We moved from California to the smallest town you have never heard of in Easter Oklahoma when I was three. Like the population was 700 probably counting livestock, no stop light, no grocery store small. We had a bank, two gas stations, and a liquor store. There was a four way stop in the middle of “town” that no one ever bothered to stop at unless there was a wayward dog in the road.
We lived on 80 acres way outside of that town. By we, I mean me, my mom and dad, my two sisters, and both sets of grandparents lived on the land in three separate houses. My family lived in a very small brick rancher, my mom’s parents were in an even smaller house that they built about 100 yards south of us, and my dad’s parents resided in the fanciest double wide trailer across the pasture. I say fancy because it had a jacuzzi tub and two porches. See? Fancy.
Every Saturday, my sisters and I would load up into my mom’s slick GMC Safari van and she would drive us 30 minutes away to Muskogee so we could run errands and shop. My twin sister had to get allergy shots every Saturday morning, so we would go there first. My mom would then take us to Mazzio’s Pizza if we promised not to act like jerks during the rest of the outing. After lunch, we would head on over to Bealls Department Store if we needed clothes or just so my mom could look at clothes and then next door to the 7th level of hell, Hancock’s Fabric, where she would look at patterns and fabrics for an eternity while we whined and pleaded to leave. Sometimes she would give us the keys to the van and my sisters and I would sit in the parking lot and listen to music and try to roll each other’s hands up in the window. I invented that game and I ruled at it until my dumb sisters wised up and refused to play.
After the fabric store and if our mom still had one nerve left, we would hit up TCBY and she would let us get waffle cones and that meant it was the best day ever. Once we were hyped up on yogurt, she would drag us to PriceMart and we would shop for two weeks worth of groceries.
I always liked going out to the “city” on Saturdays (minus the fabric store) because it was exciting! And urban! Well, as urban as Muskogee, OK could ever get back in the 80′s.
The farm was awesome most of the time: we played in ponds and creeks, I learned to drive trucks and tractors at age 10 (to help hay the cows), we never, ever wore shoes, we rode horses, drank sweet tea, and we ate fried chicken that my grandma made every Sunday. The farm was also sometimes decidedly not awesome: there were leeches, snakes, ticks, tornadoes, cow patties that would squish between your bare toes if you weren’t paying attention, and once my favorite cat Snowfoot ate rat poison in the barn and he died.
And while I was always in such a hurry to grow up and move away to a city with street names and stoplights, what I wouldn’t give to be able to go back.
I’m linking up with Ann’s Rants for #WhereILivedWednesday.