Postcards from Arkansas

August 13th, 2013

 

When things are quiet here, it probably means I’m busy elsewhere. Here’s a few postcards from recent rambles close to home.

Outside magazine has declared my big, little town of Little Rock is a “runner’s paradise.” “Not in summer,” says my runner friend Stacey. True, but our summers have other charms. I enumerate a few in this appreciation of Arkansas seasons:

Until I spent a summer in Arkansas, I never knew what a peach, or a watermelon, or a fig should be. I never heard the riot of cicadas at night. I didn’t appreciate the pleasure of being forced to slow down. I spent a month in eastern Canada last summer, and the ambient drive to do things and go places was a shock to my transplanted soul. I had forgotten that northern summers march to the beat of go, go, go.

–from a guest post I wrote for Arkansas Women Bloggers

I’m guest posting all this month for ARWB. It’s rare that I get to write for such a concentrated local audience. For my first post, I invited my neighbors to share their stories of how they came to call Arkansas home. I love the responses, like this one from Wendy, whose parents came here as back-to-the-landers in the 70s:

…I wanted to come home to the place where people waved at you when you drove by even though they didn’t know you from Adam, where the neighbors made a quilt for you when you moved in, and where the Buffalo was within reach.

I could listen to people tell stories about place all day long. I love them even better than courtship tales. You can read all the comments here.

It’s an exciting time to be living in Arkansas. There’s been a lot of buzz in national media about the Natural State. Kiplinger’s just put Little Rock at the top of it’s 10 Great Cities list. Earlier in the summer, I shared with you how the northwest part of the state is becoming kind of a big deal. There’s a sense that our moment has come.

It hasn’t hurt, either, that we have had an amazingly mild summer, the likes of which I haven’t seen in all my seventeen years here. It’s so much easier to be in love with a place when you don’t have desert temperatures and swamp-bottom humidity. We even went camping in July, and I’m watching the long range forecast, and thinking it might happen again before the season is through.

Here’s a few snapshots from our stay-home summer.

We’ve done some chilling:

chilling

Some playing:

gaming

Some plunging:

plunge

Some looking up:

balloons

Some kicking back:

kickingback

Some lake-ing:

lake

And lots and lots of this:

sunset2

We’ve been having a great time. Wish you were here.

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