Kay and I were scheduled to participate in the Ozark Ridge Runner’s rolling rally to Pella and the Amana Colonies in Iowa this week, but changed our minds because of the distance, weather, and significant down time during the rally—this proved to be a fortuitous decision, at least weather-wise. Consequently, we had a hole in our schedule for the week. On Wednesday, we hunted ferns at our favorite fern digging place, and filled the Explorer with wild ferns. After planting these, we dug up, separated, and replanted three Quince shrubs. After our bridge lesson, we picked up more plants and resumed gardening Wednesday afternoon into early evening. The pollen is so bad that I had a fierce allergic reaction, and slept very little Wednesday night. We had ordered a replacement burner from Bass Pro Shops for the electric smoker and received notification that it had arrived in the store. With some down time and bad weather forecast, we drove to Branson for the day and evening. After lunch at Olive Garden, we walked through the Butterfly Palace and stared in wonderment at all the beautiful butterflies. (More photos of butterflies can be viewed on our web album.) It wasn’t the same as seeing them in the wild, but sufficed until warmer weather brings them our way. Kay shopped and I took a long nap at the motel. We attended the Bald Knobbers show in the evening and laughed almost the entire two hours at their silly, corny comedy.
During the night, freezing rain, sleet, and snow began falling, though the highways were clear. We drove to Springfield to have maintenance performed on the Honda, and several inches had accumulated on windshields of cars in the lot—crazy weather for May 3; Kay snapped this photo via her cell phone. It was odd watching cars pull into the maintenance bays covered with snow—on May 3! A few of the overpasses in Springfield were slick, and there were several fender benders. Leaving Don Wessel Honda, we picked up the replacement burner at Bass Pro Shops, and Kay bought a pair of shoes. We made our last stop at Sam’s Club for groceries and a few other odds and ends before returning home. On Saturday, I discovered a poison ivy rash on both arms, no doubt from the fern digging on Wednesday. No good deed goes unpunished.