Did it surprise you when it happened a week or so ago? Or did it just happen like the price of gasoline going up and up and up every day?
No, we're not talking about the price of eggs and milk either. We're just talking about those hot, humid days that old-timers have come to expect. So, were you, possibly as a newcomer in Westside territory, surprised when it happened a couple of weeks before the regular first day of summer?
Such is the weather in our four-corner area of the United States. Not that four-corner out west but the four corners of Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma where three of those states meet near Southwest City, Mo.
Have you ever noticed when you are watching as the National Weather channel provides maps of the country, each map which should show this four/three-corner area usually doesn't? Well, actually it is shown but most of the time it is covered by a little box with the words Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and sometimes Wichita plastered atop our spot. Oh well, we know we're going to accept what Mother Nature has for us and will adjust accordingly.
End of story; now it's off to be a big "C" cuff: a conglomeration 'cuff of various topics which include the word "Freedom." Remember? A request for definitions of what Freedom means? I"d bet that quarter or make it two -- I do have two but not a single half; whatever happened to them? -- I'd bet those quarters there are at least 500,000,000 (that's millions) of different definitions of what freedom is because ... is it because each person relates positively to freedom in relation to his or her wants?
Such it is and has been in our democratic republic since its beginning. Almost, or rather from the start, there have been differences, some large and some unbelievably huge, that at times stress the population toward various different and often unreliable results -- the most being that huge event we refer to, the Civil War. And remnants from those days are still being felt and questioned, opposed and often wrongly defined. How sad!
How tragic that after a hundred and fifty years we cannot wash the dirt into a shining nation of people and then move ahead to even better times. To me, there is an answer that could have changed our nation from the day forward and, honestly, simply if President Lincoln had not been assassinated. The aftereffects of that war and the treatment of the South by those without his leadership could have and would have led even into our future. To this old 'cuffer, that man who pulled the trigger, and those who backed him, could have and would have been able to bring peace to a still suffering nation.
Sadly, it seems the leaders of our nation now, at least many of them, are so engrossed in lying or calling others liars and pursuing down such dark, ___________ (you fill in the blank) paths such as the evil trail that man wants to be another Lenin or Stalin is taking his nation.
It's time to go on to another word in this "C" 'cuff. How about a word I'm having trouble spelling? Perseverance. Isn't there an old saying, "Perseverance pays?" Remember that problem of no hummingbirds and it was decided to keep a couple of feeders out ... just in case, after talking with several hummer-likers, they were having problems, a couple of times refreshing the joy juice in the feeders finally attracted -- no, not a flock, if there is such a thing as a flock of hummers, it is a lone bird which is partaking of that sugar water these days. There has only been a single bird but maybe that will change and more will be attracted during the even hotter months, and then there is always hopeful wishing for next spring. Time will tell the tale. Perseverance is in place.
Let's join that word with another word that was probably mentioned in the 'cuff some time back; the word is "replace." It was mentioned that the bridge north of Decatur is being replaced. Remember that headline in May that said simply: "Decatur is to get old bridges replaced." That was in May 2019. Perseverance has been in place and is partially successful. Now if that other bridge and a passing lane north from Decatur are installed, they will be giving in to that word "perseverance." How about going a little deeper and remembering other road changes or enlarging or just plain widening, such as that corner where Highway 72 joins 59 just north of Main Street in Gravette? It needs to get attention. It will and other things needed 25 or 50 or 100 years from now need to be considered. So there is another word, "Improve," joining patience and perseverance.
'Till next time, let's all get ready for the upcoming events in our area, that Fourth of July event in Gentry, the annual barbecue in Decatur and that birthday celebration in Gravette. There is always a special Fourth event at Sulphur Springs and how about Centerton?
Dodie Evans is the former owner and longtime editor of The Gravette News Herald. Opinions expressed are those of the author.