There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was HORRID!
In spite of the weather conditions, (that I liken to the poem above) we are really trying to enjoy Arkansas. When the forecast is sunny and fair, it is a beautiful part of our country. The miles we have driven on the back roads are full of surprises like the exotic animals we found on a local farm, as you will see below. We are curious about the large number of “ponds” … it seems every farm has at least one and some are huge. We are not sure if they are natural springs (which would make them lakes I guess) or if they are man made but, whichever, these land-locked houses have their own waterfront view—how nice is that? Although we have misgivings about mosquito breeding when the warmer days arrive.
It seems to me …
People who live in this part of the United States are very brave souls. They go about their daily lives as if nothing, (not even the stormy weather) will affect their world. As if, the next weather forecast might not contain the ominous, “scattered thunder and lightning, some storms may be severe.” warning. As if, they won’t be awake into the wee hours of the morning waiting for the thunderous hail to stop pounding their RVs and cars sitting outside and the storm to pass. As if, a tornado won’t touch down and cut a mile long-quarter mile wide swath of death and destruction through their neighborhood. We have been through one of those storms already this week and another one is due in today. Yes, it seems to me, these fulltime residents are some of the bravest Americans!
The newer palatial homes in the country are definitely on the upper end of the financial ladder with many acres of lush green fields and large herds of happy cattle blissfully grazing away. Apparently, raising beef has been lucrative in the past but we can’t help but wonder how things are going in this recessive environment. The long, paved driveways behind intricate iron gates complete the picture. Yes, there are some awful, junky looking places, complete with rusty old cars and garbage scattered around a falling down mobile home or trailer, but they are few and far between.
One thing we have noticed is a lot of empty houses. A bit overgrown but obviously middle class homes that look as if the owners just walked away. Few “for sale” or “for rent” signs are obvious and that is a mystery. We have also noted that for the most part, the remaining residents have a mowing obsession. They mow everywhere including the sides of the road, which are carpeted with wild flowers. A feast for the eye as you travel the red, blue and even gray (called “local” on the map) roads, which are all (for the most part) in good condition. Lovely drives on clear sunlit afternoons, which since we’ve been here have been too few and far between and apparently, the bad weather is not going away any time soon. I’ve just looked up the chances of dying in a tornado, which is 1 in 60,000, and the likelihood of dying from a lightning strike are 1 in 83,930. Pretty good odds considering dying from heart disease is 1 in 438 or cancer, which is 1 in 600. It may be “famous last words” but we refuse to let the FEAR of bad weather stop our travels. In the tourist brochures, I have read that one of the reasons people choose Arkansas for their home is the beautiful weather. Hmmmmm, we’re ready! We will just keep moving and hope to stay safe.