One of my Dad’s favorite stories (of many) is about the time he was laying on the floor with Lily, then around four, and she propped her little feet up on his belly, put her hands behind her head, lay back and said, with all her preschool worldly wisdom, “This Is Livin’.” Well, Michelle arrived on Friday and we plan to detain her here as long as possible with our “This Is Livin’” Country Lifestyle. She just thinks she will leave with a Country-Living Belly from being on our 3-meal-per-day+several-snacks country diet.
To start things off, we went hiking Saturday at the Wichita Mountains. Toni, Danny and Patty met us at Dog Run Hollow for the canyon hike. The Maximillian sunflowers and purple liatris were both blooming, breaking up the granite landscape with their cheery toughness. We followed the clifftop trail for most of the day which gives you beautiful views of the creek bed and it’s chain of shallow mossy watering holes. We wandered down to the water occasionally to have a seat, eat apples and sunflower seeds and let Patty lap from the creek water. Lily had fun examining the tiny pond frogs and speedy lizards. Patty was not interested in the wildlife but kept a sharp eye out for other dogs which she does not allow in the presence of her humans. Such mixed company just does not work for her but she behaved nicely.
It was a beautiful day and we walked just long enough to tire Patty and Lily. We claimed one of the last two spots at the Doris Campground and pitched the tent. Michelle, Toni and Lily hustled us up some firewood for the evening bonfire and then we headed over to Meers for a Meers burger and beer. We got a table under the steely gazes of a mounted deer and cow head but it didn’t keep us from ordering the mouthwatering red meat. We headed straight to Medicine Park so I could show Michelle where she will be visiting us when we retire. Well, this was news to Randall but he didn’t argue with my “retirement plan” since I suspect he doesn’t plan on ever fully retiring in any kind of official way. Michelle loved it there and shares my enchantment with the quaint cobblestone town. She envisions a Hallmark movie there. We stood on the town’s rickety bridge while the sun went down and talked plot lines. Lily sat grumpily on the bridge, interrupting our discussion every five minutes with “Can’t we go to the campfire and start the bonfire now?” Randall was rolling his eyes at all the fairy tale endings. So we headed back to the tent site and fired up the dry kindling. We forgot to bring the Marshmallows but roasted Fig Newtons aren’t half bad. Yes, they do fall off the sticks a little to easily.
Sunday, we crawled out of the tent after maybe an hour of sleep. I don’t think Lily and Michelle out slept us by much in the back of the Tahoe. We drove up to Blanchard to visit Faye. Michelle had never seen Toni and Danny’s Paynederosa so we also stopped by there. Right now, we are off feed Michelle another meal.