Ever since my struggles with seasonal depression in northern Europe, I’ve become a big proponent of “flying south” for the winter: even if just for a week or two. It’s really amazing how much some regular exercise, some vitamin supplements, and some extra sunshine and rest can help with beating the winter blues.
A couple of days after Christmas, our family loaded up our minivan for a long drive south and west: to visit my brother and his family in north-central Texas.
We got to watch my nephew play in a basketball tournament. We played hours of basketball with the boys on the court in my brother’s backyard, while the girls took a trip to visit the Magnolia Market in Waco. We played family games every night. We visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, the Stockyards in Fort Worth, and the Civil War battlegrounds in Vicksburg. We ate elaborate homemade breakfasts and some really good southern barbecue (one incredible meal at Central City Barbecue in Memphis, and another even better meal at Cooper’s Barbecue in Fort Worth!). We brought in the New Year with many of our favorite people in the world.
It was delightful.
Now we’re back in Ohio. We’ve packed up all our Christmas decorations. We’ve gone back to work and school. We’ve carried on with life while the temperatures have plunged far below freezing, down around zero degrees Fahrenheit. Yet somehow, it all feels bearable because we’ve stocked up on sunshine and smiles. There are still many weeks of winter to come, but we’re going to survive.