The rain has been falling all night, and is still gently coming down. You remember my parents' saying about "if it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain for the next seven Sundays"? This makes two down and five to go. My rain gauge says 3 1/2 inches, which causes me to wonder if I forgot to empty it last time. My sister-in-law, however, said she heard on the news that some areas got four inches.
Here's a question for my Arkansas readers (that'd be Lona and Diane, for sure): What are these red flowers that bloom in abundance along the roadways down there? I jokingly called them "redbelles" because in Texas in the spring, bluebelles bloom like this.
While we're talking about flowers, have I mentioned how I love Azaleas? Just look at those colors! Next time I'm at Colonial Nursery, I'm asking if there's an azalea that can winter over in my part of Missouri.
Even with the trees all ice-damaged, the Arkansas landscape is breathtaking.
We left home Saturday morning around nine o'clock; of course we had to stop at Lamberts for lunch on the way past Ozark, Missouri.
I believe it was around six when we found a motel in Russellville, Arkansas.
Next morning we were heading for Bella Vista where my friend Lona lives. We could have taken a freeway, but Interstates aren't any fun. We like to take the older highways and look at the abandoned businesses in dying towns, left behind by progress. Before leaving the motel, I looked at the map and told Cliff, "Oh, this will be no problem: we just go west on 64 until it hits 71, then go north."
We did see lovely sights going that route, including hundreds of my beloved azaleas,
Many older houses made from Arkansas rocks,
A realty with an interesting name,
and various kinds of homes (Cliff said, "What are we laughing at? WE live in a mobile home behind a barn!").
Unfortunately, we missed 71. We started feeling uneasy when we spent a half-hour going from stoplight to stoplight in a bad section of Russellville, the sort of neighborhood where one expects to hear gunshots at any time; our hearts sank when we passed a sign saying "Welcome to Oklahoma".
We pulled off at the nearest exit and found ourselves in front of an abandoned livestock sale barn (also not a very comforting place to be, and Cliff didn't take his Glock). Cliff dug out the GPS, because we knew we'd never get out of this mess without it.
Since there's no safe place to attach it to the motorcycle windshield, I held it in one hand and told Cliff whatever the GPS told me. On the lower lefthand side, you see that our arrival time at our friend's home in Bella Vista, Arkansas, was to be 11:29. This was a good time to arrive, since she was making dinner for us and we were getting hungry.
All's well that ends well. I met Lona in a chat room in 1998, and we still keep in touch. If I wanted some serious, objective input on most any decision I had to make, this is the lady I'd go to. Even when she doesn't think I'm listening, I probably am.
Do not, however, ask her opinion of GPS devices; that's where she and I part ways.
Originally we had planned to spend the night at Lona's house, but because of the threat of rain, we came on home. It worked out all right, because we had a lot of outdoor work to do, and Cliff and I worked like troopers all day Sunday.
It was a nice getaway.