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May 21st, 2019

Restaurant Open

Thursday night I attended the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program in Garland. I met with interesting clients and tried to help each a bit. Friday after work I drove to Texarkana. I stopped in Sulphur Springs to walk for the better part of an hour in Coleman Park. I stayed in a Wyndham Garden Hotel which Priceline found for me at a room rate of $ 51. I got up early and drove to Camden, Arkansas. My brother-in-law and I moved 7 trailer loads to the landfill and to storage. We made a lot of progress. I am a reasonably capable person at manual labor things, but I was impressed at how much sturdier he was at the same tasks.

The rain held off until after 2 p.m. We adjourned at 2 to drive back to our respective homes. I stopped in White Oak Lake State Park on my way home. My family had a cabin on this lake when I was a boy. Its state park is a pleasant place. I walked there for about an hour and counted 18 species of birds, including Orchard Oriole. . I stopped when the rain began to fall. A child of roughly 9 shouted the most superfluous "It's raining!" ever shouted.

I drove a country highway from the state park to Hope. Mid-way there, my windshield wipers gave way. They froze in mid-windshield. I kept things togther. I had to get off the road when the rain intensified, and then make mileage when the rain let up. In Hope, I had a meal at KFC and waited for the rain to slack off. I figured out a probable fix for the car, but the auto parts shops did not have the part, a fuse, that I surmised that I needed.

I limped the car between Hope and Texarkana. Just when the rain intensified too much to drive, I pulled under a gas station overhang. Then I saw a restaurant whose sign eloquently said "Restaurant Open". I did not see that it had a name. I like the name Restaurant Open.

A woman a few decades my junior waited on me. She reminded me of a lot of attractive small-town women I knew during my teenage years when I attended Gurdon High School, though her teen years were a decade or two past. The menu featured simple choices---fried catfish, filet mignon, chicken-fried steak, hamburger, cheeseburger or hamburger steak. I opted for hamburger steak, a small, dry baked potato and a side salad without dressing. I enjoyed my meal, my third of the day, though, in a way, my second dinner.

The rain let up a bit. But my car charger stopped working. Fortunately, I came upon a Flying J truck stop about 10 miles short of Texarkana. I stopped, not least because the rain had again gotten heavy. I found one of those heavy-duty electronics sections that modern truck stops tend to have. I bought the hyper-fancy phone charger there. It did the trick--my phone started charging rapidly. The rain let up a good bit,
and by 35 miles later, at New Boston, it stopped. When I stopped to take a break at another store, and nice woman showed me her weather app--the rain had moved to our east.  I drove home and arrived at 11 p.m. On the way, a nice policeman stopped me to tell me my passenger headlamp was out, but he did not give me a ticket.
 
Beatrice was thrilled to see me. My wife was staying in Fort Worth to attend a friend's 60th birthday party. Bea and I fell asleep after some quality time together as owner and dog.

Sunday I went to Weight Watchers, where my weight was down a bit. I skipped church to get my car seen about. A Firestone on Stacy Road could fit me in. So I dropped off my car, and went hiking on the Celebration Pass Trail nearby. I saw 15 species of bird, including the Mississippi Kite.

My car was ready by three. I turned down the two things that the mechanic said the car needed. I have officially abandoned my plan to reach 160,000 miles with this car, and revised it down to some point above 143,000.  My car drives well now.

This week I have been getting things done I thought would be hard to do. But I have more things to do, both at work/work and for family matters.

Tonight as I walked in Allen Station Park I met a man a few years my senior who was riding his bicycle. He stopped to tell me that he felt guilty because as a boy he shot a bird with his BB gun. He read later things that made him believe it was a Yellow-Billed Cuckoo. He worried that now this bird is extinct. I explained to him that the species is not extinct, and that I usually see one or two a Summer. I hope he felt better. Nobody wants to be a killer of cuckoos.







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