Tales from the Homeland: Memory Lane

I'm staying in my Grammy's room in my parents' new home. I put several of her things away, and in doing so, I came across a few boxes with pictures and a scrapbook stuffed with things my Grammy thought important enough to keep. 

There are poems, useful tips, anecdotes, drawings from grandchildren, newspaper clippings, my Grammy and Grandpa's marriage license, the deed to the land they used to own in Eagar, the honorable discharge papers from when my Grandpa's service was complete in the Navy. It has been so fun to see all of these things. I spent a few hours this evening uploading pictures to Facebook I thought other members of my family would enjoy. 

Among all of these things, this post will focus on some of the things my Grammy kept from my high school days: my commencement program, programs from plays, and many clippings from my hometown newspaper documenting my time as a cross country runner. 

I couldn't get enough of MY mountain while I was in Arizona this time. I'm certain part of me will always belongto the   Superstitions. I've written poems about her, slept near her, climbed to her top, run in her foothills, laughed and cried in her shadow. Seeing all of the mementos made me walk down a memory lane all of my own. I wish I would have brought my running shoes this time to hit the trails. Perhaps my next visit won't be in the middle of an Arizona Summer.

Tales from the Homeland

I started driving to Arizona with my girls on Tuesday. We stopped in Albuquerque on the first day and stayed the night with my cousin, Janie. We stayed up talking until 2 AM, 3 Oklahoma time. It was perfect. 

On Wednesday, we continued our journey off the beaten path in New Mexico and into Arizona. As soon as we crossed the state line, the speed limit dropped down to 30 because we were on some super curvy mountain roads. And it started raining. At one point, the tightly wound curves open up for a minute and expose a large valley. It was complexly grey with rain coming down. I love driving through mountains on roads where you really must be going 15 MPH to make a turn. As soon as I got into the Gila Valley where my parents hometown is, the rain stopped, and the wind rushing off the mountain out of the storm was picking up dirt from the cotton fields. There was even a tumbleweed almost as big as the Prius rolling down the road. Minus the cars dodging the tumbleweed, the whole scene was incredible. 

My parents just built a house, and as of 1:18 yesterday afternoon, they were officially out of their old house. It's been fun moving furniture around and finding places for everything. My brother's family arrived this evening, and tomorrow is looking to be a cousin palooza 3 five-year-olds, a three-year-old, and little one-year-old Gavyn who I met for the first time tonight.

I love my parents new home. It's spacious and lovely, and I'm so very jealous of the kitchen. I've been putting my Grammy's room together, and today I came across a little scrapbook she keeps. It's fully of old stories and letters from family and poems, and wonderful things she's found valuable. There's a  card that her mother sent to her mother (my g.grandma to my g.g.grandma) for Mother's Day in 1925. She has newspaper clippings from my cross-county meets. I ran the qualifying course for state my junior year in 20:44. Good to know. She has several "best mother/grandmother" awards signed by various children and grandchildren through the years. I'm going to look through her three boxes of photos tomorrow. 

Right now, I'm lying in her bed looking out the window that during the daytime perfectly frames Mt. Graham. At night, it is hidden in the cloak of darkness. On my first night here, I was up getting Magnolia a drink at 12:42 AM, and the moon was so bright and beautiful completely backlighting the mountain and illuminating the wispy clouds. Lightning is putting on a show tonight. Oh how I miss mountains. They make me feel exactly the right size. 

Rain, Yoga, Shows, and a Conundrum

There's a lovely soft rain falling this morning. I slept until almost 9, and I only woke up because Alice barked in her crate. [When you've gotta go...] I'd glad for the rain, and if I had a waterproof computer, I would probably be sitting outside typing this.

I was going to go to yoga at 10 AM this morning. I've been going to another studio much closer to my home where I might do the yoga teacher training program. I went on Friday and Saturday. It's sort of hot yoga, which I have never done. One Friday, she didn't turn the heat on because it was already 95 degrees in her studio (she hadn't had the a/c on either). I couldn't believe how much sweat was happening. And then yesterday, I sweat even more. Not just dripping, which I was doing plenty of, but there were times when I could feel it running down my back. I'm pretty sore today, so I decided to pass up yoga this morning and I'll go tomorrow and early Tuesday morning before I leave for Arizona.

Yesterday's class was great. I was doing things I'd never tried before. A pose I was introduced to and finally got was "running man." When I got home, I did it several more times, hence the incredible soreness in my arms. Working on mastering new (and old) poses is one of my favorite things. I love that it doesn't happen in one session, but through continual practice moving your body into ideal form. One of my favorite things about yoga is how it's so personal. There's no competition, no finish line, no crowd of spectators, there are no points - it's my body, mind, and soul working on figuring themselves out, and in doing so, becoming stronger, more understanding, and capable. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Jake has been playing for The King and I. I saw it on Friday night and the last show was last night. The word that kept coming up in my mind as I was watching it was "enchanting." It was amazing! It exceeded my very high, sometimes impossible expectations for shows. There's only one thing I would have changed, and I won't mention it publicly, but if you saw it, we can exchange notes. It was visually stunning, and the ballet in the second act, Small House of Uncle Thomas,WOW! I could sit and watch it over and over and over again. Fantastic theatre can and does happen right here in Oklahoma City.

After the show on Friday night, Jake and I went to the "park" in front of the Civic Center. We talked for a while, and enjoyed watching the fountain, though we both agreed the color changes should be more subtle. After a while, I went and walked through the fountain, treating it like a sort of labyrinth. I love the changes they've made in that space, even if I was sad to lose all of the trees.
(After the Show...just before running around and through the fountain)

Our girls have spent the weekend with Jake's parents (how else could I have slept until almost nine). It's been fun alone time. Last night I went to see a "Saints and Pioneers." It was put on by Central Saints Chorus. I sang with most of the members of the chorus when I was part of the big Christmas concert last year. They told the story of the early members of the LDS church after Joseph Smith was killed, the persecution they faced, and the journey they took west. I was moved by the music. They have one more concert tonight at the LDS stake center in Moore (12915 N. Santa Fe), and will be collecting donations to go toward the tornado relief effort.

And finally, speaking of choirs, they made an announcement the night I was at the King and I, that Lyric Theatre will be assembling a 100-member choir to sing in Les Miserables for the season next summer, and to contact them if interested. I told Jake I would love to, and then he said, "You'll have to audition." Right...I'll have to audition. But the thing is that I don't sing alone in front of anyone. Ever. It's a really ridiculous fear that I can't believe I still hold onto, but I do. But it would be so fun.

A House that Makes Me Happy, part 2

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about something a little traumatic and about a house I've had my eye on for quite some time that I was finally able to get inside of. Since this is about the house, you'll want to read the last half of this post. The battery in my phone died after I took three pictures the first time I got into the house. That was not the case today. ;) Just for a re-cap, here are the original three pictures I shared in my first post. 
The stairs in the foyer and a bathroom that makes me wish I couldn't smell. Seriously. The house smells like the cigarette smoke of the workers (and it's musty enough that it's likely leftover smoke smell from the former owner who hasn't lived there in years) and the way back-in-the-day-port-a-potties smelled, you know, before they put that super chemically fragrant blue stuff in the hole no one wants to see or smell.
 The living room from the sunroom.
Living, Dining Room, and Swinging door into the kitchen.

And today...

Walking into the Living Room, heading into the sunroom.
Sunroom. There are french doors that lead to the backyard. (Covered with plastic) 
Sunroom looking toward the front of the house.
Dining Room
Dining Room Ceiling
Perfect patina on the mantel

There's no fridge in the kitchen. Not even a place for one. 
Stairs leading to the "basement."
Basement/Cellar/Dungeon. But a good option for a quick storm shelter.
I think this might be the electrical panel. Or something phone-ish? Did I mention it has all the original plumbing and electrical work?
Looking down at the cute banister
Sweet wallpaper.
Stair landing
Stair surprise
Landing with a cute little closet.
Top o' the stairs
Hallway with built-ins. The bathroom is on the right, and the master bedroom is at the end of the hall. That door closes on its own. It kind of freaked me out when I was looking through the house alone the first time.
Second bedroom at the top of the stairs
Second bedroom closet
Main Bathroom

Master Bedroom
Master Closet
Cute shelf
Sitting room off of the master. There are french doors that separate the rooms. Seeing this feature is what sealed the deal on officially liking this house. I think it would be the sweetest little nursery ever.
Sitting room
Closet in sitting room
Ceiling in sitting room. It's right about the dining room, so the leak took out the first and second floor plaster.

One of the doors between the sitting room and the bedroom.

There's a detached two-car garage with an apartment. It would be really awesome. This is the living room. Through the stud wall is supposed to be a bathroom, kitchenette, and dining room.
In the dining area looking through to what would be the bedroom. The ceilings are staying sloped. Where was this apartment when Jake and I were poor married students?
The garage area. The garage and apartment are separated by a firewall and door.
Back of the house.
Front of the house. Still being repainted.

There is so much potential here. It's a house with a lot of spunk. I LOVE the interior trim color, and even the wallpaper. If I lived there, I wouldn't keep it, clean white trim is always the answer to me, but it reminds me so much of the minty-turquoise color of my girls beds. I think the color of their beds is perfect. I still really hope that the person who legally owns this house right now will ease up a bit on his stubborn, completely unrealistic [greedy] price so that someone can come in and love this house back to life. I don't think that person will be me, but I do love this house, what it could be. It reminds me of my darling Dot. It hasn't been messed with through the years (good and bad) so it has all of its original character. I feel like I need a new post gushing on Dot and how great I think she is for a million reasons, one of my favorites is that just about every inch of her is useful because it needs to be. She's easy to live in, easy to feel my way through. She's teaching me how to live the lighter life I'm drawn to. 

So, while I will probably never reside in this house, perhaps someday soon I'll make another post with all of the renovations I would do, I mean, why waste those ideas? ;)


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