Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oklahoma Update - Part 2

Now, where was I? Oh yes...so the rain continued, but we went to sleep (with no more tornado warnings... :) Saturday morning dawned clear and bright, with a forecast high of 68 degrees. We ate a leisurely breakfast and embarked on a day of "touring" Norman, with my knowledgeable brother-in-law as the guide. Our first stop was my brother-in-law's parents' house, who live about five minutes down the road. His family had just adopted their sixth child - a newborn baby girl, born just three days before our arrival (There are eight children in my brother-in-law's family. He is the oldest). We enjoyed a relaxed visit with all of the Craig clan, and during the course of conversation, started talking about all of the houses we had seen the day before. My brother-in-law's Mom asked if we had seen any in their neighborhood, which we had not. She pointed out a house just down the street, which we had passed on our way in. Being curious, we drove down the street to find "IT". The house. The dream house. The house that you look at and it has it's own heavenly theme music....ok, so I'm being a little dramatic, but even from the outside, the house seemed like something we'd be very interested in. Turns out the owners were there, cleaning some things out of their garage. A contract with her realtor wouldn't allow her to show us the inside, but we called our realtor on the spot, and he arranged a 2:00 p.m. showing for us that same day. As we walked into that house that afternoon, it was one of those moments that my dear hubby and I were on the same page almost instantly. If there had been papers to sign in front of us, we just might have thrown all caution to the wind...and well, maybe not, but we were both instantly "taken" with the house. Now, we were both big dummies and didn't take any digital pics of the house, BUT if you would like to take the time to see it, you can visit the listing realtor's website at www.doncies.com Click on the Virtual Tour Gallery link to the left of the page, and on page seven you will find 2327 Lindenwood. You can see several pictures there.
The rest of our day was spent visiting differnt places around town. We went out for lunch at a great local Mexican food restaurant. The most unique thing is that all around the restaurant are closed-circuit TVs that are linked back to the kitchen so you can watch the food being made. The food was GREAT, and the meal relaxed. We also went to this amazing chocolate/coffee-shop in dowtown Norman called Winan's (to my sis - did I spell this right?). They make their own homemade chocolates - I had a white chocolate mint that was to die for! They also brew their own speciality blends of coffee - I had a decaf snickerdoodle coffee that was also very rich and yummy! The artwork on the walls of the coffee-shop was created by the kids from one of the preschools in town (where my sister was a teacher) - it was really cool. All of the artwork was for sale, with sales going to help the school (which is a private Catholic preschool). We went in and out of a few other stores and shops throughout the day, and generally just had a lot of fun wherever we went.
Unfortunately, although no dark storm clouds gathered in the sky, the dark clouds of pain started pounding my head in the late afternoon. By early evening, I had developed a full-blown migraine. I spent my evening hours lying very still in a darkened room with a heat pack on my head and a water bottle in my hand. Several hours (and a few doses of pain medication) later, I emerged feeling human once again. By this time, night had fallen, and we all were desiring a reasonable bedtime in order to get an early start for church the next morning. I returned to bed for a somewhat restless night of sleep, and emerged feeling ready to visit a real Midwest church.
Before we arrived at church, we took what I call a "drive in the country". My sis and her hubby drink raw milk that they get from a dairy just a few miles outside of town, and they drop off their container to be filled before they go to church on Sunday mornings. Sooo, off we went driving over green hills dotted with barns, houses, and livestock. We arrived at the dairy, where the big black- and-white splotched cows noted our presence with large, blinking brown eys. A seperate pasture held a small handful of baby calves, who were too busy with their breakfast to give us much of a look at them. They were still cute though..... :)
Driving from the dairy back into town for church, a sudden twinge pulled at my heart, and tears came to my eyes involuntarily. It was the wide open spaces that I felt were causing a part of my heart to breathe again. I felt that I wanted to run, stretch my arms open wide, and take it all in. Not being able to leave the moving car at that moment in time, I did it with my eyes and heart instead - I drank as much of that space up as I could and promised to hold it all in my memory.
Well, the story, believe it or not, doesn't end here. There's enough here for just one more post...I'll talk about our church experience and our "intriguing" visit with the pastor... :)

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