At home or on the road, it’s time to enjoy the summer months

Published 1:37 pm Saturday, May 25, 2024

School is out and summer vacation is here.

I still remember the feeling of freedom I felt when the bell rang on the last day of the school year — no more homework or tests to take. And there would be no more papers to write or crawling out of bed early in the morning.

Summertime was like a little slice of heaven as a child; nothing but fun, fun, fun, which of course for the Cowart family included family vacations.

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Some of my fondest memories of summer as a young girl are of our family vacations, some of which included trips where the family packed up and set out to visit extended family.

One year, we took a trip to Hawaii to visit my mom’s sister and brother-in-law who were living there at the time. My uncle was in the Air Force, and they were stationed at Hickam Air Force base. Visiting Oahu was quite a memorable trip even as a pre-teen. In fact, I recently purchased an orange tree because the sweet smell of the blooms immediately transported me back to the beauty of the island. Making the trip even more memorable was our stop in California on the way back home to check in on Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland.

Then there was the year we went to San Antonio to visit my mom’s brother and his wife who were living there during their service to the Air Force. On our trip we visited the Alamo and even crossed over the border to Mexico. I don’t recall much of the country except that mom and dad bought me a traditional Mexican outfit along with some castanets. I do still remember clacking those pieces of wood together as I danced around.

There were also trips to the mountains, where we visited Rock City and saw “Unto These Hills,” an outdoor drama that portrayed the story of the Cherokee people.

And what would summer have been like without a visit to my grandparents? Talk about freedom. Mary Helen let me have Coca-Cola for breakfast!

As I got older summer vacations transitioned into Girl Scout outings, band camp and choir tours with my church youth group.

Yes, those three months of vacation time were wonderful as a young person.

After I got married and had children of my own, summer remained a sweet spot on the calendar.

Many years we trekked out to the beach. This was a favorite spot for my children. We would look for seashells, build sandcastles and just enjoy the warm breeze blowing off the Gulf.

Those beach trips eventually turned into trips with the extended family. Dad would get all his kids together with our kids and we would head down to Orange Beach or Destin, which was always so much fun. Three generations soaking up the rays.

Unfortunately, as the family has continued to expand and we are now four generations deep, it has become pretty impossible to get everyone together with so many conflicting schedules. There are just too many baseball games and summer camps to make the trip work. But thankfully I have boxes full of photos to remind me of those special times together.

Summer is definitely a time when most people settle in for some R and R; however, when you aren’t a child anymore, or you don’t have children living in your home, a vacation is no longer relegated to just a three-month span of time. The sky’s the limit. A vacation can now be planned any time of the year since school is no longer an issue.

With that being said, I have been told that some parents don’t worry about the constraints of a school calendar now. It seems scheduling a trip to Disney World when the weather is cooler and the lines shorter takes precedence over homework and tests.

Not in my day. My parents would have never considered taking a vacation during a school semester, nor did I when my children were young.

Who would want to be saddled with all the makeup work you would have to do when you returned?  Not I.

Nevertheless, summer is here — therefore whatever your stage in life, be it young and free to travel at the drop of the hat, parents looking to make memories with the kiddos or empty nesters trying to remember how to plan a summer vacation that doesn’t include an entourage of children, have fun, even if you don’t leave town.

This weekend — tonight at 7 p.m., the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will be performing at the Vicksburg National Military Park. The Symphony at Sunset event has become an annual concert for Vicksburg. Who doesn’t love a live performance? The Miss Mississippi Competition is scheduled for June 5 through 8 and even if you don’t attend the competition, the Miss Mississippi Parade – which will be held June 3 along Washington Street – is a fun outing. There are many other local events planned during the summer months, so be sure and check out the Vicksburg Post calendar.

Because, like it’s been said before, “A little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.”

Terri Cowart Frazier writes features for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at




About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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