Monday morning the Kaiser Krew (including Jackson, our 110 pound Golden Retriever) piled into my mom's car for a trek to the Ozarks - Fairdealing, MO to be more precise - to visit my sister and brother in-law. Fairdealing is about 15-20 minutes Southwest of Poplar Bluff (a very nice town in it's own right) View Map. The trip is about 330 miles from our house in Tennessee.
We stopped in Calvert City, Kentucky to visit a few relatives of my mom's which was nice after a few hours in the car - especially for Jackson seeing as how it was over 100 degrees that day! It's strange that even with being in the car with the A/C blowing at 64 degrees he was still one HOT dog. Mrs. Kaiser poured water all over his floppy, over-sized ears to help cool him down. The second stop in Kentucky was at my mom's cousin's house; they live on 40 acres of the most beautiful land you ever did see. The kids dipped their feet in the pool... up to their necks, and Jackson cooled off nicely under the shade of a giant tree. Lemon Aide was the drink of choice - for me, not Jackson - and then we were back on our way. Kentucky is beautiful land! The bridge over the Mississippi River was not only exciting for the kids, but provided a good little history lesson on the importance of that river to the development of our country. The best part: they didn't know that they were learning. That's the greatest kind.
For the 1st leg of the journey inside the "Show-Me" state we were in flat farmland. I don't like flat farmland and was a bit disappointed as this was NOT the Ozarks that I remembered. Luckily the terrain soon changed to the beautiful rolling hills that I was looking forward to. We finally found my sister's land, just west of Fairdealing proper.
View up the drive from the 160
My sister and her husband have a nice 11.5 acre piece of land just off the 160. Incidentally, most - if not all of my dealings in the Ozarks have been on the 160. Weird. They bought 12 acres here a little over a year ago, and lived in a travel trailer for the 1st half year, or so. About 6 moths ago they traded the neighbor a half acre for an old park model trailer that they live in now. My brother in-law has just recently begun building their house, and had the foundation laid and footers formed. He is amazing; he has built several houses pretty much by himself! In the 1st photo you can see the shop building which they built to hold building supplies, tools, tractors, and to park the cars in.
The foundation for the new house.
Next to it on the left is the original travel trailer that us Kaiser's stayed in. On the right side of the building is the garden which is sporting a healthy amount of corn, onions, okra, cabbage, tomatoes, cantaloupe, squash, and other tasty vittles. Beyond the garden in a pretty nice-size pond that they just recently pulled a whopper of a bass out of. Needless to say the eating was great! Country folk fry everything they can and live a zillion years; I don't get it.
A lot of visiting, eating, driving around and exploring, and of course the Family Jamboree! My sister, brother in-law and I all play music and when we're all together music is inevitable. A whole lot of Carter Family, Hank Williams and other old American Folk standards are the common fare and common love betwixt us all.
The Pond is just beyond this foliage.
Between us there can be guitars, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, and a lot of harmonizing of the vocals. It's a blast! This time we just played guitars and sang, but it was great fun.
They have offered to let us build a house on their land - which is quite tempting! 11.5 acres is well enough land that we could tuck a house in the back corner, get us some animals (the wife dreams of miniature donkeys), and have plenty of room for the Kaiser Kids to have all sorts of grand adventures. It would be pretty neat to have a big 'ol garden for the two families to eat from. Actually my sister and her husband spend very little money on groceries thanks to their garden.
View of the corner where we would build a house.
We talked about building a central area on the property to have our family jamborees. They already do some traveling around playing music for folk, and have been on local TV a few times a pickin' and a grinnin'. It's a pretty neat dream for a family like ours that loves the simple (primitive?) life.
It was a great trip, and wonderful to be back in the Ozarks... even if I did get eaten alive by little bug varmints.