M. SCOTT MORRIS: A break for breezes, birds and books



I need to build anticipation back into my life, since my summer vacation was pretty much spent before we hit July.

It was an excellent trip, packed with fishing, fellowship, river rafting, more fishing and plenty of quality food and conversation.

From that sentence, you might surmise that the food included fish we caught, but no. I spent hours belly-deep in an Oregon stream where trout laughed at me and my meager offerings.

Maybe that’s a positive. Vacations should be good for the soul, so it’s nice to have a humility-building exercise in the mix. It’s hard to tell, but I might be a better person than I was the previous week.

I’m a big believer in vacations. I sold my vacation back to my employer many years ago, and I have no idea why.

Actually, that’s not true because I remember exactly: I didn’t have enough money to go anywhere.

That was stupid because I could’ve stayed around my apartment and read for the week.

I’m talking about the kind of reading binge where you have to peel your clothes off after a few days.

The kind of reading where the couch develops permanent indentations that you must apologize for when company visits.

The kind of reading where you injure yourself by keeping your neck at an odd angle on that same couch.

Those days are in the past and maybe in the future. For now, I have kids and dogs and a cat, so I can’t lose myself the way I might wish.

As already mentioned, my vacation had too many fish mocking me so there was no time to truly become an old-school reading slug.

But among the favorite memories I have from visiting the in-laws out West is sitting on their back deck with a book in hand, while a breeze blows through the trees and the hummingbirds buzz overhead, occasionally fighting for control of the feeder.

I so much enjoyed sitting still and reading that I had to ask my wife if it was OK. Was I being antisocial?

She assured me the others preferred for me to be quiet and in a corner with something to occupy my mind so I didn’t bother them.

She’s a hard woman, my wife, except she didn’t really say that. She said I should read as much as I wanted, and if it got to be a problem, she’d whack me upside the head.

She didn’t really say that, either. She said vacations are for relaxing, and if reading did that for me, it was fine.

In truth, it was far more than fine. It was exactly what I needed.

Maybe you’ve already had your vacation. Maybe it’s upcoming. Whatever your plans, I hope you get what you need.

And if you sell your vacation, make sure you get a whole heck of a lot for it.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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