Well, I’m back. Did y’all miss me? No? How rude! Oh, of course you did. Seriously, I did just get back in town and I wanted to tell all y’all that I had a fabulous time visiting my cousins back in Searcy, Arkansas. So…could y’all tell I’d been back to the south? Yeah, I thought so.
First, let me tell y’all that those people in the south really know how to cook. OMG – I’m going to be dieting for a month just to get rid of what I gained in just 5 days. We had a barbecue and a fish fry and a couple of pajama parties, we shopped, and we visited, and we even had a Butterscotch Martini night. Yep, that’s right. I made some staunch converts in Arkansas when Glenna, David, Ashley, and I changed into our jammies and polished off an entire bottle of Bailey’s and a bottle of Buttershots in one night. An outstanding time was had by all (at least, as far as we all can remember) and everyone present is now a bona fide Butterscotch Martini aficionado. Not to mention, damn good makers of libation (MOLs for short). Dave was the winner of the pajama contest in his very stylish Christmas Grinch flannel jammies…fabulous, dahling!
I got to meet a whole passel of wonderful and welcoming folks like only the south can produce. One day, we kidnapped a sassy little redhead, Miss Cindy, from work and did lunch at the Underground. Another day, we ate burgers and hot dogs and macaroni salad and…go figure…some of the best salsa I’ve ever had in my life. Unfortunately, even with enough martinis to float a battleship, I still couldn’t pry the recipe loose. Next time, I’m buying more booze! We watched kids play on tire swings and Miss Jesse lead the hoedown in the barn. We even saw big Sam and his buddy, Beau, playing on the swingset (that one wasn’t so pretty). J
Oh, and I must mention that my trip to Arkansas was educational also. For weeks beforehand, my cousin had been telling me were going to have a bombfire and I chuckled thinking it was a joke…a play on words. Well, she apparently knows her husband very well. As we sat on the back patio with libations in hand and watched him travel to and fro between the barn and the burn pile with a beer in one hand and 2 gallons of gasoline in the other, only to return with a 6 inch Bic lighter, we realized we were about to have a helluva fire. And we did. We heard one click, followed by a loud whoosh, followed immediately by flames that shot at least 30 feet into the air. Voile…a bombfire. Thank God, everything is green and lush in Arkansas. Because if we’d lit a fire like that in Arizona, we woulda burned down half the state and had water dumpers flying over our backyard within seconds. The poor pine tree that was standing about 30 feet away from the burn pile will never be the same. By the time the bombfire died down, the pine tree was brown on one side. I’m just thankful it didn’t go up like a roman candle. Moral of the story: You never let the drunk girl order smores and you never let the drunk guy start the bonfire.
Oh, and any story about my trip to Arkansas wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Peanut, the cute little Yorkie that looks like an Ewok…who, by the way, fell in love with me. What is it with me and dogs, anyway? Samantha, tell poofy dog he’s got competition. J One of the funniest moments was when Peanut was outside and Rusty (his trusty canine companion) was inside. Rusty spotted Peanut out in the backyard and barked at him. At which point, Peanut got so excited that Rusty had found something to bark at that he raced in through the pet door and jumped up on the ottoman next to Rusty to help him look out the window and bark at…well, at himself. Ain’t it grand having friends who will bark with you, no matter what?
Then Wednesday night, we went over to April and John’s for a fish fry…and did I mention those folks really know how to cook? OMG – what a spread! We had deep fried catfish and the best corn meal hush puppies I’ve ever tasted, beans, corn on the cob, smoked pork, cole slaw, and some scrumptious dessert that I’d swear was made with butterscotch chips and corn flakes. We sat in the front yard and pigged out while the kids rode 4-wheelers up and down the road. We told stories and lies, tall tales and short. We laughed and we teased and there were even a couple of full moons…one in the sky and one on the ground. J Did I mention alcohol was involved?
Then, in the way of southern hospitality, Ashley spent the night with us the last night just so she could get up at 4:30 the next morning and go with Glenna to take me to the airport. Now, how much more hospitable can you be? (They never once asked if I’d consider taking the shuttle.)
So…I’m telling you, if you ever want a great, laid-back vacation in a gorgeous setting, just e-mail me and I’ll give you my cousin’s address…J…just kidding, Glenna. But seriously, folks, Arkansas is probably one of the best kept secrets around. The people are warm and welcoming and it’s stunning with all its green meadows and huge Sycamores and Oaks and Crepe Myrtles. The Mimosas and Magnolias were in full bloom…indescribably beautiful country. Do yourself a favor and go visit Arkansas one day if you’ve never been there. And if you do, be sure you say “Hey” for me.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it. Y’all hold on real tight now, ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast.