Friday, September 16, 2022

Home on the Ranch!

 We left the cabin in Mountain View at 7:20 Wednesday morning.

Getting up wasn't too hard since we went to bed with the chickens the night before.

Louis Dean drove us in on twisty curvy Highway 9 and I drove us out.
We headed for Little Rock and then Texarkana before turning south towards Shreveport.
I had my WAZE directions and HE had paper maps and insisted I was going the long way to the camper at the ranch.  We didn't want to add HANGRY to our already sensitive nerves so I found a place to stop for lunch.

It looked like it would be just what he would like - JUMBO shrimp! Cajon food!
I ordered a salad that was HUGE.
He ended up with chicken fried steak with French fries and extra gravy!
Alas, his meal was awful!
The gravy was NOT the white cream gravy he was expecting but brown gravy made from a mix.
Louis Dean took paper towels and tried to wipe it off the steak - but the steak didn't taste good either.

Our waitress was the one who impressed us.
Her name is Janet and I gave her my email and promised to pray for her.
She listened to several of Louis Dean's stories and told how much she had always wanted to be close to a granddad. Janet was born with cystic fibrosis and has really been struggling the last few years. She's 32 years old and you can tell she's had lots of challenges in her young life - but she still smiled and my heart went out to her.

While we were at the restaurant, we went over our maps and I pointed out where we were heading and why we were going that way. Louis Dean said, "I got it straight now. My thinking wasn't right."

Then we got back in the car and on the road - and he went right back to 'NOT thinking right!'
By this point, my WAZE voice wasn't working and I could NOT figure out how to make her 'talk' to me. HE was still telling me I wasn't going the right way and then the SUN started to go down.
I am short and the sun visor doesn't block the glare so I had a hard time seeing my directions on my phone and driving the one lane country roads with the sun in my eyes.
We have a yellow visor that helped but wouldn't stay up so I had to drive with one hand and hold the visor thing up with the other. It was extremely stressful!

It was 7:20 when we got to our camper door - a full 12 hours on the road.
We came in on Highway 164 from Groesbeck and I had meant to stop at the grocery store to pick up milk, bread, and eggs. But NO! I wasn't in any shape to shop plus that would have made us get here in the dark.

When I got out of the car - even my feet were shaking!

Sherry brought supper down for us and gave me a big hug and I started calming down.

Next trip we take, I'm going to be sure to forget the maps!!!
As in hide them if I need to do that!

I was so grateful to slide into the girl bunk Wednesday night!
Sherry had turned the AC on for us (plus she and Dean had done the permanent fix on the AC condensation problem for us) so we slept like babies!

We drove into Mart the next day and I bought these two pair of weather driving glasses!
They fit over my eyeglasses and I do believe they will help me.
Night driving and driving into the sun are things that I can't do.

We have chilled right out and Louis Dean doesn't even remember the stress of the trip down here.
That's a Win! WIN!

We sat out with our wine Thursday evening - manning our weapons!

Matching fly swatters and coasters for our wine!
We are in the COUNTRY!!

I didn't bring my oils and brushes with me so I am enjoying my table setting.
Normally, I would be using this for my art table.

Instead I am reading my diaries from 1990 - 1994 and making an outline for chapter 27.
I'm thinking I'll go through several years in just 2 chapters.
Life changed seriously in the spring of '94 and again in '97.

This is Tarzan, the ranch cat that is brother to our cats and he loves it when we are here.
I give him food he doesn't have to work for and he loves that!
Plus he loves the attention!
It's good to take breaks from all this reading and history and the emotions it brings back.

Lunch today was a good plate of spaghetti!
I cooked up some pasta to add to the leftovers and I had a jar of sauce.

Last night I grilled a T-bone steak and baked potatoes.
We are doing easy food for the few days we are here.

Louis Dean has been as happy as he can be with mowing and tilling and cleaning up things.
Next month when we come, I will plant my wildflower seeds and put in some things around the little pond. Louis Dean picked enough okra for me to fry up for dinner tomorrow night.
Saturday is our last full day here and I'm grateful for this time.

I'll close tonight's journal entry with photos from my diaries.




This last one was Thanksgiving at Mother's and an ice storm rolled in.
We ate fast and drove back home before the roads got too bad.
I'm glad we always took the time to get a photo.
And I love that there's so many of us all four together.
I miss Nita every day and just when I think I've turned the corner and doing better, I fall apart again.
It's all part of grieving according to a good book my friend, Rosey, sent me.
It's a journey.....


Carole said...

Glad you got through the stressful journey. Hide those maps! Shame about the food. Enjoy the ranch. Cheers

Bluebird49 said...

Oh honey!! You had quite a week with that awful drive! ❤💔Thanks so much for cards they meant so mych! You are a true friend.

Brenda said...

In your happy place now…rest…

Hootin Anni said...

The photos down memory lane are super!! And hello Tarzan!!!! Now, as for the spaghetti...leftovers? I'm there.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I enjoyed this post, even though I could feel your stress and anxiety over the driving, etc. So thankful your country home was "cool" and inviting and welcoming. So wonderful supper was ready for you and you could just settle in and relax. Sounds like a beautiful place. My heart goes out to you as you continue your grieving process for your dear Nita. It will be a long process...something that never totally goes that quote at the end by C.S. Lewis. But as time goes by we tend to remember the happy times more and more and they bring smiles to our hearts as we reflect on those good memories and let go of the sad or bad. And the longer we live the closer we get to heaven and that grand reunion in the sky. That's what I'm looking forward to more and more every day. I'm thinking upward and not so much about the here and now, except for the things we just have to continue to do here...and yes, we need to make every moment count here as well, because some day others will be missing us just like you are missing your sweet Nita now. So we want to leave them with sweet and happy memories... I hope your weekend is peaceful and relaxing, although I think you are heading back home soon? Take your time and enjoy the journey. God bless you dear friend.

Estelle's said...

You are nothing short of do you do it? That drive sounds pretty nerve wracking...and long.....glad you arrived safely! I would have been a puddle! Loved seeing your family photos....those must be lovely memories!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm so happy you are back on the ranch and can get some rest...hopefully! We still want to travel but know there are challenges with that. You give me hope that I can still get out there and go places. Take care. Hugs to you and L.D.!

MadSnapper said...

this is great news that even though it was stressful you made it to your country home and now will be back home soon. the photos of you and your family are beautiful, found treasure! the glasses should work great, just don't put them away where you can't find them.

Changes in the wind said...

Oh my just the 12 hours of driving would be exhausting much less the difficulty seeing and etc. So nice that Sherry had dinner ready for you and you could just settle down and glad you had a good needed rest. Enjoy your time at the ranch.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for the stressful trip. I agree bright sun then darkness are so hard to drive in. So
Nice to be pampered when you arrived. Enjoy. ❤️

Unknown said...

Bless you.

photowannabe said...

What a delightful time you have had in Arkansas and now at the Ranch.
Beautiful places to recharge and rest.
It's sure disappointing to have such "lousy" meals when you pay good money for them.
Love your swatters...
So nice of Sherry to bring down a meal and make Home Sweet Home feel so good.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

That was a long time on the road, Linda, and something we try not to do anymore. The conditions you described, driving with the sun in your eyes and night time are awful, so glad you both made it safely. The new glasses should help next time. It was nice of Sherry to have dinner for you and a good night’s sleep was just what was needed. Thanks for sharing the family photos from your diary and I hope they bring you comfort in your sadness.