My head is filled with preconceived notions. I can’t help it; I think I was just born this way. At times, those expectations get in the way of actually enjoying a thing for what it is, maybe because I’ve already imagined all the fun that could be had and, inevitably, the real fun runs out before I can get over the fact that I was surprisingly right about how it would all go down. So I actually prefer to go into something with the wrong expectations. The element of surprise wins out every time.
All of that was simply to explain why I get so excited about seeing stuff like this:
Oklahoma is certainly not as boring as I thought it was going to be. This is the Plains, after all. The ridiculously excessive wind likes to remind me from time to time of where I live, in case the lack of humidity isn’t a sure sign.
My expectations of Oklahoma have been wrong almost every time I find myself in a situation that has already played out in my head, more than likely when I was still living in coastal Florida and sitting on a beach. Since being landlocked, I get excited around noontime on Saturdays when the city tests the tornado warning sirens (I’ll share more about that next spring after I’ve spent my first tornado season in the basement). And yes, I am dreading winter in the most perfectly miserable way (but deep down in the recesses of my winter-hating soul, I can’t wait to go outside and play in it with my kid, who has never seen the stuff).
The fall leaves are more beautiful than I could have imagined, even though the drought of the past couple years has muted the colors (our recent summer weather has been compared to that of the Dust Bowl years, but with more agricultural smarts in play this time around to prevent another ecological disaster). My family is related to Laura Ingalls Wilder, the girl-pioneer who braved the lands not too far from here with her family over a hundred years ago. Also, I live off Route 66, the Mother Road – could an American history nerd ask for anything more? I think not.
Though I still have yet to meet my buffalo.