Saturday I arose at dawn to hit the road to Arkansas. I was bound for Camden, where my father lives (and where I finished my last two years of high school) to attend the Daffodil Festival.
This annual event celebrates the Spring arrival of the first "real" flower to widely appear each March. So often the weather is uncooperative, but this year the weather, the festival and the daffodil bloom meshed completely.
My family's home in Camden dates from the 1860s, so folks like to come and tour it during such events, along with many other historic homes in this small town of 13,000 souls. Here's the house in question:
My father, his wife and my sister were attired in Civil-War-era outfits, giving tours of the home to visitors to the festival.
My father's costume is a bit unconventional for a southern colonial home tour. During the Camden, Arkansas expedition of the Civil War, an exercise in futility even more futile than the normal war-like act, a Union army briefly occupied Camden, and a German-American general named Salomon, late of the Prussian Army, took up residence in what is now my family's home. Accordingly, my father's get up during the home tour is a Union General's uniform:
I did not listen to a whole tour, but I was very impressed with how many details of the history of the home they were able to share with the kind visitors. The whole endeavor was very well-attended, with little van shuttles driving visitors from home to home.
I went with my 17 year old nephew to take the garden tour. There's a long story or two about the vagaries of catching vans, but I'll focus instead on the short wonder of the daffodils:
the daniels gardens
the dawson daffodil farm
a single daffodil
I loved the quilt exhibition, eating a single plain gingerbread man at the little Stroope's bakery, the native american flute player in the little downtown booth zone, and the birdsong I recorded at the Dawson flower farm. I wish I had allotted more time to tour than I did, and that I had gone by car, but those are lessons learned. I also missed seeing one nephew through a poor choice, though I did manage to locate the requested "Royals blue baseball socks" during my drive from the city to a place where Royal Blue is less visible than Razorback Red.
My father showed me the Austin 7 automobile he has purchased for his hobby, automotives. He owed one at 17, and now he owns two at age 73:
After the tours had ended, my father's wife and I drove to pick up steaks from the town "steak cook-off". I felt virtuous, because I limited my portion size to the amount that fit within my eating program, resulting in a mild weight loss despite a travel weekend.
I had a very nice visit. I got to see my father and his wife, and my sister and all her family but one nephew. I got to meet her small dog, a tot named Tator, and I got to see my father's cat, the wonderful Kitty Kitty:
I drove home this morning, listening on the radio to orthodox chants, baroque music, sermons about sin by people much more conservative in such matters than I am, and a girls' college softball game.
I walked our dogs around the pond while birds sang.