Sometimes you just have to get away.

You know the feeling. Your everyday routine stops being comfortable and starts seeming like a rut.

You get tired of eating at the same restaurants, visiting the same stores, driving down the same streets.

It’s then that you realize you need a change. You need to get out of town, if just for the day.

That’s what my wife and I were feeling last weekend as we tried to figure out what we wanted to do with our Sunday afternoon.

After some poking around on the internet, we settled on a drive to Elgin, a small town east of Austin where we had visited previously and liked the feel of the place.

As we headed south on State Highway 95, through rolling farmland and tree-dotted plains, we could feel our moods lift. Just being able to drive for several miles at a time with only a car or two on the road was a welcome respite from the constant traffic on Killeen-area roadways.

Burgeoning clouds billowed all around us, though patches of blue sky would peek through from time to time. This was definitely a springtime sky.

As we headed south through towns like Holland, Bartlett, Granger and Taylor, it started to become obvious that we wouldn’t escape the rain that was moving in on us.

But that was OK. As my wife said, the atmospherics were part of what made this getaway interesting.

Sure enough, just south of Taylor the rains moved in, with big drops pelting the windshield as we continued driving through the bright green countryside.

Fortunately, the rain let up as we pulled into Elgin and cruised past some of the century-old homes in its historic district.

A few minutes later we pulled up to Eva Mae’s Kitchen, a bright yellow cottage-like building on Main Street that is known for its home cooking. During our internet search, we had discovered that Eva Mae’s reviewers had given the restaurant five out of five stars. That’s good enough for us.

As soon as we went inside, we knew we had come to the right place. The savory smells of homemade meals filled the small dining room, along with the chatter and laughter of happy customers and the sounds of a gospel choir playing from a small stereo.

It was hard to choose from the large number of soul-food staples on the menu board, but my wife and I both settled on the meat loaf and mashed potatoes. Neither one of us was able to conquer the huge slab of tasty meatloaf we were served, but that didn’t stop us from ordering dessert — some of which we had to take back home with us.

Eva Mae’s Kitchen is a family-run establishment, and every member of the family stopped by to see how we liked our food and whether they could get us anything else. As we were leaving, the owner shook our hands and told us to have a safe trip home.

This little eatery, like Elgin itself, is a real gem.

As we headed back, the big clouds rolled along on both sides of us, and more than once we found ourselves in the midst of a sudden cloudburst. Then, two or three miles down the road, the pavement was dry.

All the way home, light and shadows played off the impressive cloud formations, giving us a show worthy of the Weather Channel.

The setting sun was shining brightly as we arrived at our home and pulled into the garage.

We hadn’t gone far — maybe 75 miles each way — but it was a great little trip.

Sometimes it’s not how many miles you travel, but how many smiles you have along the way.

And this little getaway still has us grinning.

Dave Miller is deputy managing editor for opinion of the Killeen Daily Herald and editor of the Harker Heights Herald. Contact him at dmiller@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7543.

Dave Miller is deputy managing editor for opinion of the Killeen Daily Herald and editor of the Harker Heights Herald. Contact him at dmiller@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7543.

dmiller@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7543

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