Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Change of Plans

Well, the Family Reunion was a huge success.  Some of us were in RV's in the campsites at Queen Wilhelmina State Park, and several stayed at the beautiful, newly remodeled lodge in the park.  We met together at the lodge for breakfast, then there were several group activities during the day.  The hostess for this year's reunion was Tim's cousin Kathy, who still lives in Mena.  She has a gorgeous home just outside of Mena, where we gathered Friday and Saturday evening for wonderful catered meals.  

Tim's grandparents - They had 18 children

We had a very good turnout, around 80 cousins and a couple of aunts by marriage, although all of the 18 children are gone now.  I love how family is so important to this family!  They come from all over the country to visit with each every 2 years.  It's great!  And always fun.

Tim's mother and her baby brother, Bill.

Can you stand the cuteness!  Tim and his 4 brothers, and their daddy.  
Tim is the little one, front left.

It was a short drive from Mena to Branson.  We've enjoyed a couple of shows (Pierce Arrow and Dixie Stampede) and we've eaten at a couple of new restaurants.  However, we have decided to cut our stay here short.  We've had some sad news from home, and we want to be there for our family and friends.  But I know we will be back!  There's so much here that we haven't done yet!

We are heading home so that we can help our loved ones through a difficult time, and so that they can help us.  Earlier this week I told a friend that God doesn't give us more than we can bear, but He may give us more than we can bear alone.  I firmly believe that one of the best gifts He has given us is family, and friendship.  Our family and friends help us to bear our heavy burdens.  We feel His love through their kindness.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cowboys and Gators and Bears! OH MY!

Queen Wilhelmina State Park

The Cowboy promises me he won't be trying to catch any bears while we're here. 
I just hope no bears try to catch him!  (Or me)

We're here at Queen Wilhelmina State Park for the Wagner Family Reunion - Cowboy Tim's mother's family.  She grew up here in Mena, one of 18 children.  Eighteen children.  18.  Ten plus eight!  No matter how I write it, or how many times I say it or hear it, my mind has a hard time wrapping itself around that number.  They could have had their own tv show.  Except they didn't own a tv.  Didn't need one.  They didn't have electricity.  

But what fun they must have had, growing up in these Ouachita Mountains!  
It is so beautiful here!  We took Charlie for a little walk last night and I took lots of pictures.  

Cowboy Tim took these pictures (above) for me so I would have to walk through the mud and weeds.
He's pretty handy to have around.  


This is called "The Wonder House."  Built in the 1930's.  It has 9 different levels.  
There's a tour scheduled tomorrow afternoon, I'm hoping to go.

My phone doesn't take very clear pictures of animals.  Can't get close enough.  
I'm really hoping for a good camera for Christmas.  Any suggestions about what kind to get?  
I don't know anything about photography.

This is the lodge at the park, where a lot of our family group will be staying.  It's just been remodeled.  The first lodge was built in 1898 by a railroad company for their passengers.  The company was owned mostly by Dutch investors, so they named it Queen Wilhelmina Lodge to honor the queen of the Netherlands.  The campground is in walking distance from the lodge.  This photo is from the park's website.  Hope they don't mind me using it!

There's a miniature train between the lodge and the campground.  Last time we were here for a reunion, our oldest grandgirl had fun riding the train, and playing miniature golf.

They also played on this old engine.

The reunion doesn't start until Friday afternoon, but one of Cowboy's brothers will be in town today.  And some of his cousins still live here.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Catch of the Day!!!!

Well, my Crazy Cowboy did it.  He really did it. He caught an alligator on his fishing line.

We are pulling out this morning, but he had to give it one more try before we left.  And he succeeded.

I wasn't out there to see it, but he took pictures.  Yes.  That's right.  He had a 3-4 foot alligator on his fishing line, and instead of letting the alligator have the rod, reel and line and turning and running back to the trailer, Cowboy held the rod with one hand, dug his phone out of his pocket with the other, and took several pictures.  And a video.  (You see the kind of crazy I have to deal with?)

So, for your viewing pleasure (and at Tim's insistence), here's a photo. It's not a great photo.  But I'm really glad he didn't take time to focus real well.  And I'm especially grateful that he didn't get any closer to Mr. Gator before he finally cut the line and got out of there.  Honestly, I'm kind of surprised he didn't wrestle the creature for the hook!

You can see the creature's head just beyond the plants.

He also took a video, but I can't get it to run on the blog.  I'll try again later.

My dad used to introduce Tim to people by saying, "This is my son-in-law, the bull rider, Golden Gloves boxer, rattlesnake hunter.  How I wish Daddy was still here to add "alligator fisherman" to that list!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Still in Ashdown, Arkansas

Yes, I know I haven't posted anything in several days.  No, I haven't forgotten about you.  I have a very good reason for not posting.  Nothing...I mean happening worth writing about.  Not that we haven't enjoyed ourselves.  I am, after all, the queen of lazy.  Nobody sits around doing nothing better!  And Tim is happy, as long as he can drop a hook into some water.  The two little lakes here on property are perfect for him.  I think he's hoping to hook an alligator like we heard one man did a few days before we got here. 

And, there have been a few outings.  We went into to Texarkana one afternoon and saw this...

It was a very good movie, good story, good production, good acting.  I don't usually like war movies, but this one cuts back and forth between the fathers in Viet Nam, and the sons, in present time.  And there was enough humor to keep it from being too sad.

So, there was that.

And I walked around the rv park and got some photos for you.
Just because I love you all!

Trumpet vine

Passion Flower 
(Why don't I ever sees these back home?)

And here's the little lake behind our fifth wheel where Tim's been fishing.  
That's the group picnic area behind it. 
And behind that is the flooded golf course. 

 So, Tim took these photos of the golf course.  These lakes?  Not supposed to be here.  
They're saying it will take months to get the golf course back in shape.

The RV park is practically empty. Even over the holiday weekend, there were very few people here.  Probably because the golf course is closed, Millwood Lake is flooded and there are very few activities planned here at the park.

But the pool is open.  And it's huge.  And most days, we have it all to ourselves.  Heaven!

And, First Baptist Ashdown has been the highlight of our stay here.  We attended Sunday School, Sunday morning and Sunday Evening Worship.  The people are just delightful. I want to take them all home with me!

Today, we are driving to Texarkana.  Tim's hoping to play golf (if it doesn't rain) and I'm heading to the mall.  Then we'll meet up again for dinner at El Chico.  

We plan to move on to our next stop tomorrow.