Leaving civilization helped us find it

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Seeking peace, simplicity and a connection with nature, three of my girl friends and our boyfriend, Conley, took a trip back in time this week.  Buck, our protector, never left our sides.

Not only did we find ourselves laughing uncontrollably about the silliest things,  we discovered a culture that may be the most friendly and easy-going in the world.

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Visiting Conley’s remote section of the Ozarks restored our enthusiasm for a strange and wonderful culture, and served as a sort of appetizer to future visits.  He led us to a  experience we will never forget.

It featured acres and acres of untouched land where deer and elk are the ruling cast and  congressmen and administrators are no more than knats to be swatted.  Where people treat strangers like long-lost family and helping each other is a reflex action.

Conley took us to his mountain-top cabin just outside Botkingburg where we made S’mores and talked about life.

A constant and unexpected rain kept us from canoeing the streams or hiking the hills as we’d planned.  But we got a lot more in the long run just from reminding ourselves how important it is to take ourselves less seriously and keep old friendships strong.

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We headed up that way to hear some folk music and attend a Dulcimer festival and came home feeling rested, recharged and completely “laughed out!”

There’s more to tell, but we decided that what happens in the Ozarks stays in the Ozarks.

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