My work here is nearly done. Pictures have been hung and furniture arranged. About a million dishes have been washed and put away. It looks like they live here now. They even had a guest for dinner last night.
I have mostly been around the house, but a few trips out to purchase supplies like shelf dividers and paint and some groceries have given me a glimpse of the area. How does NW Arkansas compare to South Carolina?
There is no Duke's mayonnaise or White Lily flour here. Not even a bag of Martha White flour on the shelf. There is no Publix or Bilo here for grocery shopping. But there is a Walmart every few miles! And a Fresh Market opens this week.
There are no Tigers here and no orange-colored everything. No Gamecocks or garnet. The television college football coverage is all about the Hogs. (That just sounds so odd to my South Carolina ear.) But the passion of the fans is equal to those at home.
There are small cattle farms here and round bales of hay traveling down the road, just like home. (The hay must have been bought elsewhere. Worst drought in the country is right here.) There is a nice grandma who lives just up the street. And an ice cream truck that passes through the neighborhood in the evenings.
There is a wonderful museum here (Crystal Bridges) and the Walton Arts Center with a full Broadway season, much like the Peace Center at home. And several music festivals are held in the area throughout the year. There will be fun things to explore when I come back.
It's been nice to have some extra time with the granddaughters. A few more bedtime stories. A few more songs. (Baby Sister especially loves Blue Moon and This Can't Be Love.) Big Sister has learned how to fan out a strawberry for a garnish now that I won't be around to do that. She's very handy in the kitchen. She and I also painted her bookcase.
Next week our visits will be done via technology. And we are thankful to have those methods available. There is always that little niggling fear that the children will forget us--the grandparents who have been around almost daily will now live so far away. Not sure how much Baby Sister will remember her about days at the farm this summer.
But we will remember them. So glad they spent that time with us.