We’re not the least bit concerned about crime on The Mountain. The locale in which we’re building is largely calm and self-policing. In today’s society, of course, there’s no “safe” place, so Deb and I remain vigilant, but we won’t be putting bars on the windows.
That’s not to say that the area is without run-of-the-mill “country crime.”
The other day Deb’s cousin sent us a photo snapped at the end of the subdivision road. A dozen or so mailboxes planted there had been bashed with a baseball bat (or whatever good ol’ boys are using these days).
Yeah, that’s vandalism. No, it’s not good, and I’m sure it’ll be dealt with. But let’s face it, when beer, pickup trucks and raging hormones come together, that sort of thing is to be expected in rural America. At least Ozarkansas doesn’t have to worry about a rampant thug culture and flash mobs looting our stores.
We don’t have a mailbox in that row, by the way, and we don’t intend to. All we need is our P.O. box. The kind folks at the Yellville post office take care of the rest.
Now I know what you’re thinking — when you hear “crime” and “Arkansas,” the first thing that comes to your mind is “methamphetamine.” I’ll give you that, since meth tends to be associated with backwoods and backwaters, places where the poverty rate is high. And sure, we see (what we suspect are) signs of meth use pretty much whenever we go out.
State-by-state statistics show, however, that Arkansas isn’t even in the top ten. The methamphetamine capital of America isn’t Arkansas, as it turns out, nor is it Missouri or Mississippi — actually, it’s Michigan. According to recorded seizures and estimates of use, meth is far more of a problem in Ohio and Indiana (statewide) than it is here. Sorry to bust the stereotype.
But it is here. We conduct ourselves accordingly, keeping our eyes open.
Up on The Mountain, our approach to security is very different than what we employed at Second Chance Ranch. The first line, to be frank, is the road itself. The second line would be our own preparations. Third, obviously, are our neighbors — we look out for each other.
In our isolated setting, that’s the way it is. And honestly, that’s the way it oughta be.
A lot of you have asked about Scout, and I can report that she’s doing okay. She’s gettin’ along and she’s gettin’ around, albeit gingerly. We’re doing everything we can to protect her, especially from Smudge — the puppy doesn’t understand and just wants to play. Dipstick definitely gets it, though, and he’s doting on his big sister.
Last night I carried her outside to the yard for a business trip. The instant I put her down, she led me away from the campsite and toward the campground road — she wanted to go for a walk. I let her wander around on the pavement a little, smiling, tail wagging.
My girl Scout inspires me.
Today, with nothing better to do, we drove into Harrison. I surprised Deb by stopping at Pappy’s Burgers, a drive-up food trailer on the north side of town. We continued down past the county courthouse, parked at Lake Harrison — an unremarkable rectangular pool created by a low-head dam on Crooked Creek — and had lunch.
A double smash burger with the works, plus fries and a drink, all for just 11 bucks. (No charge for the religious tract included in each stapled, hand-labeled, brown paper sack.) Good eatin’.
From there we went to Bypass Liquor — not for booze but to buy a couple of fresh Trump hats (which they always stock), what with tomorrow being Arrest Day and all. Back on the town square, and with “mud season” upon us, we shopped at Harness Boots & Shoes for Mountain-worthy rubber footwear. We stopped at what had been the Sears Hometown store, now BetterBuys, and browsed the odd lots.
Oh, and spring arrived, officially, at 4:24pm.
And in our world, dear readers, that makes a very good day.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.