My daughter’s move to the dorm went exceptionally well. She and her roommate cooperated nicely (I’ve heard this is to be expected - - at first) while organizing and decorating their dorm room. She updated us with texts, pictures and videos along the days of our trek across the country as we headed back “home” to our old west coast stomping grounds.
After 1900 miles and 4 days, our tiny caravan of the U-haul and my 4Runner reached our California home. The trip was quite uneventful, as far as road trips go. My 2002 Toyota keeps on chugging along even with 250,000+ miles on it. I enjoyed many hours of conversation with my son (he drove because he says I drive too slowly) and listened to ridiculous amounts of his favorite musician… Lil Dicky (okay, so those lyrics are slightly eventful, but that’s an entirely different post).
Now, I have been handling the major adjustments rather well, so far: Our reconciliation went on fast forward after Oklahoma’s budget crisis took 60% of my income while giving me anxiety issues over how my peeps will fair with the unwelcome treatment interruption. I learned that I will have to step down to intern status in California after working so hard to gain my license and establish my private practice in Oklahoma- if I choose to remain in this profession. My daughter went off to college- or rather, my daughter went to college and I went off to another state. My four and a half year old had her first day of school.
Keep those balls a-juggling.
After unloading the truck at the storage unit (remember, we still don’t have a house), we took our remaining items to the apartment where we started to settle in and yes, continue our house hunt.
Do I really need to go through this again? With our previous experiences still fresh in our wired little minds, and with boxes o’plently all around our crowded temporary dwelling, we offered well over asking price. Yet after two days of negotiations and painful waiting, we heard back: someone came in with a cash offer. The seller accepted that.
(Long, dramatic, crying, life-is-not-fair rant.)
I have been all over the place- geographically and emotionally- in the past several days. I literally feel on the edge of some sort of breakdown. Technically speaking, I’m not wrong.
Stress scale credit: http://www.stress.org
Five and a half days from now and my experience of livin’ on Tulsa Time will be at a close. I’ve been contemplating the pros and cons of this move, and so far I’m come up with a little list of things I’m for sure gonna miss:
The Friendly People
Everyone is your friend. I don’t think I’ve ever been in public where a stranger hasn’t randomly struck up a conversation with me. What’s in my shopping cart, how cute my shirt is, did I catch the game, how I like the weather, apples are on sale…
I still clearly remember the first one. Still in my California mind-set of nobody talks to you unless they want something from you, or they are weird, or both.
Stranger: You ain’t from around here, are ya?
Me: No, just moving here from California.
Stranger: (chuckles) Hot enough for ya?
Me: Um, yeah. It’s pretty hot.
Stranger: Ah, it ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity.
Me: (nod) I can see that.
Stranger: You know, there’s a saying around here- if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it’ll change.
Me: (nervous laugh) Ok, cool.
Me later that week and almost every day since then: Dang, that stranger-friend was right!
Speaking of changing weather, the Midwest has some amazing T-storms. I’m not talking about tornadoes here. Those things are scary. I’m talking about booming thunder and fascinating lightening shows that promote a sense of awe and wonder. Beautiful. The next time I hear a weather person forecast a “storm,” it will be in Cali. And I will laugh.
Yes, it snows in California, but only in the higher elevations and not like this! The school districts build anticipated snow days into every calendar year. Hot cocoa, jammies and Netflix. All day. Sometimes all week.
Yassss! Oklahoma has a professional sports team and they kick some butt, don’t they? The coolest thing? Stadium-wide prayer before the games. #Thunderup!
I never even considered “grabbing a sandwich” at a gas station until Oklahoma. Quick Trip (and their ‘fast food’) is an icon in Oklahoma. And why not? They offer the cleanest, nicest, fanciest gas stations you will ever see. (Yes, even the bathrooms.) Seriously, mind blown.
Jenks School District
Top of the line education and… high school football. ‘Nuff said.
That Down Home Atmosphere
The last time I had some good, old fashioned, down home fun was when I was a kid, visiting Grandma in Illinois, in a little Podunk town named Hurst. Oklahoma offers down home charm o’ plenty. Small towns galore: Guthrie, Ada, Claremore, Bartlesville, Grove, Miami, Durant… and so many more. But large or small, all localities offer the same hometown flavor.
Slower Pace of Life
Coming here from California, at first I couldn’t stand the slow paced life; slow walk, slow talk. I was more “I’m late” rabbit and less Eeyore by way of west coast inundation. It took less than a week for me to ask myself what I’d been doing with all the rush, the rudeness? These people are on to something here. Slow down, enjoy the day.
Tax Free Weekend
Every year, we saved tens of dollars shopping during tax free weekend! While I’m known to hate crowds, I would brave them just for the chance to stick it to Uncle Sam. Well, the government doesn’t take the hit; the stores do, but nonetheless it’s one more “tax free” event per year than I have ever seen elsewhere.
(sigh) I will miss the dusty old dust. So long, Oklahoma. It’s been good to know you.
Song references: Livin’ On Tulsa Time, Don Williams.
So long, it’s been good to know you, Woody Guthrie.
Photo credits: movoto.com, nytimes, wane.com, Thunder, QT Corp., News On 6, ruralgoneurban.com, okmag.com, onlyinyourstate.com, passionforsavings.com
So while I was out and about, I stumbled upon a hidden gem in Tulsa: Manion Park. Yeah, I’ve lived here for 8 years and never heard about this place. (Was I living under a rock?) I found it on accident. And I wish I would have done so sooner.
As far as city parks go, this place is amazing. My daughter and I strolled, in awe, for a good couple of hours. Ok, I was in awe, she was just having fun.
Now, you might want to know that the splash pad is set on a four minute timer, probably the shortest in Tulsa. Not a big deal for parents of adolescents, or extremely tall toddlers, but for those of us who have little ones who can’t hit that awkward hard-to-reach reset controller just right, it means a lot of trips to that “start” button.
Another thing you might want to know about this golden nugget is that the hidden gem of the park is the restroom. If there is one, I could not find it. And no bathroom with a four year old is well, you know.
Photo credit: Fox 23 News
Tulsa water parks: http://www.tulsakids.com/Tulsa-Water-Parks-Pools-and-Playgrounds/
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda (or Mel, if you like). I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, mental health vlogger (hey! go subscribe!!) and Child & Family Therapist - not necessarily in that order (well, except the first one). If you want to see my business-y side, check out my super-professional business website.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog