Oklahoma Visit
December 27, 2022 - January 2, 2023

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I was supposed to be in Westville (my home town) by Christmas this year.  I had to reschedule my flights 4 times and spend one fruitless day at the airport before finally making it to Oklahoma a few days after Christmas.  We had extreme cold in Montana and bad roads and many nationwide plane issues to contend with, so I was happy to make it to see my family at all.  Turns out I ended up catching much better weather with my new travel dates, so there was a good side to all the delays.  

Entertaining Patch with one of her many toys. 

 Arriving at NW Arkansas airport  
 My Dad always does a super nice job of decorating the house for Christmas He even puts a tree out in the field and decorates it with lights.  

The first thing on Mom's agenda for me was to open all my gifts that were left over
from my missing my birthday (Christmas Eve) and Christmas with the family.  

This is a special gift she had made, which now lives at our family coffee shop.  

  My "birthday girl" necklace. 
The queen of the Morton house, Patch.  She demands to be let out onto her
screened porch, and then back in, and then out...  constantly.  Good thing
she is so pretty so she gets away with it! 
The other spoiled rotten inhabitant of the Morton house is Tom, a feral cat
who didn't know what hit him.  When Mom decides you're going to become
her pet, you may as well not argue!  He lives in the garage with a heat lamp
and fancy pet beds.

Deep thoughts in Dad's shop.

Hanging out in Dad's shop where things are done his way, I see clearly how
similar we are.  Isn't this level of organization just like a breath of fresh air?
 Our first full day together we spend in the Fayetteville/Rogers Arkansas area.  Here we play
 giant Connect 4 while we wait for a table at Top Golf. 
Desirae and I try our hand at Corn Hole
 Brodie was taking all comers at the giant Connect Four Next we try to get comfortable in some strange chairs.  They didn't work for me.

Here we all try to figure out how to get us going. 

 Any chance for a photo is worthwhile when we're finally all togther.    

We had a rousing game of Top Golf, where Keith was the big hitter of the day.
I've come to the age where I was hoping just not to throw my back out!

Next on our adventure list was axe throwing.  Here father & son show equal fervor for the sport. 

  Group photo, not our best! 
The following day we spent at Natural Dam Falls, near Van Buren in Arkansas.  
Keith & Desirae, still lovebirds! 
Exploring along the river. 

Keith the wanderer.

  Speaking of lovebirds, here's Dad & Mom now.  :-) 
 Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the falls we go... Natural Dam Falls
 Family togetherness. And some tickling too! 
He's just about too tall to lift anymore!  Me & Brodie, almost the same height! 

With these two there's always a battle of some kind going on.  Here it's a stick war while 
balanced on a log.  

 Group photo at the falls.  
Me, Mom, and Desirae enjoying the warm sunshine.


Checking things out. 

Me & Brodie were examining something pretty closely.

  I'm impressed I could make the high step! 

Keith is telling me a good story! 

  Brodie & his Pe Paw, they are quite the pair. 



After our outing I got to visit the Front Porch quilt shop in Stilwell, and we had a belated
birthday dinner for me at Rowan's, a really great restaurant which is also in Stilwell. 

  Rowan's was also decorated nicely for Christmas. 
 On a shopping excursion, I sent this text to Eric, asking if I should get
 some of these for our cats.  
On the way home from shopping we saw a great sunset.  

Mom wanted to make New Year's Eve special, so we played games and had special snacks
all evening, as well as hats and sparkling grape juice and the whole works. 

  Here we are playing Guesstures. 
Dad & Brodie play soccer with this air hockey ball/puck that I got for Brodie.  One of Brodie's favorite games involves 3 people each drawing either the head, torso, or feet 
in secret.  Then we put our pieces together to see what we made.  This was our best one! 
 Ready to ring in the new year!  Desirae looking lovely in her new year glasses. 
 Even Dad got into the spirit!  Playing another game.  Full confession, I pooped out at 10:30, but everyone 
else stayed up for the new year.  They are tougher than me! 
 Happy New Year! 



Next I visited the Bloomer Ranch for a day of meeting goats, seeing Chewy the (very large) 
puppy, a nice walk below the Lake Tenkiller dam, and soaking up some warm sunshine on
the front porch.

 Brodie loves his goats.   
 Walking on one of the spillways at Lake Tenkiller. The lake from above. 


  It was such a warm day, we just enjoyed being out in it.
  Boo is a love hound, soaking up cuddles like we soaked the sun. 

For such a young dog, he's really good.  And that's lucky because he's 
the size of a pony!  

 Chewy is less than a year old in this photo and his feet are the size of mine!   
One of the local wonders is the remains of Indian Road, the most direct route to town.
It washed out about a year ago and there's still no effort being made to even start a repair.
Here you see the culvert that used to go under the road.  


 I can't imagine being the first person to drive 
 up to this on the night it happened!  
 On our last day we went to Fayetteville for some bowling and the arcade.
 We had to have them put up the bumpers for us!  
Desirae was a wizard on the Pearl Fisher game.  
 Flying back to Montana I got to see the Rockies from above, looking so beautiful.  Then I landed in Kalispell and was reminded of how I won't be seeing much blue sky
 again until maybe May, if I'm lucky.   Good thing it's amazingly beautiful here in summer!  

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