Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back Where I Come From

Oklahoma - Kenny Chesney says it best in his song Back Where I Come From..."In the town where I was raised, The clock ticks and the cattle graze. Time passed with Amazing Grace, Back where I come from." And although he's talkin' bout Tennessee, these words still get to me.

Returning home to Tahlequah, Oklahoma from my busy urban perch was a much needed respite for my weary soul. There's nothing that grounds me more than the smell of freshly bailed hay blowing in the wind and watching the town I know and love tinker on the verge of progress and regress.

The purpose of this Oklahoma pit stop was to attend my sisters' HS graduation. Watching them graduate from my high school was a bit emotional. Not only did it seem just like yesterday that it was me walking across that stage, but also I was hit with the reality that it's actually been 6 years! "How could so much time pass? I'm glad I'm past this. But these days were so great! Ya, but I love my life now." I thought to myself...pretty much a mixed bag.

It's funny how the relatively simple things can have such an effect on the freedom to cruise down the highway at 80mph (speed limit is 75), or holding my new baby niece and breathing in her sweet smell, or gorging myself on my fave "white dip" at El Chico(s) - i say it with an "s" - the Mexican restaurant in Muskogee to which I happily drive 30 min to get my fix.

Now you can lie on a riverbank
Paint your name on a water tank
Or miscount all the beers you drank
Back where I come from"

Throughout the duration of this long weekend, the great outdoors lured me back places o so familiar to me. I joined friends for a day out on Lake Tenkiller, braving the sun-worshipping crowds gathered for the holiday weekend. There I was in awe of the beauty that beheld me in this often-overlooked gem of a destination. The emerald rolling hills submerging themselves in the almost equally green waters contrasted with the bright blue sky painted with cumulus nimbus puffs - an idyllic day for boating and swimming.

In an effort to reclaim some of my most fond childhood memories, I joined my younger sister on a 4-wheeler excursion (in my sundress). The familiar vrooom of the engine sent sparks through my chest as the exhilarating ride began. It had been a few years since my last ride and I was feeling a bit anxious and rusty, but as is true with riding a bike, it came back in no time. Following her through trails, around ponds, and (unwisely) into a muddy field - i got stuck and mud was flying up all around me...i was at a crossroads btwn saving my fave yellow and white dress or getting the 4-wheeler out of the mud - amazingly making it back safe with only a drop of mud on my dress!

The past four days taught me a lot about little. It truly is the "little" things in life that make a life great. Family to love, good friends to laugh with, new life, the great outdoors, favorite foods, small towns, absence of time, and all that is home.

"Back where I come from
Where I'll be when it's said and done
I'm proud as anyone
Back where I come from"


Lindsey said...

Yah are a fantastic writer! I feel like I was there! Thanks for sharing about your sweet time home! I'm SOOOOO glad your dress wasn't ruined!

Brittani said...

I agree with Lindsey :) Though I must ask, how many times have you miscounted the number of beers you drank?

amy said...

that is exactly how i feel when i go home to the panhandle. my phone hardly works. i never wear my watch. the internet is too slow to mess with. it's a break from all that is reeling by and i love it :)

btw - your blog has become a favorite. you truly have a talent for bringing me to your place in time.