You know what it’s like to travel on the interstate. Whether it be a quick trip down the road or a cross-country road trip, it can sometimes be tedious and uninteresting. Sometimes – but not always.

One of the prettiest places I’ve come across when traveling on the interstate – I-55 North, in this case – is the Mississippi Welcome Center. Can you believe that?

When you exit the highway at the Louisiana-Mississippi state line,
you are greeted by this beautiful brick and marble sign,
bookended with the state seal and Mississippi’s state tree, the magnolia.

The Welcome Center’s wrap-around porch is typically Southern, with its benches, French doors, and doric columns.
Makes you just want to grab a glass of sweet tea and “set” awhile.

After you take your powder break, you can leaf through the brochures on local attractions
as you relax in the Victorian sitting room just off the front porch.

Following your brief repose, step outside for the big sky -it’s not just in Montana!

You’ll notice crepe myrtles whose summer foliage will burgeon with blossoms in lavender, white, and pink.

Magnolias grow wild from one end of the South to the other all summer long.
Their flowers have a very sweet scent – when on the tree.
Don’t ever bring one indoors unless you want an overpowering, pungent smell to permeate throughout the house!
Trust me, I know this from experience.

If you’re lucky enough to get a breeze while you’re there, listen carefully. The pine needles will whisper to each other all of those tree secrets to which we humans will never be privy.

Susurrant pines always bring me back to MawMaw’s house and a simpler time and place in my life.

Just before you get back onto I-55, you will see this plaque –
a little reminder of those in whose memory the highway is named.

Such a beautiful state, Mississippi is. How lucky Mississippians are to have such trees –
and how we are lucky to share some space with them on occasion!