We pulled up stakes yesterday afternoon and left the naval facility heading west toward home. We no sooner got lined up on the interstate in Memphis when I looked up and the Arkansas line was looming in our windshield. So once again, it was a mad dash to get the camera case, get the camera out, turn it on, wait for it to “boot up”, point and shoot, then wait for the delay before it takes a pictures. Needless to say, I didn’t get a picture of the sign, but it was as we were crossing the mighty Mississippi, so I managed to get a couple of shots of the river as we passed over.
So we were now in Arkansas, which is so close to home that we felt like we were there already. I noticed the land had flattened considerably from where we had come in Tennessee and it was covered with beautiful farmlands and green crops.
We were barely out of Memphis when we noticed a truck on the side of the road on the eastbound side of the interstate. There was a police car behind it, but it didn’t look like a wreck or anything….just a truck pulled over. But then about 500 feet behind was another police car parked in the LEFT lane with it’s lights on, all by itself. This seemed a little odd to me because it was forcing all the traffic to use the RIGHT lane. The truck was pulled over on the right shoulder, so it just didn’t make sense to me. There were no emergency vehicles anywhere around such as ambulances or fire trucks….just police cars. The eastbound traffic was backed up as far as we could see.
It was bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic that went on and on for at least five miles. I was amazed at how one truck pulled off the side of the road could cause such a major disruption for miles and miles of drivers in the afternoon heat. But at the same time, I was counting my lucky stars that we were in the WESTBOUND side and making tracks at a decent speed.
The terrain began to look a little more dense and hilly (is that a word?) as we got closer to Little Rock
We crossed the Arkansas River at Little Rock:
It struck me strange that there were barges along the Arkansas when I didn’t see a single one on the Mississippi.
Then we saw a sure sign that we were close to home:
We planned to stop for the night in Arkadelphia, between Little Rock and Texarkana, but by the time we reached Arkadelphia, DeWayne was not tired and the traffic was light, so we decided to keep going toTexarkana, which would be about 50 miles from home.
Texarkana came and went because by that time, we had decided to find a Wal Mart parking lot that had a McDonalds close enough to get morning coffee and breakfast, so we trekked on down the road to New Boston, which is 10 miles from DeKalb and 18 miles from the folks place.
We could have driven on in home but since it was past midnight, we didn’t want to disturb the folks that late at night, so we pulled into Wally world, took showers and went to bed. Well, DeWayne went to bed. I was waiting for the hips, knee and neck to loosen up and stop hurting enough for me to go to bed, so I was up for a while. Then when I did go to bed, I didn’t go to sleep til 2:30 no matter how hard I tried.
Five hours later, DeWayne was trying to rake me out of the bed and I reluctantly complied, knowing we were less that half an hour from home. After that morning coffee and breakfast, I shopped for groceries while DeWayne did his morning walk, then we made the last 18 miles on home.
We hit the ground running when we arrived, getting the RV parked and set up, the laundry done and helping the folks doing last minute chores to get ready for the big weekend crowd that would start trickling in today. The tent frame was up, so that had to be finished and Daddy had help already with that. I tackled the Airstream camper, with Sharron’s help, to get it cleaned and ready for an “extra bedroom” for relatives. Other than the four bedrooms in the main house, there is a bedroom set up in the old house, a bedroom and two bathrooms in the “barn” (the metal building) and the other camper is also cleaned and ready for sleepers.
The folks have worked sooooooo hard to get ready for this event and I’m determined to make sure they are able to just relax and enjoy themselves this weekend. We’re gonna have so much fun!
After no sleep, working and sweating all day, I finally just couldn’t go another step. I made my way to my own bed and crashed for a while. By the time I woke up, Stacy (niece) had arrived and left again for her motel room after a very long drive. Teresa (sis) arrived from west Texas a few minutes after I got up and ventured back over to the big house, and Dusty (nephew) and his family are due to arrive any minute.
So the big weekend is slowly starting to wind up and we will have many more chores tomorrow, but I’m so excited that it’s finally here and I will be seeing so many of my family.
Now, DeWayne and I are settled in for the night, listening to “Hang on Sloopy”, “Mustang Sally”, “Groovin'”, and so many of our favorites on the stereo. It’s been officially DeWayne’s birthday for an hour now, so…..
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the greatest husband a girl could ask for. You’re the love of my life and I couldn’t imagine a life without you. Love ya, Darlin’!
Well, that’s all for this episode of “The Breeze” Stay tuned for more excitement from the “Arther Plantation” as we celebrate our family this weekend.
In the meantime, HAPPY TRAILS!