The Energy of Arkansas


California is where my heart is, and its also the place where exercise is not my main priority. I work throughout the week in a classroom full of very social fifth graders, and spend my weekends being a hands-on mom while cleaning and organizing the house.

I’ve tried to commit myself to every day after-work walks to encourage the energy that swirls inside my head to relax, but the idea of moving another muscle to help settle my mind is replaced with the reality of a cup of tea, a couch, and the remote control.

Arkansas, on the other hand, was my go-to destination. The lush green land filled me with gusto. With tons of energy. And plenty of commitment.

Ah, the memories.

Several years ago, while living in The Natural State, Rudy would go to work while I relaxed completely during my off-work visits. Every day afforded me time to leave the house, regardless of the weather, to enjoy the benefits of either a leisure walk or one that was full of vigor. Arkansas has not been forgotten, a place where stillness and reconstitution were found, where I had no commitments except to enjoy myself.

So, now here I sit, wishfully wishing.

If only the two could easily meld, come together. Whenever. At any given time. Always. Because, not only  would I continue to be a productive teacher, mother, wife, and domestic goddess, but I would feel the pull from nature to do something I truly enjoy. To go outside and simply walk up and down the hills surrounding my life.


“Someday, Mom, when I am super-rich – a millionaire, you know – I will buy you anything you want.”

beachfront house

Brad had began this conversation six or seven years back. Just a thought that had popped into his mind. He was imagining his million dollar future.

As I was thinking, wishing, and dreaming, Brad couldn’t contain himself; thus, he blurted out that he wanted “…to live in a mansion. I will have people cleaning for me. I will have as many cars as I want. I will have a movie theater. A snack bar. A bowling alley. A skateboard park. My pool will be huge, in the shape of my name…”

“Wow! That’s awesome!” I exclaimed, when he finished naming a million more things.

Of course, aside from all those material things, I had to assume a wife would fit into his future, so… I broached the subject.

“Make sure she loves you for who you are, not for what you have,” I humbly told him.

“Well, how will I know if a girl likes me, for me?” he asked, very interested. “I mean, how do I know it’s not my money she wants?”

“When you meet a girl you like, someone you really would consider as a wife, do not let her know how wealthy you are. Just don’t talk about it, and don’t take her to your mansion.”

“Ah,” he responded. “Good idea.”

“That way,” I continued, “she will like you. Then when you both know you are the one for each other, surprise her. Tell her you are a millionaire.”

Brad nodded his head. Up. Down. Slowly.

“So? What would you want?” he asked again.

Without hesitation I happily said, “A beach house. Nothing big, just a place where I can sit, look out the window, and see the ocean in my front yard. Far enough away from the water so I can have a grassy yard with a walkway to the door; surrounded by a little white picket fence. A cozy place. I want to hear the water, and see it too.”

“Oh, that sounds nice. Okay. I will buy you a beach house. Better yet, I will buy you a beach house on your own island,” he said, so certain he would someday make my dream come true.

Rudy had been sitting in the other room when he overheard our conversation and asked, “What about me? What will you give me?”

“A Range Rover.”

“A Range Rover? Why?”

“Well, that is the car you wish you had, right? A black one?”


“That’s why. That is what you wish you had,” Brad said. He was serious. A serious 9 or 10 year old kid.

When Brad does become a millionaire, I just hope the beach house he purchases me will be big enough to accommodate any and all visitors. Plus, Rudy’s Range Rover will need to be in tiptop shape as we cruise along our sandy front yard, salty air encasing its interior.