ONE OF our missions as a magazine is to help our readers live their best lives in Arkansas, and y’all, this month, we were living our best lives in Arkansas. Period. End of story. And it all started with that pitcher of sangria up there.

Scene 1: Tuesday. Early summer. A cool breeze and 3,500 square feet of deck on which to enjoy it. The lake. That view. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on Wyndham’s wireless speaker. A heated pool. A sunset.

“Rough day at the office,” I said, dipping my toes in the water, taking a moment to let it all soak in. (When we say “Wish You Were Here”, we mean it, folks. It’s tough work, but someone’s gotta do it.)

Scene 2: Saturday. Dumas. Plates of barbecue shrimp. A bottle of dreams and memories decanting. A ribeye that’s been left to its own devices for 120 days. A bite. A life-changer.

As a sommelier friend put it upon taking a taste, “This is the best steak I’ve ever had. This is the best steak I’ve ever had. I’ll say it again, this is the best steak I’ve ever had.”

Scene 3: Wednesday. Late afternoon. Gray skies. Technicolor donuts, one coated in Lucky Charms, another, the size of a softball, rolled in sprinkles. Tea in the kettle. A deadline.

“Should I or shouldn’t I?” I asked.

When you’re on a mission to live your best life, the answer, my friends, is always “yes.”