STATON: I want to go again

Oh, the times I used to dream of taking trips and traveling as a little child.
To be honest, I never believed I would ever get to take any of those trips, but it sure was fun to imagine them.
I had a big imagination. It did not take much to set me off on an adventure. Usually, all it took was reading about a place in a history or geography book and my mind would take off. When I read about it in a school geography book, I thought going to New Orleans would be the greatest thing in the world.
I would have never thought I get to go not only once, but eight times in my life. It is an incredibly entertaining place to visit. It is so unique it will linger in your memories. When I read about Biloxi, Mississippi, I dreamed about visiting there as well. My brother, Raymond, moved to Long Beach, Mississippi, and my dream of seeing Biloxi and the beautiful magnolia trees came to fruition.
The Lord has blessed me so much when it has come to my love of traveling.
This year I have not been able to take a trip because of the coronavirus, but it is not because I have not wanted to.
I can only afford one trip a year. If I could, I would travel more often.
I have captured my trips on film. Instead of expensive souvenirs, my souvenirs have been my pictures. As much as anything, I think it is proof to myself that I actually got to go to all the places I have been.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think about it.
Even now, I remember longing to traveling as a poor child and how hard I wished and dreamed for it.
I could not help but get a little envious when the kids at school talked about places they went. Most of them, however, were in the same boat I was and could not afford much either. I wish my daddy could have lived longer and been able to travel more. Bless his heart, he wanted to take us traveling. He did the best he could by taking us to border states and once to Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida. If we got to go anywhere, he took us to historical or educational places in Kentucky.
We never got to spend the night in a motel while traveling. He even drove straight through to Robertsdale, Alabama, where my uncle lived. Sandwiches were made after we stopped at stores. Mom even made them on the road for us. We did not care because we were so glad to just get to go somewhere. A switch went along with us on some trips, and we knew it would get used if we acted up. There wasn’t any bothering the other one because we would have gotten our tails busted. My parents did not put up with any — and I mean any — foolishness. I have some wonderful memories of traveling that are forever etched in my mind. Just this week, my neighbor Tammy and I were looking at our pictures in Copenhagen, Denmark. She and I both have our picture sitting in front of the Little Mermaid in the waters of Denmark.
That was another thing I saw in a world geography book. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that mermaid in person and have my picture taken there.
Tammy and I both have been to the carnival called Tivoli, for which Copenhagen is famous.
Tammy has gotten to visit more than once since she has a daughter there. She hopes to go back again this year.
In the same picture album, I saw the pictures of me in front of the Anne Frank home in Amsterdam, Holland — another history book or geography book dream.
I also had read “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Her bravery at her young age is something I will never forget. I remember crying for Anne when I read the book, and I respect her even more now.
I used to be in awe of the beautiful tulips in bloom in the pictures and the wooden shoes when we read about Holland. I fully expected people to be walking around in wooden shoes when I went there, but I did not see anyone wearing them. However, there were wooden shoes to be purchased in the airport.
I will forever be grateful to my sister for letting me go on a trip to Europe for my 50th birthday. If I could leave a word of advice to young people or people of any age it would be this: Never be afraid to dream because somehow, someway, God may make it happen. Even if it never comes to fruition what have you lost in dreaming?
I am still dreaming of getting to see Hawaii so I can reach my 50th state. I may never get to go, but I have not lost a thing in dreaming.
I never thought I would have been to all the places I have been either, so who knows? Is it selfish of me to want to go to all the places I have been again? I guess I still dream.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.