A few days back I was feeling so thankful for so many things that I love about living in Arkansas in the summer. I got a few raised eyebrows at that sentiment I'm sure...but anyhoo, I really do like it here. And today added to that sense of "like."
First of all, we enjoyed a beautiful thunderstorm this afternoon. I stood out on the porch and watched the clouds roll and billow to the west as an amazing thunderhead grew out of nothing. It reminded me of those little capsules I used to put in the tub when I was little, you know, the ones that magically turned into sponges shaped like animals. Yeah. Anyway, I watched those spectacular clouds and thanked God for the opportunity to live here. I never saw anything like that in my 26 years of life in California. Then as I was standing there in the 96 degree afternoon, I was met with a sudden blast of cool air which preceded the storm, and by the time I had walked inside and up the stairs, the temperature had dropped 16 degrees. In 3 minutes. Wild!
By dinnertime the storm had blown over and disappeared to the east. Debbie came home from work and announced that she had received an invitation to go downtown for a movie in the park. She invited us to go along. So we finished up our taco casserole (yummy!), packed up some cookies and the bug spray (not to be eaten together...) and headed downtown.
While much of downtown is old and, well, ugly, the River Market District is beautiful. Besides all the great restaurants, museums, and Farmer's Market, there is an amphitheater by the Arkansas River, two pedestrian briges, and a wonderful new park with fountains for the kids to play in.
The big, blue tent in this picture is covering the amphitheater.
Tonight we saw "The Wizard of Oz" in the amphitheater. There were at least 2,000 people there strecthed out on blankets on the lawn, or seated in the theater-style chairs. There is something so charming about watching the sun setting over the river, and waiting for the movie to start. It was a bit muggy (my glasses kept steaming up from the humidity in the air), but we didn't care. The occasional firefly passing by only added to the ambience. Snapper was spellbound. Even Pepper sat enraptured through the entire movie, a first for him. The movie ended at 10:30 with an enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd. Now it is 11:40. The kids both crawled straight into bed when we got home and closed their eyes without protest. I'm wiped out myself, but thankful for another sweet, family evening to tuck into my treasure box of memories.