As soon as the kids got off the bus on the last day of school, we loaded in the car and started the trek towards Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family. (My sweet husband, taking note in early November that his wife was in the absolute dumps, thought it would be good to carry her home to be with her people. It was just what I needed.)
Driving in the plains in late December can be a roll of the dice weather-wise but we were feeling lucky that we’d traversed Tennessee with nothing but a sprinkle and a little fog and as we gassed up in Jackson for the final run to North Little Rock where we were to stop for the night, Craig suggested I drive the final leg.
The skies were ominous as we pulled into Memphis and I tried to tell myself it was just darkness descending at the end of the day but the minute we crossed the bridge over the Mississippi, the firmament opened (it was biblical, people) and it began to pour buckets, nay, oceans of water all over us. And if any of you have ever had the great pleasure of driving I-40 in Eastern Arkansas in the last, oh, twenty-five years, you’ll know it’s nothing but orange barrels and jersey walls for miles and miles which are really fun to navigate when YOU CAN’T SEE A FOOT IN FRONT OF YOU. And it didn’t help marital relations to hear “Can you see the white line? Can you see the car on the shoulder? Can you see if that car is stopped?” whispered ever so helpfully by my beloved who had suggested I drive in the first place.
Relaxing is what I’m saying it was.
It ended up taking four and half to get from Memphis to Little Rock, two of which we spent literally in park and no family was ever so happy to see a hotel as we were when we pulled in for the night. To avoid ice in Eastern Oklahoma, the next day we drove south through Texarkana (stopping for a quick detour in Arkadelphia to show Craig the OBU campus for the first time) and then hugged the northern border of Texas before crossing over into Oklahoma. The view was spectacular and the longer we drove through cattle country, the happier I was.
We got home in time for dinner and spent the evening visiting but before turning out the light, it was my great delight to share in the ritual bedtime glass of eggnog with my dad, always in the little cup and always from Braum’s.
It was good to be home.
Have a nice day.