From Marylu (11-17-15)
Life in a Small Resort Town – Arkansas Style
The trip from Branson, Missouri, to Fairfield Bay, Arkansas, was a little harrowing. The roads changed from typical highways winding through scenic hills to narrow roads with no shoulders, lots of hills, twists and turns. We took turns laughing out loud as we would rise to the top of a hill unable to see what’s coming next. I swear there were some figure-eight road signs!
At last we reached our next home. Our unit was on the first floor this time, so lugging all our possessions into the unit was a bit easier. What’s for dinner? No groceries except the bag of sugar, coffee, and a few other staples we decided to lug around. We made it to the little grocery store (up and down that crazy hill) and had petri-fried chicken. There were six dining-out options in our little community, not including the occasional lunch at the Senior Center or the Fitness Center. We made up a weekly schedule since the restaurants varied the days they closed. I included the deli at the grocery store and the gas station “restaurant” in the total count. The gas station pizza – well, let’s say it was served in a unique box. (See Alan’s post.) We did enjoy dinner at El Poblano, large quantities of good Mexican food but no beer or margaritas.
We’ve been fortunate having laundry facilities in our temporary homes. You know there’s something great about moving every week – I don’t have to wash the sheets and towels!! On the other hand, getting used to a new bedroom – bathroom arrangement is a challenge for nightly visits to the biffy.
Alan and I did get to play golf at each of the two courses. After our experience in Branson, we were ready for “mountain” golf and were pleasantly surprised by our ability to find our lost balls. We did play “fall golf”, which under our rules means there’s no penalty for a ball that disappears into foliage on or within a couple of feet of the fairway. We became very good spotters for each other’s shots. At the Indian Hills course, we took a little side tour to clamber up to Indian Rock Cave, noted for a visit in 1542 between the Indians and DeSoto on his search for the “fountain of youth.”
There were old Petroglyphs and new graffiti drawings in the cave. I’m harboring harsh thoughts about the modern additions but am trying to imagine these new scribes were the descendants of the originals.
Back on the course – at hole 17 we experienced an attack of the ladybugs! There were hundreds, maybe thousands enjoying the bright, warm sunlight as much as we did. Before we sat back in the golf cart, we had to debug each other or look forward to some unusual tie-dye.
Most notable about our visit was the friendly atmosphere created by the both the short and long term residents of the community. Having gotten used to the availability of aqua aerobics in Minnesota, I was not looking forward to being dormant during our travels. Yippee for Fairfield Bay! Their health center had a partnership with the resort, so I could dash and splash in the morning. Although we were there only a short time, it was easy to join in conversations and get opinions about places to visit and avoid. Most of the people we met were seniors with lots of traveling miles on their records. One woman and I shared stories about downsizing, her challenges more serious than mine. She is going from a 3200 square foot house with four generations of stuff.
As far as places I’d revisit given the time and money – Fairfield Bay would make the list because the people made it a welcoming community – sort of like a southern, mini-Sun City. Goodbye Arkansas.
Next stop – Lake Lure, North Carolina.