Christmas In Oklahoma
Like pretty much everybody else these days, I am a Facebook junkie. I like how it involves me in conversations that I would otherwise never have had a chance with which to be a part.
So one of the Fan Pages I follow, Oklahoma Nation, a page dedicated to the wonderment that is Oklahoma, the State where I was blessed to have been born, asked this question: What are your memories of Christmas in Oklahoma?
If there was any one wish that I could have, I would want my grandparents to have had the chance to meet and get to know Ben. They were all gone long before I had the chance to get to know them as I wish now that I had, one Grandfather passing five years before I was born, the last, my other grandfather, passing in the Spring of 2000. My Grandmothers were both amazing in their own ways, and the more I find out about them later in life, the more I wished that I had known them better in life.
My folks moved to Colorado in 1966, but it was common for us to return to the ancestral homeland for the holidays, including at least one trip where we were caught in a major Kansas blizzard resulting in a family adventure that fortunately most of kids have forgotten about for the most part. But it was always a moment of excitement when we would reach El Reno, knowing that we were literally minutes from the Exchange Ave exit and then on to SW 14th Place in Oklahoma City and the wonderful porch swing, pull out couch (“divan,” as Grandma called it) and all those wonderful treats and presents waiting under the tiny tree in the living room in which my own father had grown up.
For the most part, I don’t recall the actual presents. There is, of course, one that will always stand out, but what I really recall of the holidays in Oklahoma was being together with family. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the associated people who knew our family. Those moments are what I still recall, even long after the toys broke, the clothes no longer fit and the treats were eaten.
There came a time when we celebrated Thanksgiving in Oklahoma City, in 1976, after the passing of Grandma Clara. For the longest time it was the largest family gathering we’d had on the old home grounds. And until March of 2000 it would remain so.
What I remember of Christmas, and other holidays, in Oklahoma is my family. And I wish that it had lasted long enough for Ben to have been a part of it.