Column: Take time to take it easy

Published 10:44 am Sunday, May 23, 2021

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When I was growing up, summer vacation was a time to stay at home, do a few chores around the house, spend time at the pool on Ellicott Hill, and maybe head to the beach once with family.

Nowadays, summers are filled with ball tournaments, camps, constant vacations, and never taking a minute to take a break.

When I was younger, chores consisted of laundry, dusting, and picking up after myself.

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Once I got to middle school and my parents bought the Bellemont Shake Shop, chores took on the form of a summer job. Aimee and I would go to work almost every day, learned how to make a mean oreo milkshake, take care of each customer with a smile on our face, and appreciate a little hard work.

That must be where our work ethic comes from; we’ve both become quite the workaholics as adults.

Mom would take us to the library. I know that’s a foreign concept to many, but we spent so many days combing the shelves for a new read or taking part in whatever reading challenge they had for the kids that summer. Maybe that’s where my love for reading started and why I became an English major.

I know that it’s so easy to download a book these days on a tablet, but you can’t go wrong with hunting through the stacks, that smell of an old book, and learning about the fines associated with keeping a book out a day too long.

Mom also vacationed us at home. Don’t get me wrong; we went to the beach each summer for a few days to “get away.” But for the most part, we were in Natchez for the summer. We would spend most school breaks touring the antebellum homes, going to the Natchez Garden Club pool, or just adventuring in our own backyard. It made us appreciate what we had here at home and is probably why we were both quick to come back after college.

Now, as adults, we both work in jobs that share our little town with people from all over the world. Taking the time to help us appreciate our home town is something we both cannot thank Mom enough for. So take some time this summer to show your kids a different side of Natchez. Maybe they will learn to see it through a different set of eyes.

Jennie Guide is a community columnist for The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at