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Backroad Sweetness

Backroad Sweetness

Lesson learned: You may have a plan, you might have something you want to happen sooooo bad and be super excited for, but oftentimes, life has other ideas. It's ok to be disappointed, to feel let down, even to pout for a moment! BUT, the most important thing is to see the silver lining...see what you're being given in replacement for what didn't work out because, so many times, it's better...

Tuesday morning marked the first beautiful weather day we've had here in Branson, Missouri. It was windy, but sunny and oh so warm - in the high 60's warm! Coming from Minnesota that just doesn't happen in January. We set out to explore our first stop, The College of The Ozarks, otherwise known as "Hard Work U".  Students don't pay tuition, but are required to work on campus in exchange for their education. Consequently, they are able to graduate without debt. Can you imagine?!? They have a bakery as well as a creamery. Almost all the ingredients used in their meals are either grown right there, or are products produced by cows they raise on campus! We spoke with one student and the pride he showed when telling us about the campus was incredible. Just think what our world would be like if there were more institutions that taught not only academics, but the value of work and taking pride in the work you've done...

I've wanted to see Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for a long time. It's a beautiful glass church nestled in the woods with crazy interesting architecture. After checking the website, we discovered it is closed in January (much like 98% of this area!), but assumed we'd be able to at least walk up and explore the outside. Well, that was not the case. We made the hour trip only to find the road in gated with a very firm 'No Trespassing' sign. I called the office to ask if we could just walk around the outside, since we would only be in the area for a limited amount of time and had driven an hour to get there.  I was informed the security dogs on duty made that a "very bad idea".  So...that was that! Blair drove slow and I took a picture out the sunroof before driving away completely disappointed. 

BUT...and this was my silver lining moment!... 

We exited on a little road to turn around but saw signs for Lake Leatherwood so kept going. We came into a clearing with a few cabins, kayak & canoe rentals, and a quiet place right on the water. I needed to pout a little, so we let Leila swim, soaked in some sun, enjoyed some quiet time, and I adjusted my attitude... Later, we drove into Eureka Springs and oh, my goodness! What an incredible little town! We were driving through its' winding streets (Note: we were NOT in the RV - I wouldn't recommend taking a big rig through this town's streets!) when we saw a sign that said, "Historic Loop" which sounded waaaay too good to pass up! After twisting and turning through more tiny roads, and past a zillion adorable Bed & Breakfasts, the loop brought us into the parking lot of The Crescent Hotel. It was huge! and beautiful!! When we saw a sign for food, we were in! It was like being transported back in time. From the front desk where room keys are still kept in little numbered cubbies, door handles in the middle of doors, and stairs that tilt a little further than they seem they should, it was all so old! Even more interesting was the energy filling the air. It's as if we could feel the spirits of people of the past who had resided within those walls. We found out later that it's said to be haunted and they even have a photo album in the lobby full of shadows, orbs, and other "sightings". Believe what you will, but I'd definitely be a little nervous walking those halls at night!

From high on a 4th floor balcony, we spotted a little Catholic Church and made our way there. It was so small, but as we made our way down a sidewalk lined with the Stations of the Cross, and a garden filled with statues and benches, I couldn't help but be reminded of how really beautiful old churches are. We gently pushed the door open and were met with a beautiful little entry filled with more statues, and candles everywhere! As it's traditional in our family, I lit a candle, said "Take care of me, Jesus", took a quiet moment of thanks, and headed on our way.

 As we left, we took every tiny road we came across. The town is filled with them and it seems at each new corner there is something completely unique and awesome to see. Again, most places around here are closed during the month of January but we found 'The Cathouse Restaurant' and ended our day with a burger, a beer, and some live music before calling it a day.

This day was my reminder that life rarely goes as planned. It doesn't matter how excited about something you are, sometimes you'll be met with a closed gate and security dogs. But, remember, without that gate, the rest of what may turn out to be something even more incredible may not have happened. I didn't get what I wanted (to see Thorncrown), but was redirected to a day that brought the sparkle back to my eyes and joy to my heart!  

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Be Sincere

Be Sincere