Friday evening we drove to my father's home in Camden, Arkansas. We moved to this house when I was 16 years old. The house is quite old, a two story white house on the main road in a small town. In its huge side yard stand a number of pecan trees, while the back yard features tall pine trees. My father spent a great deal of time improving the back yard since our last visit there, and his hard work shows.
Saturday we drove downtown, where I visited Mr. Bacon's store. Mr. Bacon taught me advanced math and physics in high school. He is closing his downtown antique store and re-opening on the edge of town. The sale was 50 percent off. A lot of things were of interest, but I did not buy anything. My wife, my sister and I drove to another place or two, but did not buy very much. I hopped on my father's scales, and decided I should watch my weight better once more. I am still much thinner than once I was, but I have lost, or gained, some ground. The price of vigilance is vigilance. I suppose. Excessive caloric intake is a needless vice.
While others rested on a very hot day, I drove to White Oak Lake State Park. I spent a lot of time here as a boy, as we once owned a small red cabin near the lake. Now the state park has very good hiking trails. I walked the Beech Ridge Trail. I saw a small woodpecker among the trees.
We went with my father and his wife for an evening drive, to see large houses in scenic, wooded places, and lovely whitetail deer. We used to take long drives when i was young. I love to take long drives even yet.
We drove past the river landing where my father had a flurry of excitement the Thursday before Father's Day, when his efforts to rescue his jon boat that drifted into the middle of the Ouachita River turned into a bit of an effort to rescue he and the jon boat from the willows near shore. He had the situation in hand, as near as I can tell, but I am glad the local helpers helped him out, as I suspect he would have floated a bit further to make shore but for the assist.
As day ended, I wandered in the near-dusk. I like the places from which I came. My wife and I enjoyed very much seeing my sister and her husband, and my father and his wife. We feel asleep early. In my case, I finished a David Weber science fiction novel, a maritime-novel-meets-future-history which disappointed after gaining my interest by leaving me on a particularly pointless cliffhanger, and also by featuring that kind of joking-about-battles would be "dialogue" that makes David Eddings' Sparhawk novels a bit more tedious than they ought to be. What works for Legolas and Gimli may not work for everyone.
Today at an early breakfast,we discussed how malaria had been part of both my father's childhood and his wife's childhood in rural Arkansas. Times have changed.
My wife and I drove back to the Dallas area, watching vultures and hawks soar in the air. When we were in a particularly rural section of south Arkansas, we encountered a huge set of half-dachsund/half-catsup puppies covering the road. My wife heroically braked to stop in time, and I got out and made sure they all got off the roadway in good order. I encouraged them back onto their yard. I did not wake the people in the trailer in their yard, as I determined that even the salutary advantage of letting them know their puppies had escaped might be outweighed by the fear/security issue of having strangers rap on their trailer at a frighteningly early hour. I worried about the puppies. It is an extremely lightly travelled road, so I hope the puppies came out fine.
I walked at Allen Station Park, looking at a robin and a mockingbird in my binoculars. Then took a photo of a huge coreopsis bloom, and then, at home, of a shasta daisy. I created a new song with samples which I posted at ccmixter. I like it, but it's not particularly lovely. It's individual. Someone will be able to use it for something fun, I predict.
I am glad we spent time in Arkansas. I always feel happy to go there. I am happy to be home now,too.