It’s Day 417 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. And no matter what Daffy McHairsniffer says — either get jabbed or wear a mask — born-free Americans have more than two choices.

Deb and I are happy and well.

This wasn’t what I’d call a chamber-of-commerce Saturday here in northern Arkansas. It wasn’t necessarily unpleasant, either — just a relentlessly overcast day that makes a person wish that summer would hurry up and get here.

Up with the dogs before dawn anyway, I let Deb sleep and went into stealth mode. I quietly set up our outdoor living space for the first time since we left — rug down, chairs and table out, awning extended. Such a simple thing, but it brings to life a scene we’d imagined.

Either you get that or you don’t.

This afternoon Deb’s cousin and a good friend of his stopped by to chat and enjoy a batch of sweet tea Deb made. We heard more about the history and unique character of this region, the kind of fascinating stuff they don’t teach in school (but they should).

Each of us has a piece of knowledge or experience that’s worth sharing. It’s important, I believe, that those stories be told.

Rain rolled in by mid-afternoon and lingered as a cold drizzle into the evening. Fog hugged the wide river that flows by the campground. The old railroad bridge high overhead grew darker, spookier.

I also noticed, though, that the rain and grayish light made the green hillsides and ridges even greener. Oaks and maples and aspens, all took on a sort of glow.

Such is springtime in The Ozarks.

Early this month Deb spent most of a travel day making camping arrangements that covered us through this coming Wednesday night. Thing is, we’ve been having so damned much fun that we hadn’t even thought about where we might stay when we leave here Thursday morning.

We found out today that trying to nab a campsite for the next weekend, on short notice, isn’t at all easy these days. Memorial Day two weeks away only complicates matters.

Deb’s doggedness paid off, however — she found us a nice commercial campground west of here, still in Arkansas, where we’ll stick and stay ’til the first of June. After that we’re good as we head into and through Oklahoma. And we’ve made some special plans with friends in Texas after that.

Color us relieved. We’re set for a while. And you can be sure that we learned a valuable lesson.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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