Arkansas Traveler

My driveway was empty.

There was not a pickup truck.  There was not a ladder leaning against my house.  There was no one on my roof.  Shingles weren’t being replaced, and a leak was not being repaired.

Just 45 minutes earlier I figuratively pushed my last student out the door, emptied the trash, plugged the computers in to charge, and locked up behind myself.  I made it out of the building without getting caught in a conversation, and I drove home without getting caught breaking any traffic laws.  I got out of school in record time. I had to be home.

I wasn’t expecting my driveway to be empty.

Yet, with the exception of my own vehicle, its engine cooling in the afternoon sun, it was. I glanced at my phone and saw a message from my wife: “They can’t come today.”

Given all that’s going on in the world on this first of March, I simply counted my blessings and smiled at my good fortune as the late-afternoon sun brought to mind a lyric from that old song, “Arkansas Traveler.”  

And, when the rain came down on the cabin floor,
The squatter only fiddled all the more.
Why don’t you mend your roof, said the traveler bold
How can I mend my cabin when the rain is wet and cold?
Squatter pick a sunny morning when the air is dry and nice,
Patch up your cabin, that is my advice.
The squatter shook his hoary head, and answered with a stubborn air,
Cabin never leaks a drop when days are bright and fair!

11 thoughts on “Arkansas Traveler”

  1. YOu are so right about counting your blessings even among the disappointment of no roofers! Love the positive outlook of the squatter. I am looking forward to “bright and fair” days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I saw “Arkansas Traveler” a tune rose to my consciousness, but from my childhood. In a quick check of YouTube, I found Pete Seeger playing the tune I remembered on the banjo, interspersed with a bunch of rather corny jokes. Then a young woman singing your lyrics to a guitar. Thank you for reminding me of that folk tune. And good luck with your roof. Hope the workers come tomorrow, and before it rains again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sonia, when I looked up those lyrics, I was again amazed to find out just how many versions of that song there are out there. It’s not a surprise (when the mood to fiddle strikes, it’s one of the few songs I know by heart), but it always brings a smile to my face. Today is sunny, so it’s all good for me!


  3. Thank you so much for the reminder to look for the positives amongst the disappointments. I will have to look up that song, as it is a new one to me. 🙂


  4. The hot pursuit of leaving school on time to fulfill an obligation is definitely an obstacle course. The unexpected release from a scheduled appointment is pure joy! Thanks for sharing this!


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