Brian J. Avoids The Big Mistake (Barely)

So my boys were both off of school on Good Friday, and since it was two weeks out from our adventures on spring break, I wanted to take them somewhere if I could think of it. I mean, we have the Springfield places that we’ve either gone often, doesn’t interest them, or is priced for tourists.

So I thought about a road trip.

I thought about going out to Poplar Bluff to have lunch with my brother or nephew, but it’s six hours round trip, and we had church service in the evening. So I looked around for used book stores or places to go that might have interesting things to do. Bolivar apparently has a used book store that is a seamstress’s sideline and a couple parks. But I saw the It’s a Mystery book store down in Berryville, Arkansas. It’s only about an hour and a half away, and it looks like Berryville has plenty of places to eat and a town square to walk around. So I piled the boys into the car with their old road trip Game Boys and, when everyone asked our destination, told them, “It’s a Mystery.” That was about the best part of it.

So they’re guessing as we start down Highway 160. Is it Branson? Is it a museum? And then the youngest, still at the private school, asks, “Is it out of the state?”

“Do you want to go out of the state?” I asked, playing coy.

“If I go to another state, I have to quarantine for two weeks from school,” he said.

Oh, yes, now I remembered that edict from the school. Of course, I hadn’t thought of it because we weren’t “traveling” in the vacation sense; we were taking a day trip on a lark. So I screeched the brakes as we approached the Welcome to Arkansas sign, barely averting the disaster of having him home for two weeks.

Well, it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but I did have to abort the mission and curse the arbitrary PANDEMIC!!!!! protocols which determined that a small town seventy miles away was more dangerous than big cities three hours away on other states’ borders.

So we ended up driving an hour and a half taking the long way around to a diner thirty minutes from our home in Marionville, which did not impress us, and then driving to run a couple of errands in town.

So I basically spent four hours in the car yesterday going nowhere.

It’s not the adventure we’d hoped for, but at least the goal and the result will have been memorable.

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