Monday, after a day of painting various pieces of metal for the Indiana Oliver (the last tractor he intends to paint), Cliff came inside and said, "Well, I have to let this paint cure for a couple of days. If there's anywhere you want to go, now's the time."
Because this offer was totally unexpected, it took me awhile to think of someplace we could go that wasn't too far away for a two-day trip. Then I thought of Ree Drummond's Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and mentioned it. I had not been pushing this idea before, simply because I've read the reviews: everybody rates it highly, but there are long lines of people waiting to get inside and try the food. Cliff would rather have a tooth pulled than to wait in a long line, especially to see something he honestly has no interest in. After mentioning a trip to Pawhuska, Cliff didn't have much to say, and I just decided not to push it.
Tuesday morning we each surfed the Internet for an hour or two. Around 9 AM, Cliff said, "Well, what are your plans?"
"I really hate to make you do it, Cliff. I think we'll pass."
"Hey," he said, "I'll be running around with my best friend, and we have the time right now."
That's all it took. I figured we'd spend the night in Bartlesville, then get to The Mercantile so early Wednesday, there couldn't possible be a long line. By the time I started the dishwasher, filled hummingbird feeders, and got to a point where we could leave, it was 10 o'clock. I would have chosen to leave earlier, but that's another thing Cliff hates: getting out of bed and hitting the road before he's managed to wake up all the arthritic joints in his body.
I threw two peanut butter sandwiches in a lunch box in case we didn't find anyplace to eat on the way, and it's a good thing I did. It turned out to be our lunch.
Phillips Petroleum Museum. The GPS got us there with no problem, parking was handy, and we had just a little over an hour before it closed. Therein lies a problem, because Cliff could have spent three hours in this place, trying to read everything in sight. We only had a little over an hour.
We were within hearing distance of the lady who had greeted us when we arrived, and I asked Cliff, "What time is it?"
The lady said, "Oh, don't worry about leaving at four. I'm retired and have nowhere to go. You just stay as long as you like."
Cliff just couldn't do it, though... make a lady wait for us to get done. I was very impressed with every Oklahoma resident I met on our little trip, from the lady who checked us in at the motel to all the folks in Pawhuska.
At least Cliff got this one little perk on the way to visit the Mercantile.