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Webster’s Dictionary defines a vagabond as, “one who travels from place to place with no visible means of support.” Genie and I most certainly qualify.

We so enjoyed our east back west trip to Vermont that we decided on a south back north trip to Harrison, Arkansas. We arrived back home in Albert Lea on a Thursday from Vermont and left the next Wednesday for Arkansas.

We visited with Frank and Sandy Meng on Thursday at their home in Harrison. Sandy and Genie took part in a weekend ladies retreat in the Ozark tree mountains, about 40 miles from Harrison. The area is known as The Grand Canyon of Arkansas. A beautiful tree mountain view for miles.

Frank and I were most impressed when the wives told us they had a lady chauffeur to take them to the retreat. We were really impressed when the chauffeur drove up to the house. It was Tonya, a well known celebrity in the Harrison area.

While the wives were gone, Frank and I went to the library, purchased Little Caesar’s Pizza, bummed around town, and sat on his porch ready to whistle at all the pretty girls that went by. Sad to say, none went by. (If you live in the south, your residence is a house only if you have a porch, otherwise it is a shack). Frank stayed overnight at his house to take care of Gracie and feather his two doggies, while I stayed at the Quality Inn, in Harrison. 

While at the Quality Inn we enjoyed an excellent complimentary guest breakfast. I met the Country Case band from Alabama. They were performing in Harrison and from there were going to perform in Branson, Missouri. As the name suggests, they played mainly country music. They travel together, (wives, kids, etc.) in a vehicle big enough for 12 to 14 people.

One of the wives asked me if the wife ruled the roost in Minnesota. She told me the wife was the boss in Alabama. For example, if you gave the wife $20 and the husband $5, the end result would be $25, in the purse of the wife.

The hospitality at the Quality Inn in Harrison was once again great. For examples, upon check–in Janie (front desk) said to the new employee (Lori) “Titis is Mr. Buts.” Tiffany and Melissa in housekeeping welcomed us back. Another example of “warm Southern hospitality,” was four days in a row of temp in the 90s.

The sad part of the drive was the amount of rain. Many of the Missouri fields had not been planted or had been and were under water. There were four to six inches of rain forecast in the wet area after we came thru on highway 65 Sunday, June 7. (I found out the forecast came true). 

The weatherman called this a “tropical rain,” meaning it rains every day.

One interesting thing we saw was two boats fishing on a flooded lake. They were casting into tree branches that contained bugs that bass were feeding on. The amusing thing about all this was the name of the nearby town, Deepwater, Missouri.

Thanks to Ken Bertelson for being greeter at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church while I was gone. Thanks to Kaden for mowing the lawn. Thanks to the Knudsons for taking the mail in, plus checking the house.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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