A very old song says in part, "..be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home." and it is true to me! We have just landed at home after a brief sojourn to the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri where we attended a conference. The trip to and from was wonderful…lovely rural scenery all the way from North Dakota to the Ozarks….all the way to the end of Interstate 29 at Kansas City ("we got to Kansas City on a Friday.." (song from "Oklahoma") and then on several other 4 lane highways to the Ozarks and the White River country. Spring is ahead of us in the Ozarks but there has been a lot of rain so crops are not even planted that far south yet. We saw a few planted farm fields but in Iowa and South Dakota, the process is just starting. The hardwood oak varieties that cover the Ozarks are beginning to bud and the grass is green, green, green!! Cottonwoods and Poplars are in full leaf and people have planted flowers already in gardens and planters. It was a joy to see such springtime beauty everywhere and the days were warm and sunny….as high as 90 degrees in Iowa yesterday!
I played my map game with myself again—searching the travel atlas for names of towns in states all over the U.S. this trip. I love to hunt for strange names, pretty names, towns named for people, names of towns that you see in all the states and towns named for famous people. This time I concentrated on the town names beginning with "Red" and there are a whole lot of them!!! Here’s a few of the "Red" towns: Red Cloud (Neb) Red Oak (in Iowa, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, for just a few); Red Bank, TN; Red Lion and Red Hill in PA; Red Rock, AZ; Red Bud, IL; and for the "funny Reds"….Red Boiling Springs, TN, Red Lick, MO and Red Jacket, W.VA. I know I saw a town called "Red Head" but I couldn’t relocate it in the atlas the second time I searched. I wondered if there were towns called "Blond" or "Brunette" but I found none in my brief search of the smallest print in the entire world…in the atlas listings in the back pages. I got eyestrain from looking.
I now wish to award the "Mappie" awards for funny-name towns: There are multiple winners this time. The "Moving Air" award goes to Blowing Rock, NC and Windy Hill, KY. The "Whaddayousay?" Award goes to Yazoo City MS and Wahoo, Nebraska. The "Caffiene Lovers Award" goes to Coffeeville and Hot Coffee; The "Arsonist Award" goes to Panther Burn; The "Hostility Award" goes to Kicketts and the "State Prison Award" goes to Correctionville and Reform. The "Patriotic Award" goes to 3 funny- name towns: Red Banks, White Apple, and Blue Mountain. The "You Gotta Be Kidding Me" Award goes to "Pure Air" which is town in northern Missouri in the close vicinity of several big confinement Hog Barns. The "Strong Woman Award" goes to Amazonia. The "Gotcha Award" goes to BeeBeeVille. And finally…. the "Big Mouthful Award" goes to these towns: Yalobusha, Rollingfork, Eastabushie, and Leakesville (which also wins the "Corner of the Barn Award")
Wow, I worked so hard even when I was sitting down and just riding in the van! I am going to have to investigate towns in Canada next time we travel somewhere.
It is nice to be home; the tulips are beginning to bloom, just in the five days we were gone; it is the amazing power of the spring sunshine, illustrated. The buds are bigger on the trees also. This is my favorite season of the entire year!!! The Kitty Princess was extremely happy to see us again even though my good friend Fran visited her each day and babied her in my place. Now I want to get that rototiller out and plant lettuce, spinach , onions and potatoes A.S.A.P.