On the one year anniversary of moving to Louisiana, we decided to celebrate by getting the hell out of Louisiana.
By driving with our two dogs.
Up to Minnesota for three weeks.
Now, you may think this is drastic, but I had a family reunion and my mother in law was getting her PhD in Minnesota, the same week of my family reunion, so it lined up pretty perfectly. We brought the dogs because we knew they wanted a break from the opossums, scorpions, snakes, and 100+ degree weather. I’ve been concentrating on school as of late, and we both just needed a long vacation.
In case you don’t know, driving from Shreveport to Minneapolis takes approximate 16 hours if you don’t stop. If you have two dogs that are whining in your ear and eating your seats, it takes closer to 20 hours.
And we left around 5 pm, hoping to miss rush hour in Kansas City, Des Moines, and Minneapolis. To me, this was a flawless plan. Alex was off work that day, we tried to clean up the house while the dogs were at day care (Yes, I put my dogs in doggie day care, so sue me), and we packed the car. The deal was that if the house was spotless, we could leave.
However, since Alex wanted to leave just as much as me, and I’m really annoying when I beg, Alex forgave me for leaving the house in total disarray and we picked up the dogs at 5 and began driving north.
About two hours north of Shreveport, in southern Arkansas, we stopped at a church to water the dogs and feed them, as well as stretch our legs and drink some much needed coffee. We found a field of high grass and let the dogs loose, thinking that this was a great idea. There was a house nearby, a house that I was convinced was condemned. Honestly, it was falling apart. And I mean no harm to the people who lived in it.
A few minutes after letting the dogs run around, an elderly woman came out to greet us with her little dachshund. The dachshund barked at Luna, who gave him the stink eye and put her paw on his head, to which she chased him and pretty much ran him over.
The woman was so kind. She saw our license plates and asked us if we had driven all the way from Alaska. We told her our story, and she thanked Alex for his service.
“You know, there’s a field on the other side of the house that’s my property. It’s mowed so there aren’t any opossums, water moccasins, scorpions, or poisonous spiders. I’d hate to see your dogs die because of a preventable critter. You can use the field for as long as you like.”
I thought this was very generous of her, and Alex agreed. We took the dogs to the field, and they ran to their hearts content, while Luna especially found it fun to lay down in a pool of mud.
After a few minutes, the woman came out and offered to let us sit down in her house to relax, offering us some sweet tea. Considering I was easily three times this woman’s weight, and Alex is just a huge man, we both agreed that we were fine and that we were going to get going soon.
As we were packing up the dogs food and water bowl, she walked over to us and handed us a wal-mart bag.
“I have 12 pecan trees and I have more pecans than I know what to do with. They make excellent pie, or great to snack on as you’re driving. Would you like more?”
This bag was so full. It was easily five or six pounds of pecans. Freshly fallen from her trees.
We thanked her, she thanked us for stopping by and told us that if we drive through again, just knock on her door and she’ll give us a bite to eat and some sweet tea.
This was the first time in the year we had lived in the south that we had experienced southern hospitality.
I almost wish I lived in Arkansas.
What is your best example of hospitality from a total stranger? Have you ever been somewhere where you were just flat out confused at how nice people were? Let me know in the comments!