Spring Cleaning My Pigsty


The temperature dropped, and my squeals rose.

“Who wants to walk through gardens in this kind of weather?!”

As the snow carpeted our crabapple blossoms, my complaints rained down on Craig.

“She can’t really still want to make this trip. We’ll be miserable!”

“She” was a good friend who had organized a two-day adventure for five of us to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, 200 miles south of us. The museum, which opened 18 months ago, was the dream of Walmart heiress and savvy art collector Alice Walton – 50,000 square feet of galleries designed by Moshe Safdie to nestle into the woods of her childhood and display the work of American masters.

A long, winding email stream had gotten our group to its current date, the first weekend in May. We anticipated warmth and sunshine for our gallery and garden walks. We got cold and snow instead.

At my insistence, Craig proposed a staycation. We could tour Kansas City galleries, see a movie and order dinner from the Friday Night Food Trucks. We could find another weekend for Bentonville.

My friend dismissed the idea. Emphatically.

Grrr. I grumbled as I packed, pulling out a winter coat, gloves and a hat I had already stored in the basement. Grrr. Out of spite, I grabbed little more than my toothbrush and clean underwear. Grrr. I groused as our departure time came and went – why was the person who didn’t want to go the only one ready on time? Grrr. I griped when Craig managed to take a wrong turn on a route that had no turns.

Then we were there. And Crystal Bridges gripped every part of me.

Had we heeded my sniveling, we would have missed this:

Crystal Bridges

The museum wasn’t the only beauty in town. Amid the drizzle and cold on Saturday morning, we discovered the farmers market around the downtown square. And a gallery of modern art housed in a hotel. And a food truck selling crepes. Coffee, steaming pancakes and adventure with friends kept us warm.

Downtown Bentonville

I hugged my friend and apologized for being quite contrary. If not for her insistence, this little piggy would have stayed home. I would have missed the art and architecture and gardens. I would have missed time with friends and small-town explorations. Thankfully, this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy ate a spinach crepe, and this little piggy cried “Yea! Yea! Yea!” all the way home.

All photos by Craig Lueck. Click here to see his photo illustration from the museum.


Today we’re linking our post with Artist Date from Tweetspeak Poetry. Check it out for a higher level of poetic writing than nursery rhymes.


  1. Lee,
    I’m so glad it became the trip you wanted.

  2. Lee, I was so pleased to see you in the comments over at Tweetspeak! This looks like an absolutely lovely way to ward off the chill. What beauty! I’m glad you didn’t stay home and grateful for the sharing. :)

  3. Lovely post!

  4. Cindy Meyer says:

    Piggies can be so silly sometimes, can’t they. I’m so glad that your piggy didn’t stay home. What a fantastic excursion! I’m going to have to plan a similar excursion sometime soon to check it out.

  5. Dear Lee, You are so funny, we are a lot alike, it’s those expectations that get us and thank goodness for those who drag us kicking and screaming……that Museum is on my bucket list, I knew it was going to be fabulous, but now I can’t wait to see it, thanks for reminding me!

    • Lee Lueck says:

      If you’re a Norman Rockwell fan, get there by Memorial Day to see an extensive special exhibit of his illustrations, including all 200+ Saturday Evening Post covers he did. The exhibit provided an interesting contrast between Rockwell’s illustrations and the fine art in the rest of the museum.