Friday of Spring Break – a time to relax and to reflect. It’s also Good Friday in the church year and it turned out to be a very good Friday spent with friends. Dan and Deb Coody and I took a ride out to their cabin in Madison county near Kingston, Arkansas. It was a beautiful day, the ride was lovely and the view was very scenic. When we arrived, we did a bit of walking around their property. They have a small stream with a waterfall on their land that was just absolutely beautiful. The scenery, the bluffs and the view of valley were just breathtaking.

We were there to spruce up the cabin because they had some friends coming to stay, but we also just spent good quality time together. Dan and Deb are the kind of friends with whom you can be quiet and share the glory of nature around you. I really appreciate my downtime with them. I could feel the stress just melt away. We shared a lunch of brats, potato salad and beer and then sat on the front porch looking at the views, watching the bird, and listening to the trickle of the stream in the background. It was absolutely fantastic.

After a while at the cabin, we took off and went to the low-water crossing on the Buffalo River. It was packed. It seemed everyone was ready for spring and was out enjoying the lovely weather. We also came across a number of elk that had come out of the woods to eat with a herd of cattle, and we got some nice pictures of that. It was all just majestic and beautiful. From there, we went to Steel Creek at the Buffalo River. (we got some really beautiful pictures of the scenery there) It was just outstanding, and it was neat to see everyone out enjoying the weather—some people were even canoeing.

Right about that time we decided it was time for chocolate pie, so we went on the great chocolate pie search. We began in Kingston,and searched to no avail. From there we went to Ponca, but we couldn’t find a restaurant open so we left there empty-handed as well. On our way to Hindsville in search of pie we saw elk again, and they were so close to the side of the road that we got out and took some additional pictures of these really majestic and beautiful animals.

We arrived in Hindsville in time for dinner so we stopped at The Valley Inn Café and had a wonderful home cooked meal followed with—you guessed it!—chocolate pie for dessert. For dinner, I had some brisket with mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad. Deb and Dan had catfish. For dessert we had wonderful, wonderful chocolate pie. I highly recommend it. Our dinners were good, simple, delicious and filling, and the pie was fantastic. After that we drove back to Fayetteville.

There has been a lot of controversy about the construction on the Square in downtown Fayetteville, but I really hadn’t been down there to see for myself. I mentioned it to Dan during the ride back, and he invited me to tour the square and offered to show me why the city is undertaking the construction. As we walked around the sidewalks, it was clear that they are in very bad condition and actually pretty dangerous, especially for women in heels. In fact, Dan mentioned that a few people had fallen. So, while I know it’s an inconvenience, it seemed sensible to redo everything. It also needed some serious sprucing up aesthetically.

After our walk around the square, Dan and Deb dropped me off at home. I really appreciate having spent a wonderful relaxing day with friends. Again, they are the kind of friends that I can just be myself with. Indeed it was a “Good Friday.”