Last week, I told you a story about throw pillows so that I'd be able to tell you this story about Arkansas. And I'm telling you this story so that I can tell you another one next week.
Mr. and Mrs. Snark have noticed a phenomenon that seems to be occurring in our parents generation. We call it, "Buy a big house and move to the middle of nowhere"-syndrome.
Let's go back in time a few years.
Right before Mr. and Mrs. Snark started dating, Grandpa Snark reached the age of retirement. Grandpa and Grandma Snark started to consider what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go--and started looking at states other than California.
"Your mother and I are thinking about moving to Arkansas," Grandpa Snark announced one day.
Mrs. Snark's eyes bulged. She could not have greeted the proclamation with more surprise if her father had spoken of the moon instead.
"But you don't know anyone in Arkansas."
"Not true. We know the Smiths who moved there six months ago from Southern California."
"All of our family is in California."
"We can drive across the country in three days if we only stop for food and water."
Um, okay. "So, what the heck is so great about Arkansas?" Mrs. Snark asked.
Grandpa Snark showed Mrs. Snark a picture of a huge house on a lake in an isolated community for six hundred thousand dollars. The same amount of money might buy you a three-bedroom bungalow in a rundown neighborhood in San Francisco or LA if you're lucky.
"Okay, I can see the attraction," Mrs. Snark said. "But still. It's in the middle of nowhere." (Literally. I'm not trying to call the state isolated. Literally, the house is an hour drive from the nearest shopping, which happens to be Walmart, which happens to be in another freakin' state.)
Mrs. Snark's words fell on deaf ears. Within a month, Grandpa and Grandma Snark had flown out to Arkansas to tour properties. Within six months, they had purchased a big house on a lake in the middle of Nowhere, Arkansas.
Bemused, Mrs. Snark watched as a moving van came and hauled away only select furniture. Enough was left behind to keep the California house furnished. A lot of stuff was left behind. It seemed like a really expensive and impractical device for decluttering their lives, but it worked.
"Are you selling the California house?" Mrs. Snark asked.
"No, we're holding onto it in case we change our minds."
And off they went.
Later, Mrs. Snark told Mr. Snark about her parents unusual departure.
"My parents did the exact same thing," Mr. Snark said. "Only my mom and dad bought a big house on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Nowhere, Maryland."
"Wow," Mrs. Snark said.
Time passed. Every time Mrs. Snark called her mother, Grandma Snark seemed to be in the car, driving to or from some distant location in Arkansas. "I'm on my way to Missouri to go to Walmart" became the most commonly uttered phrase.
Mr. and Mrs. Snark frequently shake their heads and comment upon the insanity that seems to have overtaken their parents.
Then the other day, Mrs. Snark was watching a show on the DYI Network. "Wow, you should see the amazing houses you can get, Mr. Snark," she said. "We'd only have move to the isolated red rock country of southern Utah."