Never been to Arkansas before, except when driving across the country with my ( then ) very dark-skinned boyfriend of African descent. We stopped for gas soon after entering the state as the sun set, and upon seeing the way glances came our way with the force of a bullet, we opted to drive all night and make it into safer territory.
Flash forward six years and my (now and forever ) fiance's grandparents are the proud owners of a home in the Ozarks. Not only will I see Arkansas by day, but I, too will be seen very differently with my pale and tall drink of water beside me.
Hm. Something bittersweet in all that: cheated out of all a state has to offer by the first handshake -- I've been lucky enough to live in cities surrounded by all kinds of people. And lucky enough to have been raised by parents who told me that outside appearances are just that: appearances - the mark of a man or woman lies deep inside their heart. I have to remember that things are different in places where people don't have much access to the throngs of humanity, walking past you in every shape, color, creed and size.
I will be in Arkansas visiting my new family, whom I love and cherish, for five days with little or access to emails. I am officially on vacation :) I will add so much sweet to the recipe that is Arkansas I'll likely come back having made steak tartar into sweet potato pie :) Bonnie, John, Larry, Kelly, Schmilly of Mine, Beth, Steve, Bernetta, Jim, Rosie and Trigger: here I come!!!!!!!