One of the things I’ve set myself to do during my hiatus is to spend time with my family. I am fortunate to still have my Dad, who remains strong and healthy. He was visiting us when I left my job at DuPont. On my last day at work, he and my husband were waiting for me when I came home. Although I had felt brave and confident about my decision that day, I needed to hear words of assurance, encouragement and comfort from people who care about me. I appreciated having them around that day and getting their love and support.
Having just retired himself, my Dad had planned to stay with us longer than usual. He initially planned to stay for a month but ended up staying twice as long. This was the most time that we’ve spent together since I left home 22 years ago. I cherish and am thankful for every moment I get to spend with him.
When it comes to creating memories and special bonds, traveling with someone you love can be wonderful. At the start of my hiatus, my dad and I took a 2,000-mile road trip to Florida and back, visiting Savannah, Georgia along the way. It turned out to be a perfect place to visit, as it is a compact city that is easy to walk and navigate and there were plenty of things to see and learn.
My Dad has a keen interest in history, and I love to explore places that have lots of charm and character. Savannah met both of our needs, and we enjoyed exploring it together. Strolling along the banks of the Savannah River and its cobblestoned streets, we took in all of the sights that it had to offer; its century-old buildings, converted cotton warehouses, colorful market stalls, inviting candy stores, quaint shops and great outdoor bars with views of the river. We enjoyed reading the informative history boards along the waterfront. We browsed the local crafts in the community market. I helped him choose a hat; he tried on a few and decided on a safari style. In return, as there were many fabulous fashion boutique shops in the city, he helped me select a dress for an upcoming family wedding. Then we sat ourselves at a bar for a drink and watched the boats sail by, while listening to a saxophonist playing nearby.
The highlight of our visit came the following morning when we got up at dawn and walked the oak-shaded parks and squares that Savannah is famous for. We had set ourselves the challenge of walking through all 22 squares and having met our goal, we rewarded ourselves with a hearty Southern breakfast. In walking the parks and squares, we learned more about Savannah’s history as the monuments, statues, plaques and memorials in each of them provided snippets of the city’s history. We also got a sense of what life is like for residents, as we ambled through the streets and alleys, sneaking peeks into the well-kept old homes.
Spending time with loved ones is a big part of what life is about for me, and that’s why I’ve decided to make it one of my goals during my hiatus. Great times and memories with our loved ones don’t always just happen; sometimes we have to create them for ourselves.