"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Sep 29, 2016

An Old Ms in Old Miss

The machine was having trouble reading my Oregon food stamp card. “It should have a different sound,” rather than the Addams Family doorbell which rang across the checkout lanes.  “This sounds like…”

“LOO-ZER,” the clerk offered.

“Well, that’s not quite the word I was thinking of, but thanks,” I laughed.

I’ll have to remember NOT to travel on Mondays.  I spent last week in Mississippi and then, true to form, the 4 hour drive into Arkansas took me 2 days but the things I’ve seen!  I have a soft spot in my ticker for BB King and turned off for his museum along US-82 but it was closed.  I was not to be disappointed, however, when I pulled into a city park to eat my fried catfish and there it was: Kermit the Frog's own museum. How could I NOT step inside? 

Leland, Mississippi…”Birthplace of Jim Henson’s Frog,” named after a boyhood pal; on the banks of Deer Creek.  It’s free, and you can have your picture taken with Kermit like you can with Santa Claus.  I took a chance he might turn into a prince.

I just couldn’t make it to my next campground so I spent the night in Greenville, along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.  A tiny sign led me to a city campground, flat and grassy and I wasn’t paranoid about snakes for a change. Wiser than when I left Oregon, I now stop, get out and walk around the proposed site before I just pull in.

"There's a nice, shady spot, but Geez, I’ve got to pick up all those softballs before I let BC out.” Closer inspection revealed the balls, which resembled yellow cotton, weigh about as much as ½ box of brown sugar. And they’re just dropping out of the tree?  Think I’ll park elsewhere.

Cotton.  Fields and fields of cotton. An unwitting pang shot through my body as I drove: of shame, even though I’m descended from 1900’s immigrants; of historical injustices; and as hard as I tried NOT to, I couldn't help picturing slaves bent over row, after row, after row.  I therefore felt (a bit) better when I saw, opposite BB’s museum, a banner for the future Cotton Pickers of America Monument Complex (visit their site to help).

So I finally arrive but it’s the Camp Host’s day off.  “Go ahead and pick out a spot (and pay later).  Orange cones are reserved.  Hunters.  Don’t let the dog in the water…there’s ‘Gators.”

Enough already.  I chose a site as far from the water as possible, surrounded by as many orange cones as I could find. I figure that if I shout, “Alligator!” chances are pretty good that half a dozen fellows with ammunition will help me out.

I returned this morning to pay for the week and met several guys in camouflage.  Now Sis and I had pondered what they were hunting…deer? Lots of them have boats.

“Ducks?” Hillary suggested.

“Think they’d send their dogs into alligator-infested water to retrieve a duck?”

So I asked them.  “What are y’all hunting?”


Ok.  I told them my theory, adding, “I’m in the little RV, so if you hear a shout…”

“I’d be more worried about the bears.”


They had a good chuckle with that one, but did advise, “Just don’t go walking around outside in the dark.”

“Are you kidding?  I’m good to even leave the RV.”

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