May 20. That date, by itself, will be remembered for a long time to come around here. In Moore and southwest Oklahoma City a tornado paid an unwelcome visit and forever left us with scars. Lives were lost in my community.
The tornado came while we were still at work so only our Siamese cat was home. Our cat was completely unharmed. Our home was damaged but habitable and repairable. Our truck was totaled. Briarwood elementary school, where our kids attended kindergarten through 6th grade, was pretty much leveled. Neighbors’ homes are gone, condemned or need of repair.
Thankfully, we have family nearby and had a comfortable and safe place to stay.
The next day my husband and brother climbed on the roof to put tarp over the problems. It was raining and when my husband stepped on the tarp he slid down the roof and landed feet first on the patio concrete. He immediately rolled in hopes of minimizing the impact. As I was talking on the phone to a good friend, I watched him fall and all I could think about was hoping that he wouldn’t be injured too badly. To our surprise he didn’t break any bones!
Two days after the tornado, I walked my neighborhood and took photos. Here’s a link to photos of the sights I saw: 2013 Tornado
Feeling luck was on our side and knowing there was little we could do at our home for several days due to the utter devastation in our neighborhood, Keith and I opted to go ahead and leave Thursday for our already paid for vacation to Las Vegas. We started planning the trip back in February. The first thing we did when we arrived was rent a red, Mustang convertible. Then we spent the next few days driving the area seeing sights Keith remembered from when he lived there as a boy as well as new places.
What a lucky girl I am!
As the temperature dropped this evening I decided to enjoy the hammock. As I lay there looking up, I noticed how full the sky was with interesting shapes and colors. It reminded me of one of my favorite songs when I was a young teen, Speak to the Sky by Rick Springfield.
Ye Weary Wayfarer
by Adam Lindsay Gordan (1833-1870)
Question not, but live and labour
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbor,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.
(This is the second to the last stanza of the poem. Read the entire poem at AllDownUnder)
Some days my froth and bubble comes from a bottle of bubble bath. If only courage were as easy.
In Keith’s great grandmother’s home (Eva Garee) hung a frame with the last four lines of the stanza above written in calligraphy. Apparently, it was a handmade gift from a friend. Eva had it on display at her home for many years and then her daughter, Elizabeth, had it on her wall. Keith always liked the saying and now we have it displayed in a curio cabinet.
Do you remember making valentine holders or mailboxes at school to put your cards in? In February 1968 I was in 2nd grade and at school we made a decorated heart shaped folder. I kept mine along with some of the cards I received. Some of the cards are from the kids at school, who I no longer remember, but there’s one from my cousins, Terri & Curtis (signed by my Aunt) and another from my Grandma.
Grandma printed her note because that’s all I would have been able to read at the time. It says:
Dear Kay Lynne,
Have a happy day and think of me.
How do you like your new school? How far are you from school? Do you have girl friends in your new neighborhood?
I wish you could see Tonya Rena, she tries to pull herself up and she tries to set alone. She weighs about 17 lbs now.
Well, I had better go mail this.
I love you,
We moved to Odessa, Texas in Febrary 1968 and I didn’t like anything about it. Thankfully, we lived there a very short time and, in fact, moved in April 1968. During that time of my life we moved a lot. My scrapbook helped create some lasting things in my world of constant change of homes and friends.
Of note today: Not feeling the best but am home with the one I love.
Since our daughter asked for an electric skillet Keith decided to give her our’s, which is not very old, and buy a new one for us. Today was the first day to use it and he made a savory roast with onions and carrots. Notice the orange color! Other than a typical day off with activities like laundry, cleaning & putzing on the internet there’s not much else of note to mention. All in all it’s been a relaxing day.
As I was thinking about skillets I couldn’t help but remember the song Skillet Good and Greasy sung by Joe & Eddie. My Mom used to play Joe & Eddie’s albums a lot when I was young. This particular song dates back to early the 1900’s and Dave Mason recorded in 1924. Then in about 1960 Bob Gibson & Bob Camp made it popular again followed by Joe & Eddie’s recording in 1965. There are a number of versions but my favorite is Joe & Eddie’s both musically and because of the humorous references they make to censorship.
Further Reading & Listening
- Bluegrass Messenger — the history of the song
- Uncle Dave Mason signing
- Bob Gibson and Bob Camp’s version — 29 second clip
- Joe & Eddie’s version
Any comments? I’d love to hear from you.
Summer of 1972, when I was still 12, my grandparents gave me the money from the savings account they established when I was born and it had a little over $100 in it. I still have the savings book in my scrapbook because that was a lot of money to me. I wanted a nice stereo and Dad helped me choose it. I spent all of my money on a really cool looking stereo with a bubble type dust cover, 8 track player, AM/FM radio and record player.
Every few weeks I’d ask Dad to take me to the Record Bar where I would buy a 45 RPM vinyl record with my allowance money. I still have most, if not all of those records.
This morning since I didn’t have to be at work until 11:00 I pulled some of those records out and listened to them. I have converted all of them to mp3 but sometimes I just like actually seeing, touching and playing them on a record player.
The songs I listened to this morning (included here with a link to a video and some of the lyrics) were:
Love Is What You Make It by Grass Roots (1973)
Love is what you make it
You can’t make or break it
So don’t you run
Run and hide
I said love is
Love is what you make it
And if you make it with me
We’ll make it all right
Hey hey hey
Beautiful Sunday by Daniel Boone (1972)
Ha, ha, ha, beautiful Sunday
This is my, my, my, beautiful day
When you said, said, said, said that you loved me
Oh my, my, my, it’s a beautiful day
Oh Babe, What Would You Say by Hurricane Smith (1972)
Just so, Baby I know
I know I could be so in love with you
And I know that I could make you love me too
And if I could only hear you say you do, oo oo oo oo
What would you say
I’m the Happiest Girl in the Whole USA by Donna Fargo (1972)
Skippidity do da
Thank you oh Lord for making him for me
And thank you for letting life turn out the way
That I always thought it could be
There once was a time when I couldn´t imagine
How it´d feel to say
I am happiest girl, in the whole U.S.A
Even though my music interests have changed over the years, I still enjoy listening to these songs and singing along. Each one of them are bascially about choices we make and finding someone to love.
How lucky for me that the lyrics I sang in my room beginning in 1972, as a 12 year old girl, came true. Skippidity do da, thank you, Lord for making Keith for me. And thank you for letting life turn out the way, that I always thought it could be. There once was a time when I couldn’t imagine how it’d feel to say I am the happiest girl, in the whole U.S.A.
The photo: Donna Fargo’s “I’m the Happiest Girl in the Whole USA” spinning on my turntable showing the worn grooves of my 45.