Sunday, December 27, 2015

Just for Tonight

We are officially home from a whirlwind trip to Oklahoma. It's always faster than I want it to be but this year was exceptionally fast. We arrived Wednesday evening and Dad informed me as I was walking through the door that an Oklahoma blizzard was heading their way. And so, in order to avoid the storm that promised record-setting conditions, we left early Saturday morning rather than Sunday morning as planned.

Yep. That makes for 2 entire days in Oklahoma after 1100 miles of driving one way.

That's dedication.

That's a whole lot of driving and sitting and watching the miles roll by.

But no matter. I was home. And even though it was fleeting, it was worth it.

Stories of cattle and wheat. 

Sunsets that make me stand in awe at a painted sky against an endless horizon.

My stepmom's cooking that  reinforces how I don't, in fact, have any self-control.

My mom who personifies kindness and contentment and joy at having her kids all in one place. Truly she's the most precious person I know.

My dad my dad my dad. He has my heart like none other.

When I am home, so many childhood memories come flooding in and I find myself transplanted back to my younger self...the me who delivered iced tea in a quart jar as Dad rode the tractor in the blazing hot sun; the me who drove the pickup down dirt roads, dust swirling up behind me; the me who rode Snip, our gentle but stubborn horse, for hours while daydreaming my life away and creating stories that I would bring to life on paper while lying on my bed at home.

I could go on forever with all of the snapshots that run through my mind like a kaleidoscope of memories, tumbling one on top of the other.

I love Oklahoma. But even more, I love home. It signifies the best of times, the worst of times, family, belonging, struggles and triumphs, laughter, tears, promise.

And then when I hug everyone goodbye, the tears flow. I just can't help it. In fact, just thinking about saying goodbye when I am there makes me well up with emotion. But, of course, my regular life calls and so, I pack my bags and pack up my memories, compartmentalizing them back where they belong so that I can head back to my every day normal.

We arrived home this afternoon (Sunday) at about 4:00. We drove hard yesterday as we were being chased by a storm far bigger than we cared to challenge and made it safely to Nashville. But today? Well, we found ourselves tired of the hurry and took our time leaving the motel. We were all restless and the hours rolled by in mainly silence as we were each busy in our own private worlds.

After we pulled into the driveway, we kicked into gear: unpacked the car, unpacked our suitcases, vacuumed, swept the floor and wiped down the countertops, squared away our finances, bought and put away groceries. Roy even managed to change the brakes on the car so that we are ahead of the game once our week officially kicks into gear bright and early tomorrow.

But I am not really home here in North Carolina--not quite yet. I know I will be soon as life will take hold and yank me back to the present. But for now my thoughts are with those back home who are snowed in, who are sitting in a dark living room lit by candlelight while playing Rumikube, who are dining on taco soup and cornbread--perfect fare for a cold wintry night.

For tonight, I will allow myself the luxury of being a small town Oklahoma girl.

Just for tonight.


  1. Aw I love it. I also love how your home in Oklahoma can be home for me too now. Also I wish I could ride in your pickup with you and ride horses with you because I'm pretty sure we'd be the best of friends.

  2. i'd love to ride horses with you NOW!


Diamonds Everywhere

I read a study recently that said that greatest single indicator of a long life well-lived is deep social connections. Of course, there are...