Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm geographically bi-polar

Am I a city girl? Am I a country girl? These were the questions swimming in my head on this beautiful "spring-in-December" day. That not-unfamiliar itch to get in the car and explore the landscape hit me very early this morning, but first I had to go to the grocery store to get supplies for the little open house I'm having on New Year's Day. (Whole Foods is dangerous! Keep me out of there! I'll be in the poorhouse by June my visits there aren't seriously restricted!) Anyway.... after stuffing everything in the fridge (and I do mean STUFF), I took off for somewhere undecided.

Although escape from the city was foremost in my mind, I had to go through all the stages of city-leaving. I meandered through the town of Broken Arrow. Once a small town several miles from Tulsa, it is now a connected and growing suburb. My first thoughts were how much I dislike new developments in new suburbs and how much I wouldn't care to live in one. But then, I saw three young women walking down the street with baby strollers, and that's what it took to remind me that I once lived in one such suburb with a small child, and how perfect it was for the child-raising task. Although I only lived in a development for a couple of years, it was an important rite of passage, I think. Ok, maybe this wasn't so bad....

Eventually, after a series of twists and turns on roads I've never heard of and never driven, I found myself WAAAY out in the country, and the roads kept getting narrower and occasionally turned to gravel. Twisty roads are the exception in this part of Oklahoma, and trees were closing in on the roads in a very un-Oklahoma way. I started listening for the Deliverance banjos after seeing a couple of seriously unstable looking characters in the yards of their none-too-well-maintained homes. My first inclination was to flee. But then..... I realized that I once lived on a road just like this. It was a wonderful place, and I totally appreciated living a bit away from civilization. It was one of the best times of my life. Ok, maybe this wasn't so bad.....

I found my way back to a road that was heading west toward Tulsa, or so I thought, but it went along for a while then dumped me onto the Muskogee Turnpike, and I hate turnpikes! The Muskogee Turnpike turned into the Broken Arrow Expressway (I hate expressways!), and suddenly on my left I saw the big stone yard where my husband and I picked out the rocks for the paths and gardens in the house we were building on the lake before the divorce. And that brought back a lot of happy memories , making me actually glad I was on that evil expressway. Ok, maybe this wasn't so bad....

Finally, back in the city, I got myself in a traffic snarl due to a pickup truck failing to put on the brakes at a light and plowing into the back of a poor little lady in a tiny subcompact. No injuries, but a lot of arm-waving and about a 5-minute wait for the officer to let our lane go past. I hate traffic jams. I had my fill during my life on the East Coast, and..... but wait a minute! One of the reasons I love Tulsa is that I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I've been in any kind of traffic jam here whatsoever. Tulsa is so easy to navigate. Ok, maybe this one little traffic jam wasn't so bad....

When I saw the beautiful skyline of Tulsa in the distance, I knew I was home. It's a home that I love.... for now. Who knows what I'll love next??




3 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Isn't it funny how we adapt to our surroundings. I have lived in the Chicago Area, the San Francisco Area, and the Detroit Area; and by far I love our rural place the best. Traffic jams measured in minutes vs. hours :o)

Beth said...

I'm like you...a split personality when it comes to my environment! I love vacationing in various cities, and always have a great time there, enjoying everything that cities have to offer. I wasn't sure what to expect in New York City, but I loved the excitement of it, and loved the charm of Greenwich Village!

But for day-to-day life, I'll take the country, hands down. It's what grounds me. When it comes time for vacation, I'm ready to cut loose in the big city (LOL) and enjoy, but I really don't think I'd want to live there full time.

Great entry!
Love, Beth

Trevor Hilton said...

I was raised on a farm in northeastern Oklahoma, near Bartlesville. I enjoy the peace and quiet. I enjoy waking up early in the fall, taking my rifle, and going deer hunting or squirrel hunting. I enjoy long walks in the woods.

I presently live in Edmond, OK. I enjoy meeting neighbors who live next door to me. When we need something, the store is just down the street.

There's SOME advantages to living in town. But I want to get back to the country. I still miss deer season too much.

Lastly, a Blessed New Year to you Laurel, and too everyone.