Family Fun and a Diving Dog

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.”


Nothing is better than when family members are true friends. Time spent together is precious and there never seems to be enough of it. Thankfully, our traveling lifestyle enables us to visit more frequently and make memories that will last a lifetime.

A few short hours after arriving in Arkansas, we grilled some burgers, threw on our swimsuits, packed a beverage cooler, and headed out to Beaver Lake for an evening of boating. My brother-in-law, an excellent captain, made this excursion possible. The ambient air was warm and muggy but the clear, calm lake water was cooling and restorative.

Gypsy had been on a kayak when she was 3-months-old, and had been on a small rowboat, with an outboard motor, when she was 5-months-old, but had never been on a powerboat. We weren’t certain that she would readily adapt. Initially, she balked at the idea of boarding. We had to lift her into the boat as she continued to protest with sad eyes and flailing paws. Yet, once we began to move, her anxiety dissipated. Her ears were happily flapping in the breeze as we sped towards a swimming hole. It would be an understatement to say that we worried unnecessarily. It turns out that we have a dog that was born to dive, a pooch that loves to paddle.

Gypsy was not the only one enjoying watersports. The old man had to get in on the action, too. My husband frequently sells himself short, claiming to have been born without any talent. Now, it is true that he has something of a tin ear, and without question, entered this world with two left feet and no semblance of rhythm. Yet, the dude CAN water ski. He’s good at it! Slalom skiiing is his thing. The single ski, deep water start was no problem even with a shortened tow rope.

No, he is not a song and dance man but he’s got a real aptitude for water and wake.

We celebrated my birthday with an 8-mile hike at War Eagle Canyon, which is along Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR. The valley views were spectacular. The gorge offered lots of elevation change and glimpses of colorful rock formations. I happily trudged along knowing I had to burn a few calories, as we had plans for Mexican food and Margaritas later in the day.

There was some much needed rain that pelted the area, so not all of our activities revolved around the great outdoors. We tried our hands at Top Golf, which turned out to be a whole lot of fun! You grab a club, say a quick prayer, and aim for a target that is situated in the driving range. Please note that I was in first place during the practice round. That situation rapidly changed when the real game began!

Our overly generous hosts took us to Bentonville (home of Walmart) to witness the tremendous growth of the community, and to visit some of the trendy, new structures. We toured The Momentary, which once was a Kraft cheese plant, and is now both an Art Gallery and Music Venue. The top floor currently looks out over tower cranes and construction, but will soon provide a panorama of a vibrant, expansive neighborhood.

After a Saturday morning yoga class, a nice walk in the woods, and a visit to the Ozark Beer Company, we settled down to listen to some real jazz at the Downtown Rogers concert venue. I’m not sure when it was that we last packed so much stuff, or so many calories, into such a short time frame. What a whirlwind!

Gypsy did manage to chew a yoga mat to bits when we left her for a short time. Thankfully my brother-in-law has a high tolerance for mischievous mutts. Other than that unfortunate incident, it was an ideal time spent with loved ones.

Time to move on. We will have to re-route our journey back east, as the horrific flooding in Kentucky has impacted our original itinerary. Off to Lake Charles, near Jonesboro…

Stay tuned…

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