My grandparents live in Olkahoma. My first memories of Oklahoma are puncuated by long car rides. When our family would arrive Ben and David would run laps around the house to pay for rowdy car behavior. We would walk in the door to an always extra excited Aunt Cathy, the clicking of Lady's feet on the kitchen floor, Mom Skaggs in the kitchen, a house full of life. After a few days we would leave way before daylight to make the long ride home. I remember driving away one year after Christmas, staring through tears at the muli-colored Christmas lights lining the roof as we were pulling out of the driveway. I didn't want to leave.
Well, I'm older now. And while the visits looked a bit different, I still kept going back. One year I visited alone, I dressed up in Aunt Cheryl's old prom dress. Then Mom and I had a tea party on the deck. She made tea sandwiches and we wore hats. I went fishing with Dad Skaggs on the lake. It was peaceful and quiet. I played in the snow with Micayla. I traveled through their home on the way to see Corey when he was training. I bought my wedding dress there. I went on my first motorcycle ride in Olkahoma. While on the bike, we saw a thunderstom from miles away across the flat land. We heard the thunder, I was in awe. I found my favorite Mexican Restaurant. It is named Ted's and has the best cheese dip and tortillas...ever. I have had hours of "girl talk" in the car with my mom and her sisters. But I never really thought of it as home.
On a plane now. I'm sitting by the window approaching OKC. I'm coming to visit my grandmother. She is battling ovarian cancer and just finished her last treatment. As we get closer, the land starts to look familiar. My mom and aunt Cathy are on the way to pick me up from the airport. For some reason, I start to tear up. After 25 year of coming to this place, this time I feel like I'm coming home. I'm truly filled with joy.
I went on to have a perfect weekend. I arrived at the hospital, happy to find Mom Skaggs as pretty as ever with her same spunk. I realized that Dad Skaggs reads my blog, he got me my favorite tea ;) We laughed....we laughed a lot. I got to eat my Mexican food at Ted's. My mom and I got lost driving through the city. We laughed about that too. I went to the house, the basement too and breathed deep the smell of so many memories. The room I stayed in, surrounded same familiar things I've grown to love over the years. I realized, this place is a part of me.
On the plane back to my Philadelphia home now. Oklahoma, Mom, Dad, I'll be back soon!