Arkansas is a quirky funky little state. Unless you’ve visited, you probably don’t know what Arkansas even looks like. Generally, when I’m in other states and say I’m from Arkansas people respond, “Really? I’ve never met anyone from Arkansas”. As though we share a border with Uzbekistan.
Right now most Americans know four things about us.
1. 3,000 dead birds fell out of the sky on New Year’s eve over Beebe, Arkansas.
2. 100,000 dead fish just showed up in the Arkansas River this past weekend.
3. Bill Clinton is from Arkansas.
4. Some people know the Arkansas Razorbacks are playing Ohio State tonight in the Sugar Bowl.
But there’s one more thing I want you to know about my “odd, camo wearin’, fried catfish lovin’ state.
According to the latest issue of Time Magazine there are four states in America that are not in the red, there are four states without “massive budge shortfalls…just four and Arkansas is part of that illustrious group along with Alaska, Montana and North Dakota.
In this month’s issue of Time there is a United States map , Arkansas is colored green because we are in the green! We didn’t spend more money than we had.
What’s weird is I almost cried when I read the one paragraph story, because Arkansas is always on the map or list for bad reasons. We continually make the top ten for obesity, diabetes, strokes, poor educational opportunities, we have the lowest number of college graduates, the most smokers, our health system is lacking, some of our schools still spank kids, our girls get pregnant too early and we don’t brush our teeth enough. But you know what? Our budget is balanced!
I can hear you cynics right now. I know what you are thinking. Our budget is balanced because we don’t spend money on the important things like health and education. We’ll stop your smirking and let me be proud of my state for a few minutes.
(Strangely enough, my son, Jack , has a tattoo of Arkansas on his thigh with a star on top of Hot Springs. I like to think it’s so he can always find his way home, he just has to take off his pants.)
Who knows what’s next for Arkansas! We might finish school, we might loose weight, we might stop smoking…It’s a new year and anything is possible for a wacky little state like Arkansas.
*Thanks for reading. Hampoland. I’m thinking about catfish for lunch. DH