Sailboats on Lake Hefner

Every day for the past week, while driving Elle to and from her summer camp classes in the far northwest corner the city, I have been able to catch a glimpse of Lake Hefner. It is a busier place in the afternoon filled with bicyclists, joggers, dog-walkers, and general wanderers. On my way to pick her up from camp yesterday, I saw sailboats dotting the water near the lighthouse. Elle is usually too hungry and tired by the end of her camp day to take a walk with me by the lake, but this time I insisted. This Florida girl has been missing that view for quite some time.

Elle and I walked a short while from the parking lot to the lighthouse and met an elderly couple and their dog along the way. They pointed out a snake swimming in the water and we got to talking about Florida. It turns out one of their children lives in Jacksonville, another in the suburbs of Orlando. Our conversation was interrupted by the sounds of splashing and screams. Those sailboats must have been part of a class because I can’t imagine why else there would be so many of them clustered so closely to one another. Most of the time, at least one of them was completely on it side in the water with a few submerged people patiently waiting nearby. There was hardly a breeze yesterday, not even on the lake shore. I’m not entirely sure if this did any favors for those poor people trying to learn how to maneuver a sailboat. It was pretty fun to watch, though.

IMG_1239

IMG_1244

Advertisements

Loud City, Quiet City

Last night, after a delicious pizza dinner at Upper Crust surrounded by Chesapeake’s holiday lights (I wish I had taken pictures of those!), we all headed downtown to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder take down the Dallas Mavericks in a very exciting overtime win. I had read the articles and heard all about the Thunder Love in this city, about how Kevin Durant is the nicest guy in the league, and that Oklahoma City puts most other NBA cities to shame with their team support, but none of that could have prepared me for the sheer energy I felt in that arena.

One of the things I miss most about home is the connection I have with my community and my neighbors, that thread that ties me to others and makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger. The Oklahoma City Thunder has filled that gap, people. Sitting way up there in Loud City, I was cheering and hollering with tens of thousands of like-minded Thunder fans and I can’t wait to go do it again.

After the game, the three of us walked the longer, more scenic route to our parked car and enjoyed some of downtown Oklahoma City’s festive holiday lights. I have no idea where we were exactly, but I have learned to use the Devon Tower, the tallest building in Oklahoma, as a land-based North Star of sorts, as it can even be seen from miles outside of the city.

In this quiet, peaceful park at night, somewhere between the Devon Tower and the Crystal Bridge, we talked about how great the evening had been and watched a bunny scamper across the snow-covered grass as it was being chased by a small stray cat. Elle finally got to take part in her very first snowball fight.

Devon Tower

Crystal Bridge

IMG_0091

downtown OKC

IMG_0121

Crystal Bridge

New Tradition?

A fun Fourth of July tradition may be in the works.

Last year, I spent the holiday with some family and friends at the Jacksonville Suns baseball game. After our home team’s one-run loss, we were treated to fireworks accompanied by Lee Greenwood’s song God Bless the USA, which always makes me cry.

This year, Elle and I were again at a baseball game, but this one was in Oklahoma City. Matt had scored some free tickets in club seating. The three of us cheered for an exceptionally loooong time (a nearly-5 hour long game, with an extra inning to boot) for our new home team, the Oklahoma City Redhawks. After our home team’s one-run WIN, we were treated to fireworks accompanied by some really cheesy 80s music montage about the greatness of America, followed by Lee Greenwood’s song God Bless the USA, which immediately made me cry. Because damn that song.

 100_4836

11-10 win over Memphis (in extra innings!)

11-10 win over the Memphis Redbirds!

It's Ruby!

Ruby the Redhawk. She’s only the cutest mascot ever!

If I find myself at another minor league baseball game next year for the Fourth of July, I’ll be fully convinced that this tradition was meant to be.

*****

On the way home, which was around midnight because, well…longest game in HISTORY, I began craving something to eat but it had to include maple syrup. Matt offered to take me anywhere I wanted to go until Elle mentioned she was hungry, too. We decided on French toast – the homemade kind, not something from Denny’s or IHOP. So we headed straight home so I could whip up some French toast in the middle of the night.

EXCEPT…

The chocolate lab had managed to jump the kitchen counter while we were gone and snag the brown lunch sack that was full of garlic bulbs. It was all right there in front of us as we walked through the back door into the kitchen. No worries, though. The bag was intact and the bulbs had pretty much been left alone, but I noticed something else was missing, too.

The loaf of bread was no longer on the counter. Also, the hot dog buns were gone. Nobody got to eat any French toast that night. Hmmph!

(This is not something I want to continue as a Fourth of July tradition, by the way.)