Sunday, November 18, 2007

Livin' On Tulsa Time

I thought about posting this to the London Blog since this will be my last visit home before I emigrate but decided it really belongs here. Tulsa is much as I remember (and expect) it to be, except with more stip-mall Middle Americana growing up around 71st and 81st streets. The frozen custard stands have mostly left and there are more Starbuck's to take their place. More restaurants, but old haunts like the 71st Street Depo are still serving 3.2% beer and regrets.

The flight in was the single-worst flying experience I've had; we booked an earlier flight than our original to try to make up some time and to adjust to Liz's schedule, but it ended up being canceled and we were rebooked on our original airline (albeit a later flight.) Our luggage was not; it ended up in Tulsa after us so total time in airports to fly the four hours to Tulsa exceeded 13 hours from arrival to luggage retrieval. We also had the pleasure of arriving the day of Oklahoma's centennial celebration, so I can say I was here for that but I missed Garth (Brooks) and Carrie (Underwood) performing. Next time I guess.

Last night we ran around with some of our old friends. Somehow we ended up at Denny's one last time. Bean and Tosha and Yuill were all there, and if Andy had showed up I wouldn't have been at all surprised. A few tables over a group of high school kids were hanging out after a football game and I realized as I listened to them I was looking at and hearing myself ten years ago. As easy as it is to make fun of home when you're not here, the lure of home once your back can be surprisingly strong.

Life continues much as it always does; my nieces and nephews are getting older, my parents and in-laws are getting older, and I know that I'm getting older too. If anything, this trip combined with the impending move has slowed me down a little, helping to remind me to take a little time and enjoy the company of those around me. After all, if we don't have these things - friends, home, and so forth - we really have nothing at all.

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