I just spent a very nice weekend with my mother. Just the two of us. No husbands. No little distracting children. I drove over to the pretty side of the state on Wednesday and Thursday morning we took off on our adventure to Northwest Arkansas.
We followed the directions I had previously printed out and made it there without incident. After a little bit of driving around to get a feel for where the hotel was at and what was nearby I asked Mom what she wanted for lunch. We had seen an Olive Garden as we exited the highway so of course my mama said, "Olive Garden." Being unfamiliar with the town and not entirely sure how to get back there I whipped out my phone, turned on the GPS and typed in my destination. The directions would have made more sense if we had been familiar with the town but we got there. We decided since our hotel check-in time was still a few hours away we'd go ahead and go to the craft show we had specifically come for. Again I turned on the GPS and familiarized myself with the street names and we took off. If you ever have a chance to visit Northwest Arkansas, the Ozarks, I recommend you go. Late October early November should be even more beautiful as the trees were just barely starting to turn.
The next day we did some shopping and decided to head to up Eureka Springs. Again, another lovely town. Mom really wanted to see the Passion Play but due to the terribly windy roads (without many guardrails) she decided it would be safer if we drove back to our hotel during the daylight. We decided next time we'll do better at finding a hotel closer to Eureka Springs. The town just begs to be explored. We ended up going back a different way than we went. This was only partially on purpose and GPS kept us from actually reaching Missouri (the wrong way). But Mama said she preferred it this way. Seems my dad only knows one way to wherever they go and she enjoys all there is to see.
Saturday brought an end to our trip. We checked out one more craft show (they're really big in Northwest Arkansas during Fall Break) and headed home. At lunch I consulted with the GPS again. I had planned to take the way back but didn't realize until it was too late that GPS was taking us home by a different route. I confirmed that the road we were taking would in fact get us there and just drove. Mama said she didn't mind and eagerly soaked up the scenery as it passed by.
After exiting the interstate highway we drove a two-lane road the rest of the way home. We went through several small towns that looked very interesting. "This is Summer, Arkansas!" Mama said as we passed by some old abandoned looking buildings. "My daddy brought us here one time. All the way to Summer, Arkansas." She told me how my grandfather would get an itch to go for a drive from time to time. Seems he too liked to see different scenery from time to time. So he would load up my grandmother and the four kids, pick a direction and just drive. Sometimes they would stop and buy a loaf of bread and a package of bologna. Grandma would bring a jar of water and they would have a picnic where ever they stopped, then they would load back into the car and drive home. Restaurants were fewer and farther between back then, but they didn't have money to stop at them anyway."Those were the best times! People don't do stuff like that these days." Mama reminisced. "Can you imagine four kids in the back seat? We probably enjoyed it more than he did." Mama said looking out the window, no longer seeing what was passing her by in the present.
"Mama," I said though I never knew my grandfather, "I imagine he liked it just fine." I'm sure he liked it because they were together. And they were happy. What more could a person want for their family. I'm glad my GPS took us home that way.