By Joe Rector

This past Wednesday was my wife’s birthday. She enjoyed the presents, but most of all, Amy wanted to take a trip some place. She calls it a chance to let her eyes see something new. The treks we begin don’t have to be long ones; she’s happy just driving someplace in the area and looking at waterfalls or walking on trails.

Our trip’s first leg was to Ozone Falls. We arrived before the heat of the day hit and walked to top of the falls. The attempt to hike to the bottom began, but the trail was much more rugged than either of us was prepared to tackle. So, we hopped in the car and drove down the Interstate a few miles. Our second leg of the journey took us to Jamestown, and the third leg ended at Rugby. By the time we arrived back home, we’d driven 175 miles on a daily excursion.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “the soul is no traveler.” I heartily agree. All of my life, I’ve much rather stayed at home. Even as a boy, spending the night at someone’s house wasn’t so exciting. It never failed that as soon as I lay down for the night that my nose stopped up or I felt nauseous.

Our camping trips weren’t any better. A pack of boys would pitch tents in back yards or in fields in the community. I never found a comfortable position for sleeping, and the best part of the whole event was arriving back home where I could take a nap.

College proved to be a test of my distaste for traveling. I crashed into beds for sleep after hours of studying into the early morning. Those dorm rooms became my home enough where I could relax enough to sleep and find comfort.

Amy loves to travel to the beach for vacations, and I admit that I like trips to the ocean and sand and surf. However, I grumble during the planning process and fret about the drive. Of course, once the trip begins, I’m “the biggest duck in the puddle.” Still, I never sleep well on vacation, even though I take my own pillows to help. Eventually, I fall asleep but usually rise by 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. With a little luck, I’ll sneak in a nap in a recliner or on the couch of the places where we are staying. I dread the drive home, but the thoughts of arriving home keep me focused on the road ahead.

Nothing is better to me than waking up at home each morning. I enjoy sitting by the pool in the summer or on the screened porch as the weather cools. Even sitting on the couch with Amy and our dog Sadie during the coldest month is pure heaven to me. Home is where my heart is, and I don’t much want to leave where I am most comfortable.

Now that we are both retired, I’m sure that travel will be something that occurs more often. I better get used to it. As much as I like lying down each night on my own bed with my head on my own pillow, I love my wife more and want to keep her happy, even if I wind up sleep deprived and grouchier than usual.