Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I Still Believe in a Place Called Hope (Arkansas, that is) by Shana Galen
This month we’re blogging about hope. I’ve been to Hope. I stayed in a Holiday Inn there. And I met the future President of the United States too.
In 1984 my family moved from Michigan to Texas. The economy in Michigan was struggling (kind of like now), and my dad got a job offer in Houston. He accepted the offer, bought a house, then called my mom and told her to sell the house in Michigan and pack up the car.
She did. She packed the whole house, arranged the move, then drove three days with two little kids and a cat. She’d never even seen the house my dad bought. I know she was operating on hope alone.
I hope the house he bought doesn’t have orange shag carpet (it did).
I hope the kids don’t get sick on the drive (my sister threw up the first day).
I hope we can sneak the cat into the motel (I told the friendly manager who said hi to me all about the cat in our room and we were asked to leave).
We did eventually make it to Houston, but not before that stop in Hope, Arkansas. It was the last stop on our trip, and things were going well. I resisted mentioning the cat to the friendly manager at the Holiday Inn. My little sister was over her car sickness. And the orange shag carpet had not yet been discovered.
We were excited about seeing my dad the next day, moving into a new house, and starting a new life. We all had high hopes for what the future held. Perhaps Hope was the perfect place for us to stop for the night. We were tired and trudged into the small hotel restaurant for a late dinner. The restaurant was really crowded, and when my mom asked why, the waiter told us the governor was there meeting with advisors that night.
This photo of Birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton is courtesy of TripAdvisor
My mom was mildly interested, but my sister and I could have cared less. Still, we smiled and waved when Bill Clinton walked through the dining room and said hi to everyone. Nine years later my mom reminded me of that meeting when Clinton ran for President.
I think someone who runs for President must have an unlimited supply of hope. Anyone who decides to become an author must have even more. But that’s the wonderful thing about hope—it’s free, in unlimited supply, and available to everyone. And if you’re ever passing through Arkansas, you can visit it.