Today while I was on hour 10 of work I was jamming out to some red dirt music on the ol ipod. Man I love technology. Probably one of my top 1o songs is 'If I ever get back to Oklahoma" by Jason Boland and the Stragglers (most of their songs are among my favorites). When it came on I found my heart longing, once again, for the place that should have been my place of birth... although I may not have appreciated it as much if it had been. Three years ago (ish) Chad and I set out to the national finals in the great Oklahoma City. My very first thought? "Damn team ropen. Damn it, damn it I hate team ropen". Then we hit the oklahoma line and instead of my jaw flapping it just sort of hanged there. Now, I had been to oklahoma before. That's where most of my family is from and that's where all our family reunions are held. Also, I am from polk county and the closest beer store is across the state line into oklahoma... not that I would ever drive to oklahoma just for beer, we usually "checked stock" along the way. But as we drove into the beautiful state that neighbors my home state I just couldn't take in enough of it. The further we drove the happier I felt... yes, I was on my way to a ropen and my heart felt light and the smile apon my face kept spreading. And this thought ran through my head... "I'm going to move here some day." It was an odd thought that I sort of just shook off to enjoy the scenery. When we arrived in midwest city, that's where we always stay, I was in one of the most cheerful of moods. I just felt like there were no burdens, I had no stressful issues at home, I didn't have mounds of homework stacking up from missing school, and Chad and I weren't fighting (I don't remember what about... I just remember that's how the trip started out). The air felt fresh, crisp and welcoming. Mind you, this is the last week of october. Yet I couldn't have been happier to have that fierce oklahoma wind threatening to rip my nose straight from my face. As the week went on we visited the local sights. That's where I began to fall in love. We went to bricktown and explored. We went in stores, we walked to canals, we just took it all in. And I couldn't get enough of it. THEN the final piece was placed into its spot, we went to the stockyards and ate at Cattleman's. Now take into account that I HATE salad (well, use to.) and DESPISE salad dressings. I ate 3 salads...with dressing before they brought my steak. I devoured 2 bowls of their salad dressing on their homemade croutons. When my steak came I couldn't resist... I drenched it and my baked potato in it. That day was the day I fell in love with salad. And I actually like some dressings now, but every time I think of oklahoma I get a several week long craving for the Cattleman's dressing. Aside from the salad dressing, I promise that's not why I love oklahoma, we were there for halloween. We went to see Saw 5(?) on its opening night. Bricktown on halloween is like a foreign planet. You can barely drive down the streets in a small car for all the bicycle carts, horse drawn carriages, and people dressed as goons and ferries. THAT was the moment my love affair with Oklahoma City began. We have gone back every year since then and every year I fall more in love, if that's possible. So yes... Jason Boland and the Stragglers said it right when they said "If I ever get back to oklahoma I'm gonna nail my feet to the ground". Oklahoma isn't my home state... but its the closest thing I can get to a "step" home state.
Don't get me wrong.... Arkansas is one of the most amazing states EVER. Its so beautiful here. The farm where I grew up is just breath taking. And I will never want to be permenately away from there, but I'd rather live in oklahoma and visit my mountains, creeks, hay meadows, and wildlife in arkansas.
At that I'll leave you with some images of my home in mena, ar.