Drifts of Spring

21 Andrew Graduation ALinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, Arkansas – Today is the first day of summer. And I head to Little Rock shortly, and the airport. I’m picking up Grandson Andrew, who just graduated (with honors) from Shorewood High in Seattle. We had two graduations this spring; Grandson Justin graduated (with honors) from the University of 21 Justin's graduation V 2014 010Florida in Gainesville. Congratulations boys, you make your grandma proud. Good job! Spring has been a whirlwind of weather, and color. Yellow daffodils exploded all over the yard; wisteria vines twined themselves around every tree, in an effort to take over the world, trying to placate us with their sweet smell and cascades of purple blooms. “Don’t mind me, I’m pretty!” Ha. I entered the Arts Center Photography Contest in April, and what would I choose other than capitol domes to show? Arizona’s copper shine, Iowa’s glittering gold; Maryland’s colonial style in wood, with balcony walks. I didn’t win a prize, but working on the prints was satisfying work and one small step in bringing the glory of our capitols to 21 Capitol Arizona Dome and Winged Victorynew eyes. I wasn’t allowed a writeup to post beside, but if I had, you know I would have bragged. You can take the time now to click on the link to Phoenix, and Des Moines, and Annapolis (blue column to the right), and you’ll see. History. We’re all a part of it; all connected; we all breathe the same air. It’s important to pay attention to those big-picture scenes, and the finer details too. Like the dinner at the Museum, From the Forest to the Table it was called, where we partook of foods the early settlers would have eaten.

21 venisonVenison (deer are plentiful in Arkansas), turkey (the big birds ran wild), squirrel (with dumplings, quite tasty), and fish (jumping high on the many rivers around). Nuts and berries, in abundance. Eggs, and corn. It made me think of our ancestors traveling through in 1849; no McDonalds on the corner, but abundance all along the trail. The Museum pushed history in other interesting ways this spring; there was the dedication of the Historic Marker on Old Military Road, both Confederate and Union troops used the road; the Union Army was in Arkadelphia 21 Historical Marker Dedicationfrom March 29 to April 1, 1864. One Hundred Years of Radio was an exhibit of interest to my cousins Ivous and Gene, who visited in April. They have been in the radio business for many years; Gene loves to tell the story on himself of taking a radio apart when he was a kid, looking for all those people inside! He’s got the savvy now. Ivous and I particularly liked the displays of the wooden cabinets the old radios fit into. Remember the family gathering around, listening to the adventures of the Lone Ranger, or the crashing noise when Fibber McGee opened his closet door?

21 Craig walking cemeteryBrother Craig visited in May; we concentrated on our family genealogy; chatting with Laverne and Charles Todd, who have indexed every cemetery in Clark County, and published books about them. We pored over some of those books in the Museum, and more in the Library, looking for clues. We checked out cemeteries ourselves, spending an entire day at Clear Springs, cutting away brush and briars from what (we think) are our ancestor’s graves; leaving a flower on each. There are ten, the right amount. And the cemetery sits beside the trail they would have followed in 1849; we first discovered it when we came looking in 2008. We found it on my 69th birthday.

04 linda 75 at honeycombNow I’ve celebrated another birthday in Arkadelphia. I am 75! Three-quarters of a century have flown by. History. I had a birthday lunch at the Honeycomb, where the crew sang to me and brought me cake. Brenda sent me birthday cake too; shipped on dry ice and carefully packed; treats of chocolate, and cinnamon, and carrot cake, fancily iced. And then dinner at the Cracker Barrel (just like 2008) where I was treated by friends Linda and Ellis, and Ellis’ Mom, Bertha. Spring is a good time to be born, I say.

And it’s a good time to freshen up. Greg, the handiest of handy-persons, worked on the house. He and wife Linda painted flaking trim, caulked around the windows, and pressure-washed DSCN8291the house. I bought a new sofa and chair, and enough sheets and towels and dishes to take care of the onslaught of company that will spend the summer here – first Andrew, then Sam, then Mike and Brenda and Michael, then Kayla and Rick. Jack will be petted! Time to leave for the airport now; time to get Andrew and let the summer begin. The pantry is stocked and the beds are made. Oh, did I mention my new personalized license plate? The Journey Across America may be over, but the Journey continues. Carry on.