All year long we think vacation,
We study atlases and maps,
We spread brochures and catalogs
In stacks across our laps.
 North or South or East or West?
Which way shall we roam?
Sometimes we have no destination,
And we end up in parts unknown.
There's something about the open road,
That has a curious mystique,
A challenge, a dare, a go-anywhere,
Its exciting and unique.
Who knows what lies beyond each curve,
Or around a 'blind man's bend,'
Or over a hill or down a gulch,
Or where the road will end?
Who knows what panoramic views
Will stretch out beneath our feet,
After a narrow, winding road
Has led us up a mountain peak?
We search for God-made monuments,
Like canyons carved from solid rock,
And we want to see God's redwood trees,
And His geysers, blowing off their tops.
We marvel, too, at man-made things,
At men's great engineering feats,
Amazing bridges, awesome tunnels,
Colossal damns of strong concrete.
We see lights at night in bustling cities,
We drive congested freeways after dark,
We watch silhouetted cars and drivers,
Changing lanes with frantic darts.
We're frightened by gas guzzling big rigs,
Spewing fumes and heat behind,
Then looming up in rear view mirrors,
Monsters of a modern kind.
But with skill and God's good blessings,
We move somehow out of their way,
We escape those huge marauders,
And we pursue our holiday.
Then off the throughways and the turnpikes,
We sit back - relaxed, at last,
We head now for open country,
And ease up on the speed and gas.
The peace and quiet of rural roads
Inspires one to a slower pace,
Birdsongs are heard through open windows,
And gentle breezes wash one's face.
There're no dull roads across the plains,
For each reveals surprising things,
One only needs to slow and look
At all the memory-making scenes.
We take a break at a rustic inn,
It's off the beaten path ... and quaint,
The food is fresh and served with smiles,
One eats hearty ... no restraints.
Small towns stir up sweet, dreamy thoughts,
And one sometimes forgets what's real,
How restful are these little towns,
What wistful envy travelers feel.
Farmlands, too, are most appealing,
Farmers wave atop their plows,
Mailboxes lined up in rows,
Cawing crows and mooing cows.
Silos, barns, and fresh fruit stands,
Kids and dogs at school bus stops,
Leafy, shade trees shielding farm homes,
Fields of swaying, growing crops.
Lake shores, sea shores, river banks,
Babbling brooks and waterfalls,
Good for toes, and minds, and souls,
And cobweb cleansing over all.
Walkways, pathways, mountain trails,
The air is fresh; breathe deep within,
Now stop and smell the flowers,
This chance may not come again.
Then much too soon our trip is done,
And we silently steal home,
Our thoughts still in some country inn,
Or on a mountain trail we roamed.
Permanent pictures, just like fixtures,
Firmly installed within our minds,
And, with God's blessing, they'll see us through,
Until our next vacation time.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright July 2004

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