Thursday, June 25, 2015

California Girl Gone Okie

Well, we have been living in Oklahoma for a little over 6 months now. Man how time flies. It has been quite a change from living in the diverse city of Elk Grove… but Kingfisher is proving to be a fantastic little town and I believe all 4 of us are adjusting well. Part of me though doesn’t feel like we just moved to another state. In many, many ways this feels like another country.

There are so many things that are new here. The weather is quite a change. The wholesomeness of the community and the culture is refreshing. And the people are incredibly kind. I miss my family and friends very much. But if the Lord needed to move us somewhere away from loved ones… I feel pretty thankful that this is where we landed.

I thought it would be fun to share some about life here in the middle of the country (literally, smack dab in the middle the country). So… without further adieu:

Top 20 Things I Have Learned After Living in Oklahoma for 6 Months

1.  Snow days. The kids loved snow days. I loved snow days. It was just too cool.

2. The phrase “when it rains it pours” describes our spring perfectly. In the month of May, our town got 22 inches of rain. That’s right… in one month. After years of drought in California it was awesome. I absolutely loved it!

3. Talk about hot! Both of my mother’s parents were from Oklahoma and my mom was even born here. When I told my grandma, who has Alzheimer’s, we were moving here her immediate response was to shake her head no and tell me “No, Kelly. It is so hot there. It is so hot you will die.” I passed this statement on as a dramatic recollection of the dust bowl and her life in the early 1930’s before air condition. But she was right. It is so hot you could die… ugh.

4. You are either an Oklahoma State University fan or a Oklahoma University fan. OSU and OU paraphernalia greet you in every store, gas station and restaurant you enter.  We have been warned that we shouldn’t pick a team as it could split the church. I know that sounds crazy, but being a 49er fan I get it. I mean there is no way in heck that I would EVER go to a church where the pastor was a Raider or Seahawks fan. So we will be OKC Thunder fans and for all other sports stick to our west coast teams. Additionally, all events in town/church/school revolve around local and college sporting events. Priorities.

5. Road kill = Armadillos. Armadillos everywhere. 

6. The flies bite. (Seriously… it’s horrible. I truly hate them.)

7. There is a pretty good chance that wherever you go, at any given time,
people that are packing concealed carry weapons surround you. It’s just the way of life here. ‘Merica.

8. The pace of life if dramatically different.  This is one of my favorite things… and one my least favorite elements of living here. There have been times when I am shocked by how slow people move, work, walk, etc.. It is just slower. This is annoying… and wonderful because the element of stress is removed when things are slower.

9. The food people eat here is horrible. Now don’t get me wrong, it is delicious But surely awful for your mid-section. Being on a diet here is near impossible. For example, our little town has 12 restaurants. Only 2 of them serve salad. And one of them close at 2pm and the other at 4pm. So, if you want to eat vegetable after 4pm you need to convince yourself that a Tater Tot is a veggie… and then you are good. 

10. Most places in this town do not accept credit cards or ATM. They only take cash or checks. Pretty sure I hadn’t written a check since 2007. But… if I want that salad that I need to buy before 2pm, I better have a checkbook.

11. People are just nice. Seriously EVERYBODY waves at you as they pass you driving. People have manners and hold the door open and say things like “excuse me” and “thank you.” It’s cra-cra.

12. This is a somewhat obscure observation and one that I have recently identified in the culture here. While I realize that this point is not 100% for all people, in general it seems like women respect their husbands in a way that is just more… respectful. The women I have been in contact with are practically all strong, intelligent, educated and independent. While men are in harvest they run their home and businesses with confidence and competency. These same women will go out and help locate steer that are lost in the floods and help rebuild fences. Yet in their marriages I see a level of respect that is almost new to me. It seems like there is a cultural element of gender roles that in California barely exists. Now this is a big statement… but I think that because of this, it appears that marriages are happier, men are more dignified and women appear more cared for.

13.  There are 4 ways that are in and out of our town. One road goes North and South. They other road runs East and West. During the floods last month on of the bridges was still under construction and due to flooding you could only leave our town to the South. We live in the middle of nowhere.

14. Words I didn’t know existed:
            - Dat Der = That there
            - Fiddleback = Brown Recluse Spider
            - Getchusome (all one word) = Go get some
            - Definitions of mealtimes:
            Breakfast = Breakfast
Lunch = Dinner
Afternoon snack = Lunch
Dinner = Supper
- Fixin’ = Going to
- Getchusome (all one word) = Go get some
- Bless your heart = This phrase is a slight jab… said in the sweetest way possible.
- Sugar – My kids think it’s hilarious when old ladies call them Sugar.

15. Sonic slushes should be officially a food group here.

16. Everything is a Coke.  For example: I answered that, “I would like a Diet Pepsi.” The waitress responded, “Sure, I will bring you a Coke.” And then she brought me  a Diet Pepsi.

17. It would probably be as difficult to be a Liberal in this town as it was to be a Conservative in California.

18. All Garth Brooks songs make more sense here. (His hometown is about 40 minutes from our little town.)

19. Tornadoes are real. And they are scary.  And tornado weather is cool. While we watched the weather channel and followed the storms, nothing came near our town this year. So I am not really a tornado expert yet.

20. The ice cream here is pitiful. I miss Leatherby’s!

Life is good. God is faithful and huge and amazing. We are grateful for this journey.

Lots of love,