Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

quick jaunt to Arkansas

I started my morning at my office. In the mid-morning, I hopped in my car and headed out for Camden, Arkansas. Camden is my late parents' hometown and the town in which I spent the last two years of my time in high school, through graduation.  I had a late afternoon meeting with someone. We both arrived early. The meeting went well.

I like the drive from north Texas to south Arkansas.  The wildflowers on this road are not the bluebonnets and firewheels of north Texas or the Texas Hill Country. Instead, susans and various daisies crowd the Springtime hillsides.   Most of this drive was on Interstate 30. When  I was a child, I thought the drive less adventurous than other drives. Now I really like the drive. It's easy and fairly scenic. It's not like a trip through the mountains nor a trip through the canyonlands. When I am driving, that is actually a bit of a relief.

One adventure from my childhood no longer  exists. Near Texarkana, where southwest Arkansas nearly flows into northeastern Texas at State Line Boulevard, one crosses the Red River.  This is not the Red River of the western song "Red River Valley".  That bit of Red River is a good bit to the north. It is the shallow Red River that marks the border between Texas and Oklahoma, and then slices into Arkansas on its eventual way to the Mississippi River.  The adventure was not the Red Riverr\ itself. The adventure was the Red River Bridge.  This bridge was one of those narrow, arching bridges of yesteryear, a kind of roller-coaster-feeling bridge. My late mother had a healthy respect for the sheer frightfulness of this bridge.  The current bridge, by contrast, is safe and vaguely brutalist.  In another place, this bridge would have parking nearby and a walkway, so that one could stare down into the Red River. but this bridge is too practical for all that.

When driving to Camden, I leave the freeway at Hope, the birthplace of former President Clinton. Hope used to be well-known for another thing--it called itself "The Watermelon Capitol of the World". It's in one of those lowland areas that is ideal for growing watermelons. I sometimes look with a jaundiced eye at watermelon from other places, because I compare it with Hope-area watermelons.  It is not melon season, but I did eat at Chicken Express in Hope. That chicken plus a nutri-grain bar were my lunch and dinner all wrapped into one or one and a half.

The drive to Camden is lovably rural. If one is from there, one understands that the sign for a processing place is not a factory but a place that will prepare deer meat for the table. I was surprised that the traffic was so heavy.

After the meeting, I ran a minor business errand downtown. Then I picked up some flowers at a florist shop.I stopped by the town's impressive new library, where I checked work email on my laptop. Then I drove to the local cemetary. I found my parents' grave. I placed a flower arrangement in front of each grave. I miss my parents. 

I drove home tonight and made it home by 9:30 p.m. This was a long yet fairly productive day.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice

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