There were two moments on Saturday alone in which I compared my new home in Oklahoma City to other places I have called home: Marquette, Michigan and rural Wisconsin.
The first comparison happened after breakfast when Matt took us all to Lake Overholser. I stood on top of the dam’s walkway and considered all the tons of concrete that went into building this. While taking photographs of the brick and tile pump house and the now-defunct iron wheels, my mind went back to when I was a kid. For some reason, my ten-year old self emerged and I had a strong recollection of being on the massive concrete breakwater in Upper Michigan’s Lake Superior when my father’s best friend scooped me up from behind and pretended to throw me into the lake. Except he lost his footing and we both tumbled forward a bit. Thankfully, neither one of us ended up in the lake but you can bet I didn’t go near that man for days. I would say I got over it but…apparently not.
Later in the evening while visiting with friends outside the city, I was finally being treated to an Oklahoma sunset. Not just any sunset, but one with bales of hay in the foreground (seriously, I’d been looking forward to this for a long, long time!). Our friends’ property had expansive views since it was just in the middle of a mostly flattened field and dotted with small ponds. From the backyard, we could all see the smoke from a grassfire far off in the distance but in the front yard it was nothing but sunset.
I stood in the garden with an older woman I’d just met while we both admired the sky (and the okra and eggplant!), and I said to her, “This looks just like my uncle’s farmland in Wisconsin, except it never gets this hot there.” She is a born and bred Oklahoman and seemed quite pleased to learn that other places in the country looked like her home state. We talked about Upper Michigan, Northern Italy, Washington, D.C., and, of course, Florida. And she called me lucky. Lucky that I have had an opportunity to see all parts of the world and to be able to call each of them home.
This was my biggest concern when I moved to Oklahoma, that I wouldn’t be able to find the familiarities I’ve relied so heavily upon in the past to make me comfortable in a new space. Strangely enough, I have already found small pieces of all of my former homes right here in my new home and all of them have made this transition a hell of a lot easier.