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Friday, October 9, 2009

Okie Adventures: Riding Solo

One of my favorite places to drive is in Oklahoma--rolling hills, crystal clear streams and lakes, blue skies that go on forever. It's driving in areas like this that brings a peaceful feeling to my soul. I haven't driven solo since college, so this last week driving by myself allowed me to reflect in quiet on my life and my purpose without interruptions from my boys. Four-and-a-half hours of pure, blissful peace with only the sound of the radio and my thoughts to distract me.

The purpose of my trip was to close some open ends in family matters surrounding my sister's passing in 2008, but I wasn't going to allow that to keep me from enjoying myself and having a little fun on my short vacation. In fact, I was so wrapped up in quiet solitude that I missed driving over the grand Red River and didn't realize I was even in Oklahoma until I was already passing Durant. The Choctaw Casino is what gave it away. I then stopped in Atoka to fill up with gas and grab some sour gummy worms--a snack my husband never lets me indulge in on roadtrips.

Before stopping for gasoline, I had passed Tushka, Oklahoma...and the only thing I could think of was, "If I lived in this town, I'd tell people to 'Kiss my Tushka.'" Sorry, sometimes you have to make stupid jokes when you're alone.

Eventually, I made it up to Sapulpa, Oklahoma a place that has both fond and bad memories for me. Mostly, I am indifferent about the town. Sapulpa has a rich history having Historic Route 66 running through it. Some of my happiest memories of Sapulpa as a teenager are browsing the flea market on the weekends, making friends at school my ninth grade year, and passing the glass plant off Mission Street with wonder of what this factory was. Turned out my late sister had once worked there, so now when I pass by it I think of my late sister and the kindness she taught me.

It's funny how some places conjure certain emotions: anger, peace, happiness, sadness. For me, Oklahoma is a place that has lent all those feelings to me at one time or another. Then as I think of the strength and confidence that specific close ones have taught me, those like my late sister, my mind is filled with happiness and my perception changes to love the places my loved ones hold dear. By loving those places and those things it's like having a piece of my loved ones with me always.


andie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sister.


i love the last image!!!

f8hasit said...

I am sorry about your sister. A loss like that is always very difficult.

But your words were very inspiring. I'm glad that your trip turned out so well.

Thanks for sharing.

Mindee said...

and somehow you manage to make a factory look good.

Glad the trip went well. Sorry for the reason.

Trac~ said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sister - but the pictures were neat to see. On another note - my great, great, great grandfather was the founder of Tulsa, Oklahoma. :o)

Karen said...

I love trips where you get a chance to reconnect with who you are, though sometimes they are very hard. Thank you for sharing some of your trip with us. I ALWAYS love your photos.

Andy said...

I clicked on your website link from tasty kitchen, and my jaw dropped when I saw the glass plant. I live in Sapulpa, so I guess it is a small world after all. Sorry for your loss.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Hey Andy, thanks for stopping by. If you're from Sapulpa, then you'd know where I used to live--just across from Warehouse Market off Main. It is a small world!

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