Limited Edition

The drive was needed-the camaraderie even more. Although it had snowed/iced/sleeted at least once a week for four straight weeks, the roads and my lower back seemed fine. It had taken two weeks to heal to the point of packing. The previous 24 hours of doubt disappeared. Dancing their way into different formations the clouds created such an amazing accompaniment along the way. Of course, so did Finley. Uplifting music and the Ozark Mountains kept me warm. Winding lanes and open valleys made my soul sigh. My tribe of friends was waiting, and my cell signal would fade. “I’m ready for more of this!” I said out loud. “I’m strong, I won’t fall, it will be A-OK!”  

The Icy Reality

Our trusty Subaru’s met on the desolate snow-packed road. We waved to one another and I followed. Slowly we continued the trek off the main road. Was ice beginning to form in my GUT? My mental strength seemed to fade with my cell signal. Then a left, a right, another right, and three cattleguard crossings proved the hand-written map’s preciseness. There it stood. The Hickory Hill Cabin of Red Rock Retreat (a 130-acre horse farm where the world famous “Dancing White Stallions” of Vienna, Austria are raised). Despite the deep love I have for cabins, my enthusiasm made a run to the hills while I parked my Subie at the “bottom”. Forcing a smile, I opened the car door to greet my friends (who were all prepared to “unload” Finn and me). Barely stepping out I was slipping on the skating rink below me. My trekking pole was in the back of the car (along with food to feed more than just our crazy crew!). Finley’s three little legs gripped the ground better than my two. Laughing, a friend grabbed me as we tried to make our way up the steep hill. Then two or maybe 3 more had to help? Oh my. For the 2nd time in two weeks, I felt limited. Helpless. Their trekking poles were lined up like soldiers on the front porch…oh great! I’m a lost cause!

The Meltdown

Seeing the fireplace, the overall ambiance of the cabin, and my little bedroom with my patchwork quilt like Laura Ingalls Wilder DID make me smile. But as we stood around the table sharing and putting things up I blurted, “I should just go home!” Tears were flowing.  “You guys don’t understand! I CAN’T fall! I can’t have another injury! I’m useless! I can’t even walk up the path to the door!” (All the “I cant’s”). My neck, back, foot, hip…they all have their great days, and this was not one of them. They’ve carried me to peaks I never dreamed I could reach and have kept me, at times, from walking in my own house. I experienced my first rapid meltdown of the icy situation. My first ever in our adventures together. IMMEDIATELY this is what I heard “We have you!” “We won’t let you fall!” “We will not put you at risk!” “You have us to help you!” They shared of their own falls. My heart melted. How blessed was I? My trekking pole got placed by the soldiering ones. In that exact moment my uncertainty unraveled.  Friendship quickly squelched my squabble. Together, with our poles for walking, we piled in the car for 4-wheel exploring.

The Gallery

In 2003 I bought a hiking book of Arkansas written by Tim Ernst (. It was my first of several. Tim is known as the Arkansas Wilderness Photographer. The Ozark Mountains are his backyard and most hikers and photographers in our area know his impeccable reputation! His books are essentials for Ozark Mountain hikers! He and his gifted artist wife, Pam, were hosting an Open Gallery THAT DAY. Would it be open because of the ice and snow-covered roads? Let’s go! We continued more in the middle of nowhere in the middle of nowhere to their road. There was his sign.  He welcomed us, and Finley, to his gallery. The road had just opened up two hours earlier. We were the first (perhaps only?) visitors that day. Awe-stricken we respectfully and admirably viewed the spectacular displays. The limited crowd allowed rich conversations with Tim. To support them, and for our own desires, we each left with a piece of giftedness. Tim and Pam, like any artists, have limited editions. On March 1st, 1972, the Buffalo River became our nation’s first National River and several limited editions depict this celebration. My tribe and I also bought matching shirts to commemorate the birthday.

The Horses

After a stop for carrots (HUGE ONES!) it was time to high tail it to the horses.  Atop the beautiful, snow-covered hills, they galloped towards us; my giddiness came galloping too! The carrots were a hit. Aren’t horses the most amazing creatures? They nibbled on us and couldn’t get close enough. I thought of the time I rode a mule with my friend, Nicole, in the mountains of Montana. For a moment time stood still. When it was time to leave, the horses cleverly circled the car- we weren’t for sure how long we might need to stay with them. 😊 That evening, after a delicious meal around the table, we sat by the fireplace. Pictures and memories made. The sun melted most of the ice the next day and the journey home was perfect.

The Promise

Just like some of Tim’s prints, Picasso’s paintings, rare books, and some vehicles we drive, there are many limited editions.  All the bells, whistles, specialties, and “one-of-a-kind” specifics raise values. But in the end, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  The creator deems it priceless, though! There’s so much work and effort put into making it just right. God made only ONE YOU. He made only ONE ME. When all of the unique things of YOU start to fade, age, and weaken, know this: WE ARE ALL LIMITED EDITIONS.

And you, my friends, are loved without limits.

Have faith💚

AFTERWORD-The sadness and tragedy of what is happening in Ukraine is in my heart and mind all the time. For so many, lives are turned upside down. How can this be happening and here I am just writing away about my little life with so many suffering? God, please be with those suffering. We all plead for peace. There, here, everywhere. We mustn’t stop what keeps us healthy and maintains peace in our souls and families. I dedicate my freedom to those who have none. 🤍

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68 thoughts on “Limited Edition


    I’m so jealous of your adventure. Maybe if I was half my age. Cherish each memory. I’m in the process of cooking-writing a series of radio episodes about three women spanning from the 60s to the 80s. Our current adventure is a camping trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great adventure this sounds like. I admire your grit… getting out and exploring the world in the ice and snow. Brrrr!

    On Mon, Mar 7, 2022 at 5:01 PM Flannel with Faith wrote:

    > K.L. Hale posted: ” AFTERWORD-The sadness and tragedy of what is happening > in Ukraine is in my heart and mind all the time. For so many, lives are > turned upside down. How can this be happening and here I am just writing > away about my little life with so many suffering? God,” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Russell! Fortunately there are some beautiful areas in a day’s drive or less. Do you remember saying March is a trap? It is! Lol I returned home to a week of Springlike weather. Today barely above freezing and snow by Friday! 😂


  3. It is always good to go adventuring. Bu you know that. Finley looks like a pretty cool companion. But you know that, too. Probably won’t need them any more this season, but ice cleats that slip onto your shoes are “Da Bomb!” said the Minnesota transplant.

    That fireplace was amazing! Your trip was, like your friends, a true gift. Congrats! God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes to all of it. As we were leaving Tim’s galley he hollered for us to come back and check out his delivery he had not opened when the road finally cleared ~~new ice cleats that slip over his boots. We all looked at each other and together said a booming, “Yes!” 😂 Minnesota knows! It really was a gift. God bless you, too!


  4. Ah dear lady, the journey He gives us…with always an answer in our hearts, where He always is. A beautiful post, and in my weakness a smile for the horses and their ability to hold us by heart 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your trip sounds amazing, Karla! Time with good friends is always a blessing. You made the readers feel like they were there and that is a unique gift. So happy for you to have made this trip so full of enriching gifts. Much love to you! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Karla, you are a beautiful soul. Your persevered with the help of your amazing friends and made wonderful and meaningful memories. What a treasure we have in friendships. I pray for Ukraine and its people 🙏🏻 It is unbelievable!

    Sending my love and hugs, sweet friend 💟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, sweet Pam. What a precious thing to say. Likewise to you. I know more memories are to be made. What’s happening is unbelievable indeed. Seeing more scenes, and the children, is just heartbreaking and senseless. I’ll not take a day for granted. Sending you love and hugs, too. 💛❤️🤗🇺🇦🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What an exciting adventure you had despite all your challenges. Seems that friends
    surrounded you with more than enough help to make it through your days.
    Although Winter adding more to your mix of difficulties it also seemed to make
    the total experience more realistic and well, fun in ways that were perhaps new to you.
    What an great trip you, just look at that smile!
    Stay well, be happy, hugs, Eddie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eddie! They were so amazing. You’re right~I finally appreciated winter more than I have this year. I saw it from a new perspective. I know future adventures ahead just like old times! You stay safe and healthy too. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Scott. Writing in this blog is my practice writing! It’s here I can learn more. I’m so thankful for those that help me sharpen my skills ~and just share life! Yes, peace…God please help. 💛🙏🏻♥️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your adventures are always so beautifully captured – especially because you have God at your side traveling with you. Hugs to you for sharing them with us as it invites us to be on the other side not occupied by Him.

    My sadness for the atrocities occurring in the Ukraine unite with yours. May we all pray for peace each night before our heads lay comfortably upon our pillows. Oh, that it may be such for all…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. How kind to say. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I love your line, “invites us to be on the other side not occupied by Him.” I enjoy your adventures, too. The war is just devastating. I see more on media that keeps breaking my heart ❤️. It’s such a helpless feeling and aching for them. 🇺🇦😭🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 praying is all I can do.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, M.B. So true. This tribe is 4 hours away. They are my adventure tribe that I can count on. I have two super close friends here, Rita and Kim. Rita has physical limitations so we enjoy our times in different ways around our area and Kim, is so very busy too. I have wonderful friends at CHANCES and that trio helps my heart and communicate so wonderfully too. And of course, my family. My sons, daughter-in-law’s and grandkids live so far away. 🙃 I’ve learned I’m never alone and not to old to say..”What a friend I have in Jesus!” I know it better than ever. And of course Finn! M.B….am I blessed or what? Now your one of them. You have those ones that know you inside out~and I have that too; especially being a twin. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Martha, we love you! You’ve been on my heart and prayers so much. All 3 of you. I thought of you as I was “trying” not to fall thinking about how I could fall “gracefully”. I probably never told you Finn is a girl. But she’ll answer to anything. She has a soul as big as Bear’s and Teddy’s too and she sends her love to them. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. I worked very hard on my words and felt your teacher spirit helping me! ♥️🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved reading about your adventures and sooo related to the warmth, friendship, and helpfulness of your travel companions. My eyes stopped on your memories of your “rode a mule with my friend, Nicole, in the mountains of Montana” and I wondered if you were in Ennis or Yellowstone on mules? In this Madison Range of the Rocky Mountains? This post helped me understand even better your prayer requests for today, Karla. I gotcha on my list – and I’ll turn up the volume when I get to my beseeching for you! Love & hugs! 🙏🏽❤️🤗


    1. Thank you so much, Jan! I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this comment! On that trip, which I was visiting my son Jay at Great Falls, I had met my friend, Nicole around Geyser (we were about 45 miles from Great Falls?). It was in the Judith Basin county and I think they were the Highwood Mountains? Several trips I made Jay, Cierra, and I hiked and visited so many places. I loved the little historic town, Fort Benton. And thank you, Jan, for your specific prayers. That means so much to me. We’re together on a prayer-party-line as I remember you two! Love and hugs back! 💛🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to do the same, Jan! Thank you so much. Yes, today we celebrated my Mom’s birthday (she’s 76 tomorrow)! We all have our challenges; but through it all, God is good! I’m ready for the week! Have a beautiful and peaceful week, too! 🤍

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Limited Edition – Cosmopolitan

    1. Oh, C! It’s so good to see you! That’s so kind to say. I appreciate you so very much! Yes, Finn is such a darling to have. She is very nervous when we first set out (particularly the route to the Vet, lol). But she settles down knowing Momma is right there and goes to sleep riding! Sending love and hugs! It’s been a long day but I have your latest post saved to read! It may be tomorrow before I get there. Love you!♥️🤗💛😘

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Karla, I am catching up to another post. Your journey worked out for the best. The winter driving conditions take me back to the middle of January when my wife and I drove to Montana to help my mother. This was our first wintertime highway trip as husband and wife. The Lord watched out for us when we drove into freezing rain in South Dakota.

    Liked by 1 person

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