Around town

Mercy has been refreshed. Yesterday we had the spunky orange Jeep back at Clay Maxey Ford in Harrison for service and a couple of minor repairs. We were owed a free oil change anyway, and we asked the shop to change lubes and oils (transmission, transfer case and both differentials) while our Wrangler was on the lift.

The work likely would take several hours. Our original salesman, knowing that, met up with us and asked, “So what would y’all like to drive?”

By that time Deb and I had walked the lot, so we had an answer ready — a loaded six-year-old GMC Sierra double-cab pickup. Though too posh for our purposes and too pricey for our budget these days, we figured it’d be fun for a day.

And it was.

Mostly we just cruised around Harrison, dropping in on a few new places. One was Miller True Value Hardware on the east side of town. The locally owned business, founded in 1931, occupies a sprawling complex of buildings in an old industrial area next to Crooked Creek.

Despite its size, Miller’s remains a classic old-fashioned hardware store. Aisles and shelves are jammed, the selection reflecting the mix of folks coming through the doors — from farmers to mechanics, homeowners and yes, even RVers. Signs are handwritten. By the cash register are toys meant to trigger little boys’ begging reflex.

We drove back north a ways to investigate a small vape shop, an important resource for Deb and me wherever we are. Across the parking lot, The Ranch House Restaurant beckoned. We’d heard great things about its “traditional Southern comfort food” menu, and today we finally got ’round to having a meal there.

The Ranch House is typical of many Harrison businesses — independent, family-owned, one-of-a-kind. It’s been around for 40 years, basically unchanged, a cozy joint that knows its diners well.

Any restaurant that serves breakfast all day long is in the running to be my favorite. We arrived at the lunch hour, but I was free to order a “Smoked Sausage Omelet” with a big pile of hash browns, a buttermilk biscuit and a bowl of sausage gravy. The coffee was hot, strong and perfect.

Homespun hospitality sealed the deal. The Ranch House — Southern cookin’ served with a smile and an affordable check — will become a go-to restaurant for us in this town.

We returned our loaner truck late in the afternoon, paid our bill and brought Mercy back to the campground. It never fails to amaze me how fresh lube quiets and smoothes a drivetrain.

It was a good day for Deb and me, even though all we did was cast about town. The more time we spend in this region, I swear, the more we love it.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon