Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Detour

Rumbling through some old pictures from about 10 years ago, I stumbled upon these. It's of a cabin near Shirley, Arkansas that was fully occupied until the late 1970's. Scott and I were on our way home from a bluegrass festival in Mountain View, when we stopped to look at this cabin. I've seen it quite a few times on my way up there, but never had time to step inside and take a peek? It was one of those rare occasions that I actually got going on time, and we had plenty of daylight to burn, so Scott agreed to let me go poking around. 

The door was closed, but not locked. At first glance, the main room that you enter had a fireplace on the left and an old bedstead with springs still sitting there. No mattress to be found. I'm guessing the mice got it piece by piece? The windows let in plenty of morning light, and I noticed a narrow set of stairs. Up I went and would you believe this little cabin had an upstairs room, completely sheet rocked, and a small closet! The add-on in the back is a make-shift kitchen. There was a sink, and a drain that had a pipe that just let the water out to the grass behind the cabin. No plumbing, but the outhouse was still standing! I took a look-see inside and it was still functional! (Good for me, we were in the middle of nowhere!). I saw a broom in the corner and I took to cleaning it out. You always leave a place in better shape than you found it, right? Little did I know that I was tidying up for myself! Our afternoon did not go as planned.
After I did all my investigating and was fully satisfied that I'd taken a glimpse back in time, we shut the door and left it the way we'd found it. I put my camera in the backseat of my car, and Scott asked me to drive. No problem, I love country roads! I put the key in the ignition, and tried to turn it. But it was frozen. My key would not budge. We sat there in the autumn air with the windows down for about 15 minutes trying every possible thing we could think of? Is the car in park? Yes. Well maybe we need to rock it forward? No luck. Eventually, it occurred to us that we needed help, but we were so far out in the mountains, that we couldn't get a signal on our new "cellular phones"! So, off Scott goes up a hill, holds the phone up to the sky and prays for bars! He was able to make a phone call to Triple A (AAA) and they actually knew about where we were, but said they had no idea when a driver could make it out that way? Just sit tight.

At this point, Scott and I realize we might actually be spending the night right where we were? We evaluated the situation, and decide to put our tent (never leave home without it!) inside the cabin. It was late October, so it would get nippy by morning, and this would keep any critters away from us. We had a case of bottled water, although there was a well behind the cabin if we needed more than just drinking water. We unloaded out car, and pulled out our folding chairs in front of the cabin, facing the road to watch for the wrecker that might or might not be on his way?

I have to say; I married a Boy Scout. Actually, Scott is an Eagle Scout, for real and for true! He shined like a brand new penny that day when he broke out a box of food I didn't know he'd stashed. We had canned ham on crackers, kippers, and oatmeal for lunch. When you THINK your going to go hungry, the most meager meal tastes so delicious! There was peanut butter and other foods for later. We could have lasted 3 or 4 days without worry.

I kept looking at my watch and Scott noticed I was getting a little nervous. You know there are BEARS in The Ozarks, right? My sweet husband pulled out his guitar and my mandolin, and we sat and picked out songs, and sang badly, just as some old pioneer probably did over one hundred years ago in the very same spot! I noticed I wasn't really concerned over the wrecker anymore, as I saw the sun start to get low in the west, and touch the tops of the trees. I noticed the birds, saw a raccoon, squirrels, and took note of berries and various herbs growing wild. I found that walking around, the Mullein was abundant, and realized I needed to pick as much as I can, because this will make a great salve! So I did, and Scott just chuckled at me for filling an ice-chest full of the fuzzy leaves.

Just about the time I think we need to light lanterns and get busy with setting up our tent, I hear a low rumble in the distance and a motor running. No one had been this way in hours. The wrecker arrived to see the two of us sitting in front of that cabin, playing and singing to our hearts content, and not really sure we wanted to go anywhere just yet? But we had to...
It was kind of sad when they hooked my car up to the chains and pulled it up the ramp. Scott and I hopped into the cab and they took us to back to Mountainview to a hotel. Ok, I've been stuck in The Ozarks before. I'm just telling you that their sense of urgency is not the same as say, someone in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not by a LONG SHOT. It  took a week to get the starter  in and have it installed. Something that would have been an overnight job in any big city. They didn't seem to be in any big rush. Then it hit me.. what a beautiful thing! I called my supervisor at work, and explained that this is going to take about 5 days according to Roy at the Auto Repair shop. Yes, it's the only shop in town. No there's nothing I can do about it. But that didn't mean they were slack on their customer service- not at all! They gave us a rental. A beat up model, with four wheels and 4-60 A/C. (That's four windows down, at 60 miles per hour)...
We spent five days a little miffed that we couldn't stay in the log cabin, but happy enough to be able to cruise around the mountains and extend our vacation! That's one happy detour, and it changed my perspective about what I think I "need". Truthfully, you don't need much to be happy. You just need "enough".