Helloooo Oklahoma! We made our 900 mile journey to see Mom Johnson and other Oklahoma relatives and friends the first part of October. Old Glory was stored at Buck Creek Campground in Marion, North Carolina, to save a little bit on gas. We also didn’t want to risk another break down considering the way our year has been going so far.
October is a good month to visit Oklahoma. It felt like summer part of the time but, as usual, if you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, just wait a minute. We experienced some Oklahoma winds a couple of days and there were high 80 degree days and some 40ish nights. It was nice enough to do a few yard projects with mom.
And mom does have a beautiful yard – the evidence of her consistent attention and care is everywhere. We mostly sat on the patio and enjoyed it, but we also helped her divide a few hosta plants, dig up some daffodil bulbs and pick some tomatoes to share with her friends and neighbors. She loves to cut flowers to deliver to local nursing home residents as well.
We told mom to make a list for us so we could help her with any projects or to-dos while we were with her. The wood paneled wall in her living room was transformed to a light shade of grey. It really lightened up her living space.
Her list got shorter as several little painting and repair projects were completed. Multiple trips were made to Lowes, an ice maker and a planter were repaired, light switches were replaced and quite a few things were repainted or touched up.
Through it all, Flossie the cat observed. She actually belongs to Mom’s neighbor but she loves to show up for a little belly scratching and I like to call her Floss the Boss. She would deserve the title of “Her Flossiness,” as she seemed to approve of all the activity but only showed up when it suited her, never really lending any help – just overseeing our work.
There are some little creatures that reside in Mom’s yard full-time…like this frog who lives in the tea kettle on her patio. He likes his apartment underneath her hen and chicks.
Mark smoked some ribs, filet mignon and chicken on his Davy Crockett Green Mountain Pellet Smoker while we were there. We love this little smoker and it’s the perfect size to take with us on our travels.
No trip to Oklahoma would be complete without a visit to Braums, one of our favorite ice cream places. They have $1 twist cones and several delicious ice cream flavors. Taco Bueno was on our list to visit too but they were not open for dine-in and their drive-thru was too small for our truck.
Our friends, Ray and Mary, live in Shawnee so we contacted them to ask if we could swing by and see them while we were in town. We said a “socially distant” hello and visited for a bit over their fence. We also saw our friend Manoi briefly.
We stopped by the cemetery to visit my Dad’s grave and help Mom replace the flowers there. This year is the 6th anniversary of his home-going and we remembered him as we do every year with his favorite apple fritters for breakfast.
Dad always planted Morning Glories and Mom plants some for him every year. They are loaded with buds this year and they started to bloom the day before we left!
We visited my Uncle Austin and cousin AJ for a little bit. They have some cows on Uncle Austin’s land. The cows just had some calves so we got to see them and Uncle Austin’s new tractor. Sorry I only got pictures of the cows and not Uncle Austin or AJ : (
We enjoyed our 2 week visit but we had to start back toward North Carolina to pick up Old Glory and attend to some business. We stopped at the Arkansas/Tennessee border to see the big Bass Pro Pyramid. It was quite an awesome sight.
Then we made a stop in Pigeon Forge to visit the Old Mill Restaurant and shopping area. The Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area was jam-packed with tourists for leaf peeping season. We wore our masks but there was no easy way to social distance with that number of people.
We are now safely back at Buck Creek Campground and Old Glory is back by the creek for a couple of weeks. The trees are beautiful in this area now and the weather is perfect for enjoying some easy, relaxing campground/creek time.
As we enjoy the beauty of this season, the changing colors of the leaves remind us that change can be good. Next week we will have an important update. If there were road signs describing our travel journey this one would read “Big Change Up Ahead.” We are soooo excited to share it with you!