I’ll admit, I don’t get much vacation time anymore. In fact, it’s been years since I had an honest-to-goodness vacay (sigh). Everyone says that running a business gives you more freedom, but they don’t really understand that it’s actually the opposite. In theory, it seems that “more free time” would be the case, but EEEEHHHH, wrong, the boss doesn’t get to “take off” if there’s no one else to “man the fort”.

One getaway that I’ve really tried to make an annual affair is fly fishing with my grandparents in the fall. Every August (or so), my grandparents pack up the RV and make their way to Roaring River State Park in Missouri (near Cassville). It’s very remote, and just beautiful! In fact, it’s so remote that there’s  “no service” on my phone… for someone who’s usually very connected, that’s pretty freaking scary. But it’s also strangely liberating. Knowing that “it’s not my problem because no one can reach me” is the kind of nice!

photo(74)I can never stay as long as I’d like to- usually it’s some variation of two or three days… but I just LOVE this place. It’s so peaceful, and serene, and QUIET. With all the daily noise of the store – the cash register ringing a transaction (always a good thing), the beep of the door alarm, conversations between customers, music from the iPod – I’ve learned to cherish silence. (Most of the time, I even drive with the radio off in my car.) When I come home, sometimes I turn on the television, but it’s mostly for something to tune out while I veg. Quiet time means EVERYTHING to me these days. So this little place, this tiny park in the middle of a gorgeous valley, next to nowhere, is my happy place. My quiet place.

photo(90)I may not be a stellar fisherwoman (yet), but I so enjoy fly fishing over any other kind (except maybe deep sea fishing). It’s constant movement, motion… and it includes making fun flies (arguably  my favorite part- but more to come on that later).

What makes it even more fun is that my grandfather is an amazing fly fisherman – and self taught. He doesn’t cast like other men  I’ve ever seen on the riverbank- in fact, it’s not unusual for bystanders to pull up a chair and watch him for awhile! It’s so graceful and effortless how he casts his line- but I know he’s only made it SEEM that way. Belive me, it’s NOT as easy as he makes it look.

I hope that one day I can be as skilled as he is, and that I have the opportunity to “unplug” for a few months at a time like he and my grandmother do. It’s so beautiful. And renewing.  And such a treat to connect with nature. When I’m there, I constantly find myself in awe of the beauty God has put before me.

So there it is- My Happy Place. Where’s yours?photo(91)