|Elizabeth & Hana in front of the gingerbread house at The Arlington. James & Hana also got in some Saturday nigh jazz band and dancing at the hotel.|
|Pete & Hana decorate a 'found' Christmas tree composed of discarded evergreen branches that we wired together. It worked out so well that I think we'll try this method again!|
|Pete & Elizabeth opening gifts.|
|Pete & Frankie cuddlz|
|New bathroom fan! A slight upgrade from the old 50s era (?) hunk of metal. This project did end up taking much longer than expected (as usual) so it's a good thing we stayed so long!|
|James was busy all month packing the freezer full of fresh caught fish for the journey ahead. He also cooked up some of the BEST fried catfish we've ever had last week. Get ready for James' Ragin' Cajun RV Kitchen.|
My month in Arkansas was solitary. Hot Springs is a busy, congested town, and I usually find the more people I'm around, the more alone I feel. My phone and fishing gear were swept away at Lake Catherine below the dam when the water was raised suddenly. I heard a short beep, and my jigs, phone, bucket, and the fish I had caught were all swallowed up. Nonetheless, my time in Hot Springs was solitary in a good way. I caught the biggest Walleye I have caught yet, and I emphasize on the 'yet', and had a lot of time to practice the guitar I picked up in a Memphis pawn shop.
One of my favorite activities in Hot Springs was filling jugs with fresh untreated water from one of the town's several public water stations. They say every spring has a different sort of flavor, and Hana and I did find one that we gravitated to the most. We also tried out the bathhouse experience and got a massage. I don't usually want one unless the person has a gift for really digging deep into the tight spots, but I did leave feeling much more relaxed than when I went in. We did a bit of hiking, but most trails in the area were steep and my body just can't take the inclines anymore.
A cat followed Frankie and I home while out walking one night. I thought something wasn't right when he kept approaching Frankie, but he also wanted me to pet him a lot. The next day Hana and I were out with the dogs and he popped out of a ditch and followed us home. We fed him, and he hung around for much of the evening. Sadly, we didn't see 'King David' the cat again after that night.
Now that we are on the road again and settled back into the rv I realize there are new friends to make, new waters to fish, and many new adventures to come. We still have months ahead of us to chase our vision of what would be an ideal life for us, and sometimes finding it can take longer than a year, or lead you somewhere you didn't expect. You just never know in this life. One thing I will say is that I have really gained an appreciation for people in the smaller towns. You just never know where you will want to call home, and that is part of the adventure.
We had a great time, and after enjoying an extended holiday stay in AR we're moving on to our next state, Leeziana.
Thanks to Pete for being such a gracious host.