Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Wrapping it up!

So tonight is our final night in Oklahoma. Hopefully not forever, mind you, but for now anyway. We’ve had a great three weeks – we discovered the Wichita Mountains
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we were moved by the OKC National Memorial
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and learned a little more about the rich Native American history in this area –
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AND we’ve had a great SOWER project too! We came in with a pretty good idea of what Gary would be doing since Brian, the camp director, had called us earlier to ask if it was something that Gary would enjoy tackling. So from that point on, it was just a matter of making it happen. Oh, what was it he was asked to do? Just move a wall. Nothing too major.
Right!
It’s the back wall of the chapel – here it is from the inside:
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And here it is from the outside.
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The plan was to take down the existing wall and move it to the back of the concrete (still under the roof). Where the building ends (where the car port is) is where another building will be built, using the wall Gary will be building as its back (side?) wall. The final product will be an expanded chapel (dropped ceiling in the “new” area)and the new building will be an activity center. Needless to say, we didn’t get quite that far – but all in all, much was accomplished during our time here.
First it was getting the walls down –
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“Let’s think about the best way to start this….”
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Ok, the insulation is down and the inside paneling has been removed. Now we need to get the wiring out of the way.
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This might need a little bit of tidying-up down the road!
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Here’s the “big picture” shot. The area behind the building is getting ready for new concrete – the floor of the new building.
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Once the inside walls were down it became more evident that that inside back wall was going to need some additional support, so Gary started cutting away the studs above the crossbeam so that a giant header could be installed.
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See that long board on the concrete. The REALLY LONG board – that’s the header. Yikes! He knew it wasn’t a job that he could do alone (or even with me – I was just short of useless when he needed me to help turn it over!), and fortunately the concrete guy had that sweet little skid loader that was invaluable for getting the beam up and in place.
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It was quite a group effort all around!
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Once the beam was up (thanks to every male in the general vicinity), Gary finished off getting the wall down and the concrete guys got busy doing their concrete stuff.
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(I know that it is really hard work (doing concrete), but I just kept thinking about all the little boys that would have been having a great time sloshing around in it!)
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Ok, concrete done and the interior wall is amply supported and it’s time to move on to the next step.
Getting those new walls up!
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And there was always that electric that needed a little work….
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He makes it pretty, doesn’t he?
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He finished the walls up to the ceiling and installed the door and then moved on to the paneling.
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The paneling doesn’t go all the way up because there will be a dropped ceiling and the other building (the one on the new concrete pad) will be higher than that roof line. Does that make any sense?
Here’s the new area – walls up, outlets installed, supports holding up the original section, and one big pile of insulation waiting to be used somewhere else!
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Phew. And that pretty much takes us to today! The new building arrives tomorrow (well, the parts to build it anyway) – and Brian has promised to send us pictures as the rest of the project progresses!
And what was I doing these last three weeks? Well, apart from helping to turn that monster beam a couple of times, and holding the level so Gary could make sure his posts were plumb, I kept busy in the office doing data entry.
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I was getting pretty good a deciphering handwriting and I am much more familiar with the towns in the area (and their zip codes!)! And I’d like to say right now that folks (in general) have TOO MANY PHONE NUMBERS!!!!! Just sayin’.It was a nice change from our last several projects, and I really enjoyed getting to know the staff. And providentially, I finished up the last name today, just in time to give Gary a hand in cleaning up the work area. I love it when a plan comes together! Thank-you, Lord!

Since we had put in some extra time when we first got here, we were able to wrap things up today, and we’ll be headed to Texas tomorrow! We’re actually taking two days to get to Waco because we’re stopping in Bowie (TX) to meet up with some dear SOWER friends! And that’s always a good thing!

So it’s Farewell (for now) to our friends at Oakridge Camp and this lovely part of the country! I have a feeling we might just come this way again!

Waco (and beautiful daughter Lara), here we come!

OKC in a day

Let’s face it – it’s really impossible to “do” Oklahoma City in a day.  But with some recommendations from our new friends at Oakridge and a little guidance from the Visit OKC website, we gave it our best shot!

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After a quick stop at the downtown Chamber of Commerce, we set out for the National Cowboy Museum.
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For several hours we wandered through the museum, soaking in all things “Cowboy”! The museum was filled with art and artifacts and even had a great display of Hollywood’s treatment of the Western lifestyle!
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It was a GREAT museum – really more than we could take in in our allotted time.
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We would highly recommend this museum – especially for families. There was a whole section that was all hands-on for kids! We resisted the urge, but it looked like a lot of fun!
From there we checked out the 45th Infantry Division Museum. This was a great little museum, filled with lots of interesting nuggets of military information. It’s a free museum, and the desk was manned by a veteran who served with the 45th in Korea.
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We thoroughly enjoyed this museum, and if you’re at all interested in US military history this is a “must-see”.
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By this time, breakfast had certainly worn off, so it was time to track down a late lunch. We parked near Bricktown – because we were told that THAT was the place for great food! Now Bricktown had been the factory/warehouse district of OKC, and in the recent (oh, maybe 20) years has seen the development of a vibrant entertainment district, including a mile long canal. We had lunch at the Bricktown Brewery – starting with these amazing sweet potato fries with peanut sauce, bacon and banana chips.
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I admit I wasn’t sure they needed the banana chips – buy, my oh my, these were good!
OK, lunch down. Yummy all the way!
Next, of course, was a lovely walk along the canal. It’s not quite the San Antonio Riverwalk, but it was very beautiful, nonetheless.
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Bricktown Canal Walk
The canal walk led us to the amazing Centennial Land Run Monumentlandrun-5
OK – History review time –
OKC was established on April 22, 1889 when the prairie was filled with over 50,000 people waiting for noon and the beginning of the Great Land Run, where 2,000,000 acres of land were opened up for first-come-first-served settlers. By the end of the day, 10,000 people had settled in the OKC area, and the city was born!
This memorial is really amazing –
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Can you find Gary among the sculpture?
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It was a stunning memorial!

After a quick trip into Bass Pro (near the memorial and where the truck was parked – we had to go in, right?)
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we hopped on the free trolley (gotta love that!) and headed back downtown.
Before I get to our last stop of the day, I want to make a quick comment about the skyline of OKC.
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See that shiny new skyscraper? That’s the Devon Tower, the newest (as in completed last month!) addition to the OKC skyline. It’s the tallest (by quite a bit it seems!)building in OKC and in OK AND in the “Plains States.” It continued to pop into pictures all day long…
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We were a little intrigued with the black dot about halfway up…
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And a bit closer, though also a bit fuzzier….
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Window Washers?

We had purposefully waited until the end of the day for our last stop – the Oklahoma City National Memorial, which memorializes the 168 victims of the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995.
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We were so glad we waited until dusk. It was a beautiful – and sobering – monument.
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That just about wraps up our Oklahoma City Day Trip. We were blessed with beautiful weather, great recommendations, and friendly trolley driver! 🙂 Our only disappointment for the day was there was so much we would have loved to have seen, but just didn’t have the time. So if someone ever says to you – “Let’s go to OKC!”, you’d better go! You’ll love it!

On another note – this has been a pretty busy week of Family Celebrations! Last Sunday was my B-I-L’s birthday.
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I won’t reveal his age, just that he’s THE OLDEST (and possibly the wisest) of the bunch! I sure do love him!

Thursday the 8th this sweet little girl –
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turned FIVE!!! Yikes! Here’s our little beauty standing in front of the quilt I made her for her birthday (well, I really made it just because it was her turn for a quilt, but it was nice that it coincided with the whole b-day thing!)
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Judging by her outfit, I think I did OK in picking out the fabrics! She almost disappears into it!
Friday was my birthday (one year closer to SS!) which I celebrated with a lovely lunch out with our host, his daughter and my sweet hubby, a nice collection of cards, and phone calls from all my kiddos and sisters. And tomorrow, when we’re “in town” I’m going to stop at Joann’s and buy myself a brand new fancy-schmancy iron (using a 60% off coupon, of course!). Doesn’t take much to keep me happy, eh? What’s not to love about November!

Thanks for coming along on our OKC Day-trip. If you’d like to see additional pictures (including the ones in the collage), you can check them out here!

Surprise!

So what’s the first thing you think of when you think of Oklahoma?
Surrey with a fringe on top?
College Football?
Cattle?
Native Americans?
Sooners?

Well, Oklahoma is all those things (and many more), but I was surprised to learn that Oklahoma also has Mountains!
OK, so they’re not the Rockies or even the Appalachians, but they are mountains nonetheless!
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Sunday after church we took a little drive through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and saw a different side of the state all together!
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The refuge is known for its free roaming Texas longhorn cattle, bison and elk. True to form, our drive started out with a little visit from some of those longhorn cattle!
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Yes, we can wait for you to cross.
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And yes, we’ll wait for you too. 🙂
Our first destination for the afternoon was the drive up Mount Scott –  at 2464 ft it is the second highest peak in the refuge.(The next highest, by 12 feet is located in the Ft. Sill area, and the highest, beating out Mt. Scott by a whopping 17 feet is on private property).

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I pretty much made Gary Gary generously stopped at just about every pull off so I could take in the view.
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And snap a couple of pictures, of course.
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The views were spectacular when we reached the top (of course, they had been all the way up too!) and I certainly enjoyed exploring the terrain and finding interesting shots….
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while Gary was keeping the rocks from moving….
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🙂
We continued on with our exploration of the Refuge with at stop at The Holy City. Yep, plunked down in the middle of this National Refuge (did I mention it’s oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system?) is the site of the longest running Passion Play in the country, having held its Passion Play depicting the life of Christ, from birth to resurrection every year since 1926 when a local pastor took his Sunday School class up to this site because the terrain so reminded him where Christ actually lived.
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Over the years buildings and settings have been added – and according to their website, one year the cast was over 1200 (including choirs) and the record attendance was over 100,000. Now, to be honest, we couldn’t quite imagine where all those people would park, let alone sit and watch the play, but if you’re in town on the evening of Easter, I’d definitely check it out!

Back on the road, we were delighted to find a community of prairie dogs –
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It was fun to watch them scamper around!

On to the visitors center, where we were treated to an up close and personal visit with a buffalo!
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I think he looks like he could use a couple of good meals, but I wasn’t going to give him a hard time about it! There was also a field full (um, maybe that would be called a “herd”, Steph?) of Texas Longhorns nearby.
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Who you zoomin’ in on, lady…..????

On our way out of the refuge we did a quick drive-through of Medicine Park, located just on the outskirts of the the park.
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It was a cute little touristy town that was founded in 1908 as a planned tourism resort. It’s had some ups and downs over the last century, but it certainly looked like it would have been a fun spot to spend an afternoon wandering around, especially along the river.
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But we were running out of steam, so it was back home for us! We were blessed with a beautiful day, seeing (for us anyway!) a surprising side of Oklahoma. And tomorrow we’re taking our Friday on a Wednesday (to take advantage of a free admission at a museum we want to visit) and heading into Oklahoma City! Can’t wait!

A couple more pix of our Mountainous Day Here!

A quiet week

You know that when GARY says to me, “It’s been a while since you posted”, it’s about time I got on the stick and figured out if there was anything to actually post! Last week was, as most of our working weeks are, full of the mundane – working, laundry, a nap or two, peanut butter for lunch and “any ideas for dinner?” questions. There was also a fair bit of Christmas sewing going on, and a trip to the Walmart (just a mile down the road instead of an hour down the road like last month!:)), but all in all it was just one of those regular, ordinary, not much to talk about weeks. But if I looked hard enough, and thought long enough (and scrolled through the pictures on my phone), I realized that this week DID have some interesting parts to it.
Take last Sunday, for instance. We joined our hosts in worship at their church in Lawton. It was a little farther away than we normally travel for church, but it was a lovely drive (and since we’re leaving town that way at the end of the month, it was good to “preview” the road (and note all of the RR crossings!))
Heading to church ...it does a soul good.
As usual, it was good to be in the House of the Lord, and following the service we were invited to lunch by one of the church members. Now, that’s always a good thing, but in this instance it had extra goodness involved because our host was a Lt. Colonel in the army and lived not only on base at Ft. Sill, but in one of the original officer quarters (Ft. Sill being the ONLY fort built during the Indian Wars that remains active today). After lunch Chris gave us a great tour of the base – not too many pictures, since I was in the back seat of a van, but it was very interesting. Along with all of the modern day military base “stuff” (it is home to the US Army Field Artillery School, many other artillery based programs and is one of four Basic Training locations in the country) there was, of course, tons of history. We did make a special stop at the Native American Cemetery and Geronimo’s Grave(although we heard today from a local Native American that he’s been exhumed and re-buried where he was from (Arizona?)).
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I don’t know if we’ll get back to visit any of the museums and other historic parts of the Fort, but it was really wonderful to have a tour from the viewpoint of one of our military.
We had a personal tour of Ft. Sill today. It was very interesting. I made Gary go back before we left the base so I could get a pix of this sign. Don't see many of these on our travels....
Now there’s a sign we don’t see very often!
So then there was the week –
Gary’s making great progress on his “move-that-wall” project
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I’ve been helping out in the office (a nice change from the last several months) and I’ve also been busy with that Christmas sewing!
Sewing in the RV.....only possible by sharing the space and having a sweet (and flexible) husband!
Blah, blah, blah – more on the Wall Project later….:) I promise!

Today we thought we’d check out Anadarko, and some of the rich Native American history in this area. We started at the Southern Plains Indian Museum . It was small, but very interesting. But sadly,
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Oh well!
From there we headed to the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians.
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We experienced a fair bit of “I didn’t know he was Native American” (Will Rogers – 9/32s Cherokee according to the literature!) to “Well, of course!” (Sitting Bull-Sioux and Pocahontas – Powhatan).
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This is Oceola – Seminole – “who held a homeland in Florida for the Seminole as their chief”.
A very interesting walking tour – 42 statues – and lots of good information on these folks in a hand out. (Anyone doing a Native American school report in the near future? Send me your address, and I’ll get this to you!).

There was another museum in town but it was closed, so we headed out of town to a local winery (ok, not so much Native American history here, but did you know that before Prohibition Oklahoma was the 4th largest producer of grapes in the US?). We were delighted to discover a little bistro inside the winery and enjoyed a lovely lunch to wrap up our little Saturday jaunt!
Lunch at a nearby winery. What a delightful surprise!
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Yes, in OK the cattle get to roam the vineyard during the winter!
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(Um, do you think we need to get Gary some better fitting jeans?????)

So I guess there was something to write about after all! But I was very aware, all during our mundane week, that there were so many of our East Coast friends and family going through a week that was devastating. Most of the folks that we heard from came through Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage – power outages, shingles ripped off and the like. But so many others lost so very much. We will continue to hold them up in our prayers as they begin the long and arduous task of recovery and rebuilding.