I called Greenville, Mississippi, home for six years, spending the formative years of my adult life in that historic city on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Greenville Mississippi cypress

My path there was simple. I had just graduated college with degrees in Spanish and anthropology and had no job. With absolutely no teaching experience or training, I joined a program called the Mississippi Teacher Corps, and agreed to teach for two years in a high-needs school district somewhere in Mississippi. They placed me at T.L. Weston High School in Greenville. Thanks, Kim Harris, for sending me this pic from my teaching days at Weston. I think I still have this tie, though most of the hair is long gone.

Steve as TL Weston teacher

For my work, I’d receive a teacher’s salary, a tuition and expenses for a masters degree from Ole Miss. (Hotty toddy!)

When I signed on, I’d planned to stay for only the required two years. My plan was to use that time to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Well, I stayed in Greenville teaching for six years, and wound up spending 21 years in public education. Funny how life works.

Needless to say, when you spend six years somewhere, it has a huge impact on you. Throughout our marriage, Ann has been forced to listen to tales of my time in the Mississippi Delta. So when we decided to drive to Florida for a cruise, it only made sense to plan a route that would take us through Greenville.

Seeing old friends

One of the main things I hoped to do in Greenville was introduce Ann to some of the people I knew while there. I set up a time and place to meet some folks and was tickled that people actually came to visit! I saw two former students, Frederick Crowley (and his beautiful family) as well as Lucas Winters. It was so nice to connect with them again and see the good men they’ve become in life and I’m glad I can now call them friends.

Greenville Mississippi

In addition, two former co-workers and mentors of mine, Jerry Stephenson and Ken Kable also came to meet up with us. We had fun reminiscing about old days and just catching up. The years melted away as we sat chatting, enjoying the time together.

Because we were there on a Sunday morning, we also attended church at First Presbyterian, my church when I was in Greenville. It was so nice to be in my old church home and to chat with church friends, as well.

Greenville Mississippi

Old favorites

I loved that I got to take Ann to see my old stomping grounds. We made stops at the school building where I worked, and the athletic fields and courts where I coached soccer, tennis, track and football. (Again, no real prior experience.) Because we were there on a day over Christmas break, we couldn’t get inside the school.

Greenville Mississippi

With the building having been turned into a middle school, there hasn’t been need to maintain the tennis courts where I spent so many afternoons coaching.

Greenville Mississippi

It was a little surprising to see that my classroom was gone, although I’m not sure why. I taught in a portable classroom, so I shouldn’t have been too surprised that it had been ported away from the end of the sidewalk I’d traversed so many times. I mean, it has been 17 years.

Greenville Mississippi

The other shocking change I found was to the fields where I coached and refereed soccer. They’d fallen completely into disrepair and it looked as though no one had done anything to maintain them for years.

Greenville Mississippi

After we took these pictures, though, I learned that the city built a new soccer complex. I was glad to know there was a good reason this complex had been abandoned.

Tour of Greenville, Mississippi

Another highlight of our visit to Greenville was just taking Ann around town. We drove by the apartment complexes where I lived. Then, we drove north of town to find a house where I lived for two years with some other teachers. Not wanting to scare the current residents of my old house, I just snapped a couple photos from the car as we drove by.

Greenville Mississippi

There’s a neat archaeological site called Winterville Mounds near that house, so we made a quick visit there.

Greenville Mississippi

We drove past the schools, stores, theaters, and restaurants that I remembered from my time in Greenville. Sadly, so many places I remembered are now closed. The years have not been kind to Greenville; population is down and many buildings are vacant.

Down by the river

Being on the river, Greenville is home to some riverboat casinos. I have often told Ann how on Tuesday nights we’d go down and eat a $5 all-you-could-eat buffet and then get a coupon for buy $5, and get $5 in free tokens at the casino. We’d take the coupon, get the tokens, then cash them in, effectively paying only sales tax for our meal. I wanted to show Ann where we found this unbelievable deal, so we drove downtown to find the casinos. When we crested the levee, I was shocked to find that two of the floating casinos that been docked there had been floated away. It was a view I’d never seen in all my years living there.

Greenville Mississippi

Finally, we had dinner at a classic Greenville restaurant called Doe’s Eat Place. That was an experience in and of itself, and I know that Ann has a post just about that dinner planned. But I thought we’d toss in one gratuitous photo to get your tastebuds going. For what it’s worth, it tastes even better than it looks.

Doe's Eat Place Steak

I’m glad we stopped in Greenville. Yes, it has changed over the years. Everything does. But Greenville was, for many years, my home. It’s an integral part of the person I am today; I count myself lucky that I got to teach at Weston. And I’m glad I got to share that with Ann.

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
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One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
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What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
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See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
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Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
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We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

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