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10:28 a.m. - November 10, 2006
The Trip To OK And A Respectful Service
As we prepared for our trip to BFE Oklahoma, I realized that I was gaining weight.

Well, consider the diet I had on the trip – Satan’s Quick Service Restaurant, Steak N Shake (mmmm) and Applebee’s. And when we got to Snow White’s in Wichita, she made us BBQ Pork Roast with spuds and rolls and all the other stuff that makes life worth living.

Oh, but of course, I finished the meals of my kidlets when they could not finish them. Why waste food? (Burp….oh, pardon me…)

But I also knew that we were meeting relatives of Liz’s family there in Arnett, OK before the scattering in Shattuck, and I was certain that there wouldn’t be any health food served there. Not in the least.

Sunday, Liz and I woke up early, as we needed to leave by 6:30 or so to get to Oklahoma. It was a 4 ˝ hour trip and we wanted to be there in time for the lunch gathering. We were also taking a friend of Liz’s mother’s to the farm so she could pay her last respects, as well as my nephew so he could meet up with his parents.

After breakfast, I waddledwalked out to the car, got the car seats out and readied it for the trip. Kristin’s seat was still a bit pungent, but we did our best to make it passable.

We all loaded in the Kia, and off we went, streaming down I-35 (a road with very few turns) to US 412, where we journeyed through Enid and met up with US 60. US 60 would take us directly to Arnett.

As we passed through the countryside, I noticed that the friend we brought kept talking.

And talking.

And talking.

And talking.

Oh, sweet Jesus.

I had my headphones on (she didn’t like the music I was playing – and well – I don’t think it was really up her alley anyway – what 60-something enjoys Mastodon or We Are Scientists, anyway? Oh, the hip ones, I know) so I only caught a few moments of the monologue conversation, but basically it was about Liz’s mom and some memories (nice) – her children and grandchildren (sweet) – and other observations about this that and the other (yawn…zzzz….).

Poor Liz hardly got words in edgewise.

Onward we went, though, stopping at a rural convenience store for a rest stop and more provisions. I got some Ritz chips (those are soooo yummy) and Milk Duds.

Milk Duds?

Yeah, I don’t know either. It’s not like a movie theater was going to break out in the Sedona, but Milk Duds I wanted, and Milk Duds I bought.

I noticed along US 60 that Oklahoma noted if a country road led to a cemetery. I thought that was interesting, but for the most part, it just said “Cemetery” with an arrow. So if you had no idea what cemetery your long lost relatives were buried you could be searching for days.

We almost got killed again. It was another truck, and I was passing it when all of a sudden it started to veer right into us. Holy excrement! I backed off big time, then regrouped and made a safe pass. But still. Yow!

After 4 ˝ hours (and still on that one conversation, I swear) we arrived at the church in Arnett where we were meeting. Liz’s sisters were there, attending church with relatives, and we all went into the Fellowship Hall for Sunday school.

The minister was an old, crusty guy, and the attendees at the Methodist church all seemed older. He was teaching a lesson in Galatians, but started out by asking “What does everyone think of that woman Episcopal Bishop?”

I looked at Liz – and I looked at Liz’s sisters. There could be hell to pay.

But, to our surprise, he was very positive about that development. The consensus was that she should be judged on actions, not gender. But of course.

Then, he mentioned something about homosexuals, and I really thought that he was going to go down a path that I didn’t want him to go down, but he basically said that the problem with many Christians is that they react to people based on fear, and not love.

Whew! We avoided an incident for sure.

After the lesson, most of the congregation retired to the same restaurant where we were eating. We had most of the backroom of this country diner taken up with relatives of Liz’s family, and they were definitely country folk all the way.

But I know my way ‘round country folk’ll. I mean, where do I live? BFE Indiana. Indiana and Oklahoma, it doesn’t matter. Folks are folks.

This diner was a very typical country diner, and for lunch they had some great specials. The one that caught my eye was the Chicken Fried Steak – with gravy and mashed potatoes. For $5.95.

And it was a big slab o’ meat. And it had plenty of gravy – and then – they asked if you wanted extra gravy?

Sign me up for that!

Liz ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and the plate was piled high with fries. I knew she couldn’t possibly finish them, so I asked if I could finish them. Hah, after my excursion into cholesterolville I couldn’t eat another bite.

After lunch, it was time to go out to the farm. There’s a spot called Rock Hill that Liz’s mom wanted to be scattered, so we drove the Sedona to the farm and we all walked out to that spot.

The day was nice, and it was a breathtaking scene. The wide open spaces of Oklahoma really stood out. It was an impressive vista, looking out over the pond where the cows were gathered, and seeing land stretching out for miles and miles.

Liz’s oldest sister put together a very nice and respectful service. I had never been to a scattering before, so I was not aware of the protocol. At the end, you flush out the bag of ashes with water to make sure you get every thing out.

It was a moving service, and quite fitting.

We then explored the farm a little bit – watching out for live, fresh cowpatties and varmints and critters that are all on the land. We took a rock, a brick from the old chicken coop and the remains of a toy tractor, and then went on our way back home.

The drive back was pretty uneventful. I was able to find some NFL games on the radio, including the Colts game. One thing, though, was that it got really dark in the wilds of Oklahoma at night.

We arrived back in Wichita at about 8:30 at night. I ate a little dinner and watched the Colts game and basically collapsed after that. Katie and Kristin were already asleep, as they didn’t make the trip with us. They went to the zoo and basically had fun.

Monday, we did little or nothing, which was good. We had to leave early on Tuesday to get back to Indiana.

Liz started to feel more at ease during this trip. I think some closure was made, and that will be a good thing. The service definitely helped – and it put my mind at ease that Liz’s mom’s pain and suffering was over and she’s in the place she wanted to be.

 

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