I love my job. I love the people, I love the location, and I love the purpose. I also love getting a week off every month. It’s not always smooth sailing of course, finances are limited, and I still get frustrated and depressed from time to time, but overall I can’t remember a time when I was happier. Right after beginning our job, my wife’s mother was diagnoses with ALS (amyotrophic laterals sclerosis), so Paula has been spending her time off at her parent’s. But this week, we’ve been together which has been very nice.
I’ve been wanting to explore the area around the Buffalo River for quite some time now. I’ve been reading and researching the scenery and hiking trails for months now. There are several places I want to see, but most involve a lot of walking up some rugged terrain, and my wife just isn’t into that nor does she have the same endurance I have. Still she agreed to try and that means a lot to me. So Wednesday we took a two hour drive to the trail leading to Whitaker Point which overlooks the Buffalo River.
I’m sure Paula didn’t enjoy the hike as much as I did. It was hard for her, and she is scared of heights. But she went and I was grateful to have her company.
After Whitaker Point we spent a night in an old hotel in Harrison, AR. I thought for sure it was haunted, but we didn’t see a single ghost. What a disappointment. Since we were already in Harrison, we drove up to Branson even though we were planning staying in Branson for the weekend with Paula’s parents. We drove around and decided we both really wanted to play with our granddaughter so we went to Searcy to get her and take her to the zoo in Little Rock. Grace was sick, and that is where all the problems began. We still had a good time and it would be a couple days before Paula and I would become sick ourselves.
We spend the weekend in a Branson resort. It was very nice.
Paula and I honeymooned in Branson back in 1990. That was the first time I was there. During our stay we went though one of those drive through safari type things. We have some very special memories of the place and always wanted to return, but neither of us were sure where it was. Nor did we know if the place was even still in business. So we tried to find the place. There was a place up be Springfield, so we figured that must be it. I’m not sure it was, but it was fun anyway.
The picture to my left is Paula cowering down because the monkey was on top of the cage screaming which really freaked her out. Me being the kind sympathetic man I was simply laughed and took a picture. Yes I know; I’m awful. I would like to think I’ve changed over the years.
Paula was able to make friends with the giraffe, but I don’t think she liked his big tongue that would swoop down to get the food.
I think Paula is more comfortable with the smaller animals like the one pictured on the right. Either way we had fun and got to drive through the grounds where there were all sorts of animals out. Some were determined not to let us through until we fed them. Since they were bigger than our vehicle we coughed up what we could.
We spent most of the time in Branson shopping. Paula’s mother decided to go zip lining, but that just seemed like too much money for a couple seconds of thrill, so I just watched. I would have gone if Paula was willing, but that ain’t gonna happen.
By the time we left Branson, Paula and I were pretty sick and seemed to just be getting worse by the minute. Our son-in-law was having trouble breathing and went in the hospital, so I went back to Searcy to watch the little one. She seemed to be feeling better, but my daughter wanted me to take her to the doctor. We sat there for two hourse before Tabitha said she would take her the next day.