The final night of the trip was spent in Childress, Texas. We drove longer than most days so that we could be up and into the cemetery before it got hot. Chris and I enjoy old cemeteries. It's an odd hobby but we enjoy it. It always raises questions that sometimes have an answer and sometimes not.
This trip showed lots of old metal stars marked with U.C.V. This proved to mean United Confederate Veterans. I found it interesting that this military marker shows CSA which is Confederate States of America. Lots of history in a cemetery.
We saw an unusually large number of markers from 1918. Upon a little research we discovered that the Spanish Flu must have hit pretty hard.
It's always interesting to find homemade headstones. This one is a marker for a family plot.
We even found the head stone of someone who was obviously a teacher. The back of the stone lists the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. This, as we learned, is a southern norm. I like it.
Chris and I planned a trip to Arkansas that had a return route through Tyler, Texas. Chris has wanted to visit the Roseland Plantation. I said, "Sure." We first stopped in Tyler to see the rose garden. This is a simple statement for a magnificent garden. It has hundreds/thousands of roses but it also has ponds, fountains, and many other flowers. It is amazingly gorgeous!! We walked around the garden and had a little picnic there before heading to the plantation. The picture of me with a magnolia blossom is significant in that we discovered that Chris is allergic to magnolia blossoms.
The Roseland Plantation home is lovely. It has been restored beyond it's original state so that the couple that own it can live there. She shared her love of the home and the many antiques that fill it. We also got to go into the restored cabin on the property. It is the only room that is available to rent for the night. The sad part was that the bed and breakfast part of the plantation was sold and then closed because of foreclosure.
We loved the tour and hearing the ghost story about Sarah Elizabeth as well. It was well worth the stop.
After seeing family and friends we headed south to see Crossett, my home in Junior High School. We came into North Crossett with me recognizing only the grocery store. The house where we lived burned down many years ago (after we moved). The old neighborhood has some age of course.
We found the Presbyterian Church that I attended, the school auditorium and the walk way that was in front of the school. The school was torn down and a new one built some years ago. We also went by the park. We didn't take a picture of the WORST food of the trip. It was almost 2 o'clock on a Sunday and our choices were limited. Mexican food in Crossett is NOT what two women from Texas and New Mexico call Mexican food.
On the same day we had the bad food we found wonderful food in Shreveport, LA. Both of us were a little surprised to be served pickles on a salad but it was good. The cucumbers had been seeded but it looked kind of like someone took a bite. The fish was the best I've ever eaten.
We couldn't resist a quick picture of McDonald's, the convenience store, just into Louisiana --- No burgers or fries here.
Cotton Plant was my home after being born in Little Rock until just after 4th grade. The farm picture is the farm that my grandfather owned then. Cotton Plant has not been the thriving little town that it was in my childhood for a long time. All of the stores are closed with many of them torn down. This picture of main street from the main intersection says it all. Chris insisted on a picture of me on the "ledge" that goes around the Methodist Church. This was a favorite activity of the kids when I was little.
We visited the cemetery first. The first picture show me at Uncle Sonny and Aunt Ella's grave. The second picture is my grandmother's grave, Kathryn McLeod. This proved to be the most emotional moment of the trip. Mammie died when I was 9. It was just a few months later that we moved away from Cotton Plant for the last time. I left flowers on other graves, mostly family, but also my 2nd grade teacher. I love to visit old cemeteries but this one holds too many people who I knew and many I still love.
The trip to Cotton Plant when from good to fantastic when we stopped to see the Girkins. They are my cousins on my dad's side. I haven't seen them in many years but we were welcomed with open arms. Chris said that they made her feel like family. We went from house to house visiting with everyone. Chris was really amazed by this genuine display of southern hospitality. We might have to go back for a Fourth of July one day to have some of their famous BBQ bologna.
I had to take a picture of a storm cellar, also known as the "Fraidy Hole." I was told that it does get used a few times a year. I do remember spending a few nights in one when I was little. We had a wonderful visit and left with the most delicious tomatoes that Rose picked from the garden. I have enjoyed every bite. Homer gave me a pedal Case tractor for Frank. He just went to the barn and said to take this with us. I was blown away. I WILL BE GOING BACK SOON!!!
Jimmy and Cynthia Donaldson live in a beautiful place. To say that Northwest Arkansas is beautiful doesn't begin to express how breathtaking the Ozarks are. Jimmy was surprised that we kept saying how BEAUTIFUL it is because I live in the Rockies. It is a different kind of beauty with so MUCH GREEN!!! Jimmy and Cynthia live near Yellville in a cabin they build two years ago. They have carved out an amazing view out over the Yellville area with chickens and goats. They are living the simple country life that so many people would love.
While we were there we visited a cemetery back in the hills. It is something that Chris and I like to do and Jimmy took us to just the right spot. (The older, the better.)
The highlight of the sightseeing was Bull Shoals dam and lake. WOW!!! That is one huge dam.
We visited the dam with Jimmy and his precious granddaughter, Jaden. She likes to feed the carp at the marina. I got down on my tummy to feed the carp and introduced her to "carp petting." Jaden tried it next and was a great carp petter. SILLY FUN!!
We even found the Arkansas version of Almosta Ranch. Chris and I agree that the next time we visit the Ozarks, we'd like to go in the fall. I bet that would be equally beautiful to our June visit.