Oklahoma… Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain.

Frigid, windy winters.  Blazing hot summers.  Flat land.  Red dirt.

Oklahoma.  The place that I spent most of my childhood.

I loved it there and there was a time I never wanted to leave, but God had other plans for me.  Still, I think of it then and again.

We moved from Oklahoma City to a small town in the southwest part of the state when I was in second grade.  We lived there until I was thirteen.  The town was small and, to the stranger, insignificant.  A school, post office, bank, grocery store, a gas station, and a handful of churches were the main public buildings I remember.

My father was the pastor of the Baptist church in town.  .

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I always thought the sanctuary was beautiful with its windows made of colorful, square pieces of glass and shiny wooden beams that reached from ceiling to floor.

There was an upstairs where many class rooms were located.  I don’t remember many details of it, but I don’t think there were any windows.  All I can remember was a long, twisted hallway that was pitch black if the lights were off.  My siblings, friends, and I would dare each other to take the terrifying, solitary run through the dark corridor after church.

On warm Sundays, we would play tag or hide-and-seek outside until our parents called us away.  There was a huge bush on one corner of the building.  We could fit perfectly in between the red brick and the bush.  It seemed to be everyone’s favorite hiding spot.  The bush is no longer there but I can still picture it clearly in my mind.

Sometimes my mother would allow me to walk the few blocks from the school to church after class.  I loved sitting in my dad’s office while he finished up the days work and then going home with him to join the rest of the family.

School.  There are many memories from the school.

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There were green awnings, shiny floors and walls, big closets, desks, and big chalkboards.

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My favorite teacher was Mrs. Wall from fourth grade.  Her students made paper mache globes every year (a highly anticipated and envied event by all younger students).  I would probably still have mine had a later move not required me to leave it behind.  (I’ve told you that I’m sentimental.  It can be a real problem.)

What kid DOESN’T look forward to recess?  All of the kids loved the boat, swings, the (what I remember as a massive) slide, and the merry-go-round (getting flown off of one ought to be a natural part of every childhood) that were on the playground.

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Basketball and baseball were the heartthrob of the town.  I will not claim to be gifted athletically, but I did enjoy playing basketball.  Many hours were spent practicing with the team in the gym that had wooden stands.  I WISH that I had a picture to share with you of the stylish white socks that we wore up to our knees.  We really rocked it. ;)

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There were many landmarks around the town that I remember seeing from my backseat in the family car time and time again.

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A popular spot for the locals is the lake.  My family drove over the dam many times.  I always thought it was a beautiful spot.

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No year could be complete without going to the town fair for exhilarating, countless rides on “The Scat!”

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What would any town be, though, without a home?  My family lived in two houses (due to selling and buying) while we were there.  The houses were owned by the church. Both were, ironically, located on the same street.  The first house was a one story.  My bedroom window was closest to the porch.

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The second house was a two story.  My bedroom was the second story window closest to the tree. My sister, brother, and I spent many hours playing to our hearts content in the backyard.  We had a play house that my dad built, a trampoline, and a tall fort that we loved.  The fort still peaks over the fence.  Part of me wishes I could have it in my backyard now for my boys, but then I remember some of the stunts we pulled on and from it and accept that it’s best there!  :)   My dad put a basketball goal in one year.  It tickles me pink to know that it is still there today.

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I loved living on that street.  My favorite thing to do was to ride my bike up and down it while pretending that my bike was a car.

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One end of the street lead to the edge of the town.  There used to be planked, wooden bridges over the ditch.  I loved them although, looking back, I can’t say why.   I just did. The big (especially through the eyes of a child) hill was something I tried to conquer on my bike a few times with my dad.  I don’t think I ever succeeded.

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On the opposite end of the street was a concrete ditch that we liked to ride in.  I thought I was daring to ride on the “walls” of it.  Funny… I remember them being a lot more steep and tall than the picture shows!

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Frigid, windy winters.  Blazing hot summers.  Flat land.  Red dirt.

Oklahoma.

Home…. or part of it.

There’s something about looking at those pictures from my time there, especially of the houses and the street were we lived, that brings a sense of longing back to me.  I suspect it’s a yearning for what once was and what will never be again. It’s remembering my childhood and time that the family spent being together.

Childhood is magical and wonderful (though it is often wished away).  I am so grateful to have spent part of mine in the little town that will always bring to mind happy times, special people, and countless memories with my family together.

 

 

 

 

 

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