‘Best thing you’ll ever own…’

Yesterday’s storms arrived later than predicted and didn’t last as long as expected. With the same atmospheric energy squeezed into a tighter window, heavy weather came down on us hard and fast — intense rain, lightning and thunder, high winds.

The campground flooded. We’d seen that a couple of times before, so it didn’t surprise us. Water several inches deep rushed across our site and under the bus, persisting for hours before receding. We were still marooned when we went to bed.

In a stroke of good fortune, electric power to the park didn’t get knocked out.

We awoke this morning to a soggy mess all around us, but it could’ve been worse. Besides, the rain was welcome. We’re just fine.

This time next week we’ll begin seeing sub-freezing overnight temps. We may have to run the furnaces as soon as Thursday night, and I’d better have our heated fresh-water hose hooked up (and tested) by Friday. I’ll also drain the Stinky Slinky and set it up on the centipede riser, eliminating bellies where waste water collects (and could freeze).

Deb and I will bring out our colder-weather coats, hats and gloves. Over on The Mountain I’ll hang the doors back on the Ranger and make sure we’re equipped for on-foot exploring in something other than shirtsleeve conditions.

We went through all this a year ago. In some ways we’re looking forward to the gray months.

An update on Carolyn’s Razorback Ribs in Yellville — damage done by Tuesday night’s fire can be repaired, but the restaurant will be closed for three to six months, possibly longer. Insurance will cover the cost of gutting and construction, not lost revenue or wages.

The community already is starting to pull together. Individuals, businesses and even other restaurants are pitching in to help. There’s an online auction set up on Facebook to raise funds for Carolyn and her crew.

I’m sure there will be more in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned.

Take what you’ve got and do the best you can
The best thing you’ll ever own is a piece of land

Ashley McBryde, “Bible and a .44”

This morning I collected and filed documents associated with the sale of our Ohio house. I paused to read the official description of the property, noting in particular the acreage of the postage-stamp lot where we lived for 12 years.

Because we backed up to a public park, the place never felt as small as the number I saw on the page. We’ll have considerably more “elbow room” on The Mountain, of course. I did some quick math.

The result made me smile out loud — by my calculation, The Mountain could accommodate more than 55 plots the size of Second Chance Ranch. Even accounting for the acreage of the adjacent public parcel, our Home on The Mountain is twice as roomy.

In my adult life I’ve never lived anywhere like that — the most property I’ve owned and occupied was a couple of acres. During my childhood my family never had (or had access to) that kind of land. This is new to me. It feels right.

The relative isolation of The Mountain is icing on our Country cake.

I’m gonna do my damnedest to stay healthy enough and able enough long enough to explore and truly enjoy life on this wonderful piece of The Ozarks.

One year ago today, Deb and I met her cousin by the roadside halfway up The Mountain and meandered the woods with him awhile. He made suggestions, then left us on our own.

And so it’s a significant anniversary — this would be the very first time we’d walk the piece of land on which we’ll build a house and make our Home.

“As we drove back into the setting sun,” I wrote afterward, “I couldn’t help wondering if we’ll remember our Friday in the woods the same way we recall the moment we first saw Ernie.”

We do.

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

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

Our resident gray foxes seem to favor the area near the homesite. This animated gif, created from a series of trailcam images, captures one of them visiting this morning.