I almost hesitate to ask about your favorite vacation memory because I know many people simply cannot afford a vacation. Their reality is deciding whether to buy food or get a prescription filled. Both are necessary for survival, but they can only afford to do one or the other. A vacation for them is only a dream, and many have even stopped dreaming of that. It seems so far out of reach that it is just dreaming the "Impossible Dream."
Through the years, I have come to realize more fully how fortunate I am to live in America. While we may not be a perfect nation, we certainly are blessed with freedom and an opportunity to succeed. The opportunity may not be equally spread out, and I know there are some who feel America has cheated them for one reason or another. However, there are also success stories of those who came from disadvantaged backgrounds. Overcoming difficult obstacles is the hallmark of their tenacity. It should send all of us a message that there is reason for hope that our circumstances can improve.
Subsequently, I want to focus on gratitude for just a moment. Are you grateful for what you have? If you had the opportunity to go on vacation this year, did you appreciate the fact that this is a tremendous blessing? If you went on vacation, what was your favorite memory? Why?
My "vacation" this year was moving to Hilton Head. Sitting on the beach a couple of times since arriving here has been the extent of the vacation portion. Getting sunburned on the first trip out is not my favorite memory, but it is the one memory that stayed with me incessantly for more than two weeks.
I always appreciate the opportunity to visit churches when we are traveling. It is interesting to see the different architectural styles, cultural influences, and geographical realities that went into building the structure itself. It is even more fascinating to see how these factors are visible within the church community as they strive to live out their faith.
I have never had the opportunity to travel to Europe to see the majestic cathedrals and beautiful shrines located there. My pilgrimages have been here in the states. While I realize that we have a more recent history in our country compared to European nations, I am still amazed at the story of the Church in the USA. The sacrifices of many people have provided us with some beautiful houses of worship and a rich tradition of faith.
The photos in this blog post are from an earlier trip to Asheville, North Carolina in which we made a visit to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Candler, North Carolina. Looking at the photos now has me thinking about a trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since we are only about six hours away now, I can envision making a trip in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. That would be a beautiful vacation memory.
I invite you to leave a comment about your favorite summer vacation memory to share with others. (All two of my readers will enjoy it.)