One of Steve’s colleagues from Crete Public Schools sent us a couple postcards this summer from her vacation in the beautiful Ozarks. Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in The Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The lake is impounded by Table Rock Dam and was constructed from 1954-58 on the White River by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. There are several commercial marinas along the lake and a popular tourist destination, Branson, Missouri, is nearby.

 

I was so delighted to see this postcard from Table Rock Lake. When I was a kid, my paternal grandparents retired and sold their home in Nebraska City, Nebraska, and moved to a house on the shore of Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, Missouri.

Every summer, our family would drive down to the Ozarks to spend time with my grandparents. My Grandpa Shrewsbury was an avid fisherman and just loved it there. He would get up before the sun, put on a pair of overalls (I rarely saw him in anything else) and perch himself on a log at the end of their property near the lake. He’d cast his line and wait for a bite as he gazed across the lake and at the hills in the distance. This was his happy place.

 

 Found this photograph of my Grandpa (the one in overalls) fishing at Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, Missouri.  On the back of the photograph, my grandma wrote, “This is one of my favorite pictures.”

 

My grandpa loved to take us out on his boat for a trip around the bend or pull us behind the boat on water sleds or skis. But what he enjoyed most, was teaching us how to fish. We’d spend hours fishing with him and then come back to the house where Grandma had likely been cooking or baking our favorites like Mexican Fiesta, fried catfish, or a made-from-scratch pies and cakes.

I have so many fond memories of our time at Table Rock Lake and am so thankful Jo sent us a postcard from there. It was a great reminder of relaxing days and the love of family.

When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you!

  • Just over two years ago, we stopped in Pawhuska to have lunch at Ree Drummond's @PWMercantile. From the person opening the door for us to the folks tending the line giving us water, we felt welcome from the moment we set foot in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.⁣
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But it turns out it wasn't just @thepioneerwoman and her husband, Ladd, who went above and beyond to welcome visitors. No, it turns out what they did was just par for the course in this town that's home to some of the friendliest and most welcoming people we've met in all our travels. ⁣
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So we bought a house there. We got it in part, so we could be a part of the community we've come to love. But we also got it so we could help welcome folks to town and let them know how glad we are they came to visit. Come and see Pawhuska. And when you do, stay awhile.
  • Fried dill pickles are a little different in North Dakota than they are in most other places we've been. Instead of just dipping some dill chips in batter, dropping them in the fryer, and then serving them in a basket with ranch, the folks there take their time and make a dish to remember.⁣
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They start with a dill pickle spear, wrap that in Havarti cheese, then put a wonton wrapper around it all. Then, they fry it, and slice it open just so before serving them alongside a spicy aioli dipping sauce. We had these at a complimentary meal at Outlaws Bar and Grill in @visitwilliston, North Dakota.⁣
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Let's be honest, these pickles are just one of many reasons we look forward to our return to @northdakotalegendary next year.
  • Have you ever had the chance to watch a cruise ship come into or leave port? These massive ships, often 1,000 feet or more long, can maneuver themselves by the dock so gently that you don't even realize you've stopped (or started) moving.⁣
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In Bermuda, we had the chance to watch the Norwegian Escape depart. We watched as she pushed away from the dock, then spun 180 degrees on a point before heading out to sea.⁣
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We've seen ships do this dozens of times. In fact, we've been on ships and have been part of this type of maneuvering dozens of times. And yet, given the sheer size of the vessels, it never ceases to impress.
  • You know you want to. Do it. Just book the ticket and go. At the end of your life, you likely won't remember most of the stuff you bought in 2019, but you will always remember the journey you took and the experiences you had. So enrich your life and go. We've never regretted spending money for a trip.
  • This just might be the sweetest, best pecan roll we've ever had. At the @PWMercantile, they bake these delicious treats daily. Covered in a luscious caramel and finely chopped pecans, these rolls are the stuff dreams are made of. Have you had one?
  • Smack in the middle of Portland, Oregon, we found the International Rose Test Garden. Set on 4.5 acres of land, the garden offers visitors a chance to see 10,000 rose bushes from about 650 different varieties. ⁣
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We spent more than an hour walking the carefully tended paths, snapping photos, and just enjoying the beautiful flowers. Our visit here made us glad that we literally scheduled time on this trip to stop and smell the roses.
  • Set in a renovated middle school in Grinnell, Iowa, Hotel Grinnell is one of our favorite boutique hotels. The owner thoughtfully designed the space and included touches from school including “Hall Pass” key card sleeves, and a bar cleverly named, “The Periodic Table.” We wrote a story on this hotel, you can read all about it on our blog. Link in bio. @hotelgrinnell #hosted @traveliowa
  • Everyone has a happy place, a spot where the world melts away and a sense of relaxation and calm settles in. For Steve, this place is on board a cruise ship, out on open water. He can spend hours sitting and watching the water, the ship's wake, and looking out for other ships. He loves soaking up the sun and fresh ocean air while cruising along on the sea. ⁣
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What's your happy place? ⁣
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