I was born in a northwestern Oklahoma town called Enid. But where I come from is the question...and I say...a few places.
I was born and grew up most of my life in Enid. Enid isn't a small town exactly. Not exactly big but not exactly small. If you didn't know...it is in the middle of wheat country. You would quickly learn this if you were there in June...every summer. Around the first of June...depending on the crops and the weather the custom cutters come rolling into town with their big combines and combine headers on big semi trucks. Every year when I saw them pulling in to town my heart would burst with pride and fill with hope and I would pray that it was going to be a good harvest. It was a kind of excitement that I can't explain.
Enid is in my blood.
My G-G and Pa-Pa lived in a town about 25 miles away called Hillsdale. I spent a lot of time in Hillsdale. It has a two-way stop sign and a post office. Oh yes...and a community center where you can get doughnuts for breakfast every Saturday morning...to this day. Pa-Pa would take my brother and me every time we were there.
My grandparent's house was in town but the farm was a couple miles out of town. It had a creek that ran through it and Pa-Pa would take us and let us wade the creek. From one edge of the farm to the next. We would dig up snapping turtles...to my mother's horror...and bring them back to the house and play with them for awhile. Then my Pa-Pa would let them go...actually I think he shot them but told me otherwise. I'll stick with let them go. We were chased by several angry mama cows on that farm as well as a bull or two. The windmill house served as a really great "higher ground" to escape to.
Pa-Pa would let us ride to the farm sitting on the edge of the tailgate. My brother and I thought we were such outlaws. Sometimes he would let us drive out to the farm but mostly saved the driving for after we got there. My Pa-Pa's truck was the first vehicle I ever drove. I think I was 11 or 12.
We spent every Fourth of July in Hillsdale. We popped firecrackers all day long. And as long as it wasn't too dry or windy we could pop some big ones. And after dark...when all the surrounding towns set off their big firework show...we would sit just off the porch and watch all of them from afar. That being just one of the benefits of the flat Oklahoma countryside.
My G-G taught me to do embroidery when I was about 10 or 11. I loved it. I still have the first piece she used to teach me. She played jacks and pick up sticks with us. She let me play with my Great Grandma's jewelry. And she cleaned out a drawer for me in the guest room where I kept all my crayons, coloring books and paper dolls. I had Barbie, Princess Diana, and a few other paper dolls that I still have today. She had me clean out the drawer last time I was there...I cried.
Hillsdale is in my blood.
My mom's sister...most affectionately referred to as Aunt Bobbie, her husband, and my two boy cousins lived in a town called Marshall. Also about 25 miles away from Enid. My brother and I spent a lot of time there too. My little cousin and I...much more like a little brother...rode our bikes from one edge of that town to the next. Barefooted I might add and oh the joys of it. We would leave the house as soon as we woke up and we would ride all day.
Every summer my uncle would go get us a stock tank out of one of his fields somewhere. He would bring it back to the house for us and my cousin and I would clean it up and we would swim in it. All summer long. We dug in the dirt...our brothers chased us around popping our bare backs with dish towels...we went to town dances at the old school...we snuck a wine cooler out of the fridge once (or twice) and shared it...and we lived. We lived like no other.
Marshall is in my blood.
So I guess to answer the question I could say...I'm from Northwestern Oklahoma. It is in my blood. All of it. The riding on tractors, and combines. The summer wheat harvest. The huge grain elevators. The wading in the creek. The riding our bikes barefoot all day and swimming in stock tanks. It's all in my blood...and I'm ever so thankful that it is.
P.S. I am participating in the MckLinky Monday at The Real Housewifes of Oklahoma. Go check em out!
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