Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Glorious Day of Thankfuls!

Mother Nature wreaked havoc with us for spring break. It was cold. It was warm. It rained. There were 40 mph wind gusts. We had freeze warnings. It did not snow here, but folks not that far away got some.

But Friday? Friday was glorious.

My husband took the day off, and he and I had a play day.

He drove, I navigated, because (a) I planned the day and (b) he can't read a map.

We had deep, meaningful conversations along the way, like this:

Husband (starting the car in the driveway): My hands are cold.
Me: Sissy
Husband: What?
Me: What?

Husband: Where'd all these pine trees come from?
Me: They grow here. You realize we just left the town of Pineville?"
Husband: Is that how it got its name?
Me: Where'd you think they got it? From pineapples?

This part of the southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas has many chicken farms and chicken processing plants, and there is now a high population of Hispanic immigrants here that work at the plants.

Me: Have you noticed all the Simmons plants?
Husband: Yes.
Me: They hire a lot of immigrants to process chickens.
Husband: You mean those aren't mattress factories?

(He really needs to get out of the office more.)

Our first stop was in Gentry, Arkansas, in the northwest corner of Arkansas. They have a Little Debbie factory there. And a company store. And it was Free Product Friday!

Not only can my husband not read a map, he can't take a picture on an iphone without sticking his finger over the lens. He took six shots of me in front of the Little Debbie store. All with his finger in the way.

My husband thought I was crazy for taking us here. Then he saw the prices on the boxes of snack cakes and started loading up the cart. Who's the crazy one now?

Because it was Free Product Friday, we got a bag of cinnamon and sugar doughnuts for (wait for it) free.  And because we spent more than $20 (a lot more), we also scored a Swiss Roll bag. Cool, I thought, thinking it would be a cloth shopping bag like I use when I shop at Aldi.



Onward to our next stop, just over the Oklahoma line from Siloam Springs, Arkansas (which is west of Fayetteville, if you're a WPS fan) to Natural Falls State Park. I only heard about it kind of by accident earlier in the week, or neither of us would have even known it existed. As an interesting side note, my husband's sister and her husband lived about 5 miles from this park for a number of years and NEVER ONCE mentioned the place to us. And they are outdoorsy types. What up wit dat?

Anyway, there is camping available for the kind of people who camp (that would not be me) or you can just visit for a day. There's a spring on the grounds, and several trails, from easy to difficult, and, yes, A WATERFALL.

Or waterfalls, because there's kind of more than one.


The angle of the sun made it difficult to get a really good picture, but at least MY FINGER ISN'T IN IT.

No, we did not cross this bridge. I'd be
curled up in a ball, crying like a little girl,
if anyone tried to make me.

Everything is kind of brown still. Give it
a week or so and the trees will all be green.

Scenic overlook. I could not stand up there.

There was a relatively easy trail that went from the falls to a little lake. It had some tricky parts, rocky and slippery, but when we watched Daniel Boone skippity hop along ahead of us, we figured we could make it.

He was about 6 years old.

There was another fall, but it was man-made, not natural. Still pretty.

Some kind of dam, probably for flood control.

It was warm enough to bring the turtles out.

We sat on bench for the longest time and just watched the water and enjoyed the sunshine and warmth. It also delayed us having to chuff up the trail to the car.

Heading north, we ate lunch at PF Chang's in Bentonville. I didn't take a picture. Yes, we had the lettuce wraps. Doesn't everybody?

Next stop was Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. also in Bentonville. The museum was founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, and it truly is a gem. Besides the art collection, there are walking trails throughout the grounds and it is surrounded by green space, and admission is free.

Some of my favorite exhibits:

I love Mary Cassatt.

Portrayal of the artist as an old man.
It is 3 feet high. He used his own hair
on the sculpture. Amazing detail.

This is life-sized. It's called Supine Woman,
and it reminds me of my lifelong friend Abbie Hunter,
not because of the way she's lying there, although
it's something Abbie would do, but because
the woman just looks a lot like Abbie.

Life-sized sculpture and so real,
you expect him to start talking.

This is called "Untitled" L.A. by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.
It is an endless supply of green candies, wrapped in
cellophane, on the floor. Visitors can take a piece of
candy, thereby consuming the work,
which can be endlessly replenished.

And it was tasty, too.
Our last stop was to the Walmart museum at the original Walton's 5&10. Sam Walton's Congressional Medal of Freedom is displayed there, as is his original office and lots of stuff about the evolution of the store. The reason WE came here was because they have a soda fountain. We had sundaes and sat outside to eat them.

That's my unconventional Ten Things of Thankful. Come visit me some time, and I will take you to see these places, too!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts


  1. Maaaaan I would LOVE to visit those places, and the swiss roll duffel bag is SO awesome. That's a very cool score. YAY for your beautiful day out and your adventure and your (eventual) pic-a-nic :)

    1. Put them on your list for the next time you head this way.
      Should I carry the duffel as a purse?
      Bear-free pic-a-nics! Come join me!

    2. I think you'd be a HUGE hit at preschool if you have a swiss-roll purse *giggling*

  2. Happy Holidays, Beautiful! I love Mary Cassatt too! What are the odds? xoxox jean

    1. Hi, Jean! It's so good to hear from you!
      Isn't that a lovely painting? I love her work! You and I are two peas in a pod!

    2. (I believe the technical terms is: scotts )

      why no! I don't believe it's incredibly rude to interrupt a comment thread!

  3. You and your husband are funny. What a pair!

  4. I wanna go to all those places....

  5. Right after you come to the Sound of Music Sing-Along in June! ;-)

  6. excellent road trip... driving time? I ask not because of the scale of that part of the country (at least as it appears on the map. Fortunately I loves driving but, from above it looks like, "I'm hungry! OK, lets run over to Wisconsin for a bite to eat"

  7. Arkansas does have some beautiful places, doesn't it? We never made it to the north side of the state when we lived there. We must go when I come visit. Those are my kinds of places to visit!

  8. I love this post. What wonderful adventures you had. The photos (that you took) are great. My brother had one of those "coon skin" caps. We used to play David Crockett, king of the wild frontier. See how these posts trigger memories. Happy Easter, Dyanne.

  9. wow what a wonderful day you two had - Little Debbie - the duffel bag and museum oh and the waterfalls...Happy Easter!

  10. Thanks for the virtual trip! I would definitely have crossed that bridge! I've never been further west than Indiana, but I'm contemplating a trip to Washington state this summer. (Rail there, air home - no way could I drive that far!)

  11. Oh my...what an interesting trip.
    I love nature, green, waterfalls, but I am not a camping girl either.
    I do love free, as in Free Product Friday, and Swiss Rolls especially.
    Thanks for taking your readers along with you on this adventure.