NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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I’m comfortably relaxed, sitting in my Lazy Boy, watching the Twins win. Genie steps in front of me and says, “It’s time we had a woman to man talk.”

She continues, “You went on the Honor Flight for Korean War veterans to D.C. You went fishing for a week with guys to Leech Lake. You wrote about both trips in our column. It’s my turn to write about my week with the girls in Arkansas in our column.”

Genie spoke, I listened, she wrote:

I left on my journey to Harmony in the Ozarks, a women’s retreat in beautiful Arkansas tree mountains. Our theme this year was “looking for treasures” along the way. 

I had lovely weather this year for my trip, while back home in Minnesota it was hot and humid—uffda! I drove as far as Marshall, MO, did a little shopping, caught up on correspondence and ate leftovers in my room for supper. Stuff that Bob does not eat!

My car was working well except it wanted to keep the key; so, it taught me patience. I arrived in Harrison, AK early on a beautiful day, so I went shopping at CATO’s. It was too early to check in my room at the motel, so I went to my cousin’s home. We had a good visit, as always. Arkansas is so green and lush—lots of cardinals and bluebirds.

Friday, my cousin and I met up with the rest of the gals in Jasper, AK for lunch at Ozark Café, a unique place that has been serving food since 1909. After lunch some gals went canoeing on the Buffalo River; not my cousin and I! 

We drove up the mountains to our retreat center. It was a beautiful drive—lots of curves and switchbacks. Not my favorite kind of driving. We unloaded food (lots of it) and put the kitchen in order. We never go hungry and have lots of snacks, too. Just in case you get the munchies.

The weather was cool and dry. We called it Minnesota-type weather. My key was still wanting to stay in the ignition, so I would start the car, shift, and put it back in park, then shut the motor off and try to pull the key out. Sometimes it took five to six tries before it would surrender the key!

The canoe gals came back in time for supper—lovely day to canoe. We had baked potato bar for supper, which was very good! We have some early birds who get up at 5:30 a.m. so coffee is all ready by the time the rest of us show up for breakfast. 

We had a busy schedule this year, but still had time to relax. Saturday we had a treasure hunt and wore eye patches and spoke pirate—argh!—lots of laughter. We took pictures with our eye patches, painted rocks and did some Zumba. Our campfire was so lovely and we sang songs together. Some brought out instruments, which was more fun. 

Sunday came so quick and it was time for some to leave and the rest of us went to Cliff House Restaurant. The Cliff House overlooks the Grand Canyon of Arkansas. They have hummingbird feeders across the front deck, so we are entertained by the wee birds. Three of us stayed over Sunday and had a great gabfest and got better acquainted.

My journey home was good, cool, and sunny except the last day when it was hot and humid. When I got home we took the car in about the key. It was solenoid. Now it comes out on the first try!

———

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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