Spring Break trip with extended family helped author relax, recharge

My Spring Break was filled with hunting, chicken gizzards and the smell of the open air.

I spent my week off school with my family in Winona, Miss., a small city in Montgomery County with a population of 5,043 residents.

This trip to Winona happens three times a year, allowing me, my grandparents, siblings and cousins the opportunity to escape city life and drench ourselves in tradition and nature.

It began with a 13-hour drive, which was filled with multiple restroom breaks. We also made pit stops stopped to visit with family members in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

After a long but enjoyable ride we finally arrived to the house, which has been in our family for over 100 years. The estate has a pond, huge tree house, basketball court, hunting grounds and various lounging areas.

Before the vacation could truly begin, we had to attend to some chores: cutting the grass, turning on the power, cleaning out the canoe, setting up the lounging areas and doing a full walk-through of the hunting grounds.

Once all of our duties are complete, we are able to kick back and enjoy the peace the land provides. There is no phone service, which ensures that nothing distracts us from our time with each other.

This experience is priceless because I get to spend time learning from my elders, strengthening my understanding of community and unburdening myself from the various tasks that take up my time in Michigan.

I would never trade the formative experiences, peace and joy I experience in Winona for anything in the world.

My hope is that everyone has a designated space they can go to be still and at peace to help them recharge.

My Spring Break was exactly what I needed and I look forward to returning to Winona.