school before, but her licensure was dependent on teaching for a full year at a charter school. She lasted about 8 weeks and was the seventh teacher to leave the school that year!

      John and I did a short cruise on Royal Caribbean in January 2018. I had to work during the cruise…it was led by several of our authors. It was a retreat, and we actually got some complaints for it not being more of a full-fledged retreat. We figured people would want some downtime. We had a rough cruise…went to Cozumel, and thankfully the weather was nice that day, but it rained the whole time we were at sea and the seas were rough. Had some of our folks get seasick. I’ve been seasick before and so was prepared with dramamine, but this time I didn’t need it. Not sure I’d go on another cruise after COVID. It was fun though. The entertainment on board ship was great! There was an Asian country band, and they were really good. Also I enjoyed the theater show we attended, and there was a great pianist I heard too. John and I danced a little. We’ve both slowed down.

      You’re the second one of my friends to move from Hendersonville to Gallatin, and some friends from our former church moved to Gallatin also. Maybe it’s the thing to do!

      I didn’t know that Tim was an attorney. Your daughter will figure out what she wants to do…sometimes it takes a while. This year has just been the worst for employment. Daniel was furloughed from his job at a downtown hotel. He was called back about a month ago and is worried he might catch COVID. He and Julie have both been very careful about wearing masks and social distancing. I’ve missed having them at our house for a meal. I will make them celebrate Thanksgiving with us because I can’t imagine not having Thanksgiving together!

      Take care and I hope you and Tim are both healthy!


  2. I didn’t know you and Sally were roommates. She is an amazing woman and we’ve connected a few times in the last decade. She purchased some of Grace’s cards. What a fun trip that was. I recall your posting photos. Next time you go to Garrett, as you head toward the main gothic church structure, veer left toward the one story other church structure and then left again. They have an Elizabethan garden, also known as a Shakespheare (sp) garden. It’s hidden. All plants from that era. I proposed a story on it for Victoria Magazine and they paid me a kill fee instead and did their own story. Oh, well. Evanston is great. I have several friends who are spiritual directors. Cool.

    • I haven’t been to Evanston yet. So far have completed two courses and am enrolled for an online course this fall. Sally is a great supporter of artists and friends who sell cards. She and I certainly had a fun time on our trip and hope to do it again someday!

      I loved the spiritual direction course. It’s a field I’m interested in but am not sure I will pursue certification for.

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