August 19, 2018

We woke up Sunday morning in Paris… Paris, Texas! After filling our tummies with Texas shaped waffles we loaded up our rental car and got on the road to find a gas station.

A slight side story… as I was filling the car that morning I noticed dozens of huge brown crickets all over the gas station lot. Even crawling up the dispensers! They were everywhere and at least 5 times the size of the little black ones we have around here.

Anyway, we put in the next Narnia audiobook in the player and hit the road towards Mena, Arkansas. It took about 2.5 hours or so to get to the small community of Mena. The main point of stopping in Mena was to take a look at a potential commercial property. We have friends who own this land and would like to fix up this old inn and get it running again. However, after seeing it I’m not sure it’s worth the money it would take to ‘fix it’ and it might be a better investment to scrape the property and start over.

After spending about 45 minutes looking at the property we headed north to visit friends in Ft. Smith. On the way we had something interesting happen. The road to Ft. Smith is a little two lane road surrounded by beautiful forest. The amount of trees was stunning! Back to the story, as we came around a curve I noticed an older lady standing in the middle of the street waving her arms at us to stop. As I stopped and rolled down my window she came up and pointed to a piece of paper. I could tell immediately that she was hearing impaired. I kind of nodded ok, not really understanding what she was asking. She then went over to the passenger side and showed Belle the paper. Again, I nodded and then she opened the back passenger door and hopped in the car next to Alex. She moaned a few sounds and pointed ahead so I just started driving and she would point here and there to show me which way to go. After about 15 minutes of driving she had me pull into a church parking lot. Using sign language she said thank you, got out and went to church! I wondered out loud if she gets to church that way every Sunday!

Ok, so we make it to Ft. Smith and head to Charleston to stay with friends. Charleston is about 35 minutes out of Ft. Smith and is an absolutely charming town! My dear friend, Sandy, took some time to show me around this cute little town and I think I could see my family living there.

We were so blessed to meet the Taggart family. Sandy and I have been friends over email for several years but we finally got to meet in person and it was so much fun! They spoiled us with comfy beds to sleep in, yummy food, and fun fellowship. They even talked us into staying a second night. They have 11 amazing kids and have quite a unique family story! Our kids became fast friends and we so enjoyed our time with them.

Property is much less expensive in Charleston… hmmm… maybe in our future?

The Sonlight Inn, Mena, Texas

We got to ride a trolley in Ft. Smith

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