As much as I dislike funerals, it was not an altogether unpleasant trip.  The road to Eldorado, AR is a long one for me but it really only gets long after we leave Little Rock. From there on south, the roads get narrower and the speed limits get lower and so it really starts to drag at that point.  I’ve made the drive many times but I’ve never really learned to appreciate it although travelling through the northwest part of the state is pretty.  The last bit is the worst where we get on the elevated section of highway 167 near the Ouachita river bottoms.  The speed limit goes way down and it is difficult to speed due to the inevitable slow-moving car.  The road is lined with several miles of swampland complete with cypress trees with their creepy roots (called ‘knees’) sticking out of the water all over the place. 

We first stopped in Conway for lunch and I was struck, as I always am, by the strong Arkansas accents.  I would have thought that with TV and internet, the people there would have been exposed to enough of accent-free english that the accents would fade away but they don’t.  That uniquely Arkansan drawl is still there.  I suppose I’ve still got it too and it pops out whenever my concentration is low.

Funerals are always a chance to get together with a lot of people that you haven’t seen in a long time and which you’d like to see more often but never really do.  But they’re surreal at the same time.  It’s hard to get my head around the fact that Andy is not here any more.  He’s always been here – how can he be gone forever?  But that’s the way of it; that’s why we have funerals.  Funerals bring families and back together and stir up the grief into a crescendo and generally speaking, we feel better afterwards.

Then I got to experience again all those small town things.  I bought donuts at the SpudNut shop.  I’ve never seen one of those anywhere else but Google tells me that they exist.  Apparently they use potato flour; hence the name.  Everyone raves about them but they’re just another donut to me.  I took a photo of the shop since it’s from another era.  I guess the rusty sign has “character”.

My sister loaded me up with old amateur radio gear that belonged to Andy for me to dispose of on Ebay.  Thank goodness for Ebay or I would have no idea what to do with it.  She also claims that she’s going to get out more after staying home with him for so long.  I hope to see her up here soon.