OK, to follow up my SC Top Ten list, I need to do a "Top Ten Things I Love About Oklahoma". Since it's the end of Thanksgiving Day, this seems like a good time to do it!
Top 10 Things I Love About Oklahoma (in no particular order, of course)
1. My Neighbors. I have come to the conclusion that it is absolutely necessary for you to have surrogate family if you can't live near your own. The Waddell Family has become that for us. We had Thanksgiving Dinner together today, and they aren't near any of their family either. We share cars, food, recipes, backyard toys, and clothing. How grateful I am to have them, and I'd be a lot lonelier here without Amber. I may be homesick, but at least I'm not lonely AND homesick.
2. Parks. Everywhere I go in Edmond I see a park. I love being outside and playing with the kids, and I love that I live within walking distance of 2 parks. Edmond also keeps their parks in pretty good shape, which is an added bonus.
3. Wind. It's a good thing that I love the wind, because otherwise I would be miserable. There are many days where the wind is a brisk 10-15 mph, not counting the gusts. And I've seen a number of days where the wind is closer to 20-30 mph. One day the wind was blowing so hard on the way to school in the morning that it tipped Kelsey over on her bike!
4. Cable. This may seem kind of funny, but we never had the option for cable in our house in SC because they didn't run any lines down our street until about a month before we moved. And even if we had, we wouldn't have gotten it because it's just expensive. The local cable company here does bundles of internet, phone, and cable that are less than what I was paying for my phone and internet in SC through AT&T. Nice.
5. Ben's Career. I am not criticizing Ben's other jobs, which we have always been good and a blessing when we needed them. But I am so grateful to have him in his career. It means that our life has moved out of the "someday" phase and into our "this is our life" phase. And it's a good life.
6. The Church. It may seem trite, but I will never forget the first Sunday I walked into church in Edmond. It was just after one of the most difficult weeks I can remember having, and I was living in a hotel with my husband and children, which included my 6-week old son. I walked into the church, found the Bishop in his office and sat down and cried. Bishops just do that to me, I guess. Actually, I really just felt like I was home. And I was, in a way. I was with the people that were going to be my surrogate family in Oklahoma. We have a good, strong ward and I'm grateful to be a part of it.
7. The Library. The Metropolitan Library here is fabulous. When Ben first went with the girls, he came back and I asked him how he liked it. He wasn't very impressed because he said there weren't many science fiction books on the shelves (which is what he mostly reads). The next time he went he asked the librarian if there were any more. Her response was, "Have you looked in the science fiction section?" There's a whole SECTION of just sci-fi! Not only is our library large and has a great selection, but we can borrow from the other large libraries in the Oklahoma City area. Nice. And there's some great programs for children, too, like Music With Susan. Kelsey LOVES it!
8. Braum's. Braum's is like nothing I've ever seen before. It's part fast-food restaurant, part ice cream parlor, and part market. The burgers are great, but the ice cream... you can get a single-scoop waffle cone for $1.25! That's cheap! And it's not McDonald's ice cream, either - it's like Baskin Robbins. There's also a small market that's priced higher than I'd pay for stuff, but they have everything from meat to produce to dairy to cereals.
9. The City of Edmond. The Lord really blessed us by helping us land in Edmond of all places in the OKC metro area. It feels like a small town in some ways, and really is very quaint. We live about a mile from downtown and by the university, so there's artwork all over, great sidewalks to get to the library, post office, whatever I need.
10. Mullets. We had been in Edmond about a week, and were driving down the street and saw a teenage guy on a bike with frizzy brown hair cut into a huge mullet. It made me feel like I was back in the south. It just seems like I can't be THAT far from home if I see a mullet... But really it just tells me that the people in Oklahoma are made of the same stuff that the people in the south are - and you'd better not get sassy with either one you're liable to bite off more than you can chew!