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~ Kathy M.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A-Z Challenge Day #3 - The Letter "C" is for "Cousins of Arkansas"

Click here to go to the A-Z Blogging Challenge Website.

Welcome!  From February 28 - March 16, my best friend husband Cary and I went on a trip.  From Eugene, we traveled to parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.  I haven't blogged about it yet, and thought that highlighting our vacation would be the perfect way to participate in this year's Blogging from A-Z Challenge.  My blog isn't always about travel, but for the next month it will mainly feature travel photos and memories of our experience.  

This is my fourth time participating in A-Z.  For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, participants post daily during the month of April, except for on Sundays.  That gives us 26 posts for the month.  It is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. We visit the blogs of others who are taking the challenge, connecting with old friends and making new friends.

So, here we go on Day #3 with the Letter "C", which in this case stands for "Cousins of Arkansas".

Me, Carla and Barbara

Well, I don't even know what we would have done without Barbara and Carla.  

We flew into Tulsa on Saturday, but were pretty much stuck there until the next morning due to the weather and to us being tired.  We were both sick with BAD colds, especially Cary.  I was able to keep the symptoms masked with over-the counter meds, but we could especially tell when the Muconex wore off.

We rented a room at one of the two hotels at the airport.  We got settled in, and headed down to the lounge, where we met our new friend, Penny.  One thing that I like about Facebook is that when you meet a new friend, you get to keep them!

Anyway, the next morning we drove the 1 1/2 hours to Siloam Springs, Arkansas, which is right on the border, and where my cousins live.  There had been a reunion planned in our honor for Sunday, but it was cancelled due to the ice and snow.

I had not been to Arkansas since 1976.  I hadn't seen any of these cousins since then.  They weren't lost, but we weren't in contact until a few of them found me on my blog and we became Facebook friends (another thing that I love about Facebook).

Cary and I had planned on staying at a motel, but due to the reunion being cancelled, there was room for us at Barbara and Carla's house.  

We walked through the door, gave hugs, and Cary and I felt the biggest sense of belonging, even though we were all new to each other.  It was the oddest thing.  We really were cousins, just like the cousins that I grew up with in Eugene, only we had a lot of catching up to do.  There were pictures of me in Barbara's photo album when I was little, but I really didn't remember seeing these guys back then. 

Cary, Carla and Barbara

We enjoyed a nice dinner with them and Barbara's son Ronnie and his wife, Raenelle.

Later, he brought his granddaughters over to meet us.

The next day, Monday, Barbara gave us the grand tour of the area.  We drove through Siloam Springs, Springdale, Fayetteville, and took the back road to Weddington.  


Barbara took us to the court house in Fayetteville and showed us how to look up records for Washington County.  I will do a post on that later.

She organized a dinner that night at the Casino in West Siloam and we met up with more cousins for a buffet dinner.

Carla, Suzanne, Rusty, Jack, Cary, Kinsley, 
Sarah, Diana, Me and Barbara.

Rusty (Suzanne's husband) and daughter Sarah.

Diana and Jack (J.D. and Shirley's son).

Rusty, Sarah, Suzanne and granddaughter Kinsley.

The next morning, our cousin Carolyn drove over from Tallaquah, Oklahoma to go visiting with Barbara and I.  Cary stayed home and watched t.v and rested. 

Barbara drove us to Weddington, the farming community where they all grew up.  Carolyn is Aunt Chloe's daughter (my grandpa's sister is Chloe) and Barbara is Uncle George "Joe" 's daughter (my grandpa's brother is Joe.)

Our first stop was to visit cousin Geneva, Aunt Mabel's daughter-in-law.  I remember Geneva well, and always think of her as Aunt Geneva, even though she is my cousin.  She is Suzanne's mom.

The abandoned house next door belonged to Grandma Sallie and then Aunt Mabel.  Nobody has lived there since 1979, when Aunt Mabel died. We did some exploring, and I took a bunch of pictures.  I'll do a post on the house when we get to the letter "F", for "Farmhouse".

After we were done with the farmhouse, we drove down the road to see cousin Shirley.  Shirley is the sweetest, most loving and fun lady ... just as I remembered her back in 1976.  Her daughter, Brenda and I are close in age and I did spend a lot of time with them during our week in 1976.

After we said good-bye to Shirley, we drove down the road to Barbara's sister Phoebe's and her family's home.  We visited with Barbara, Carl,  Phoebe, Carolyn,  Michael and Rhonda.  

The next day was Wednesday and the weather was pretty nice.  Barbara and I picked up Carla from work and we took the tour of Siloam.  We enjoyed a nice lunch.

When we got back to the house, our cousin Joyce, her husband J.D. and their great-granddaughter Carissa stopped by for a visit.

Joyce, Barbara, J.D., Cary and Me.

J.D. and Barbara catch up.

Carissa didn't want to have her picture taken, so I had to sneak one in and she told me that she was going to hate me forever.  I hope not.  She is a hoot!  She lives with her grandparents and has a pet cow that she has raised since day one.  He is a couple of years old now.  Within the first hour of his birth, she taught him to walk up the porch steps.

On Thursday, the weather was bad again, and I was getting worse.  Cary took me to the doctor (he should have gotten seen too), and I had laryngitis and the beginnings of a sinus headache.  I got a shot of steroids in the butt, and antibiotics.  Dang, those steroids truly work miracles.  Barbara said that is probably why the athletes like them so much.  I was so much better by that night. 

We said sad goodbye's on Friday morning, and drove off to Hot Springs.  All I can say is thank you so much, you cousins are most awesome and Cary and I love you lots!

So, how are we all related?  Well, my great-grandparents on my Dad's side are J.C. and Sallie Johnson.  They are the same people who were either grandparents or great-grandparents to my cousins in the pictures above. 

 J.C. "Chat", with daughter Mabel, 
son George "Joe", and wife Sallie.

This photo was taken prior to Chloe's birth.  Mabel, Delmar (my grandpa), George "Joe" and Carl "Kit" Johnson.

Uncle Kit, Grandpa Delmar, Uncle Joe, 
Grandma Sallie, Aunt Chloe and Aunt Mabel.

In the photos above:
*Barbara and Phoebe are George "Joe" 's daughters.  Carla, Ronnie and Cathy (not shown) are his grandchildren.  Shirley is his daughter-in-law.
*Jack is Shirley's son, and Diana is Jack's wife.
*Carolyn is Chloe's daughter.
*Geneva is Mabel's daugher-in-law.
*Suzanne is Mabel's granddaughter and Rusty is her husband.
*Joyce is Carl "Kit" 's daughter.
*I am Delmar's granddaughter. 

 Thankfully, Barbara spelled it all out very clearly for us in this report:

Thanks so much for your visit! 

Please click here to check out others posting in  A-Z Blogging Challenge Participant List.  I do have comment moderation on, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry. If a word verification shows up, just ignore it. I didn't put it on, Google did, and your comment will still go through even if you don't fill it out. 

Have a super day! 

 ~ Kathy M. 

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Carla Nodurfth said...

Kathy, Thanks so much for posting these pics and comments! I had such a good getting to know you and Cary. O'Reilly and Jag just aren't the same:) Carla

Sally said...

Wow, what a fantastic visit and to find all that family history, it must leave you breathless.

Linda Reeder said...

Well, that turned out to be quite q reunion after all. It's wonderful that you got to spend time with your people.

Wendy said...

The best kind of reunion -- what a compliment that people came to meet and see you. You ARE loved, my friend.
~Visiting from AtoZ

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