Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tulsa, Texas, Tahlequah

The reason it has been two weeks since I have written any Woodsong Notes is that the last two days of February, when I was supposed to be packing and preparing to leave on our long-planned trip, I had the old-fashioned respiratory flu replete with chills, fever, cough, running nose, and lots of misery thrown in for good measure. (Yes, I had a flu shot last fall.)

Gerald suggested it might be wise to postpone our trip, but I could not bear that disappointment on top of the misery. I argued that I might as well as be sick on the road as at home, and surely by the time we arrived I would feel better and far enough along to not be contagious. I did feel better, altho I am just now getting back my energy level and the cough is hanging on.

We stopped at Branson where we saw The Magnificent 7 and then onto Tulsa to see grandaughter Erin play softball with the Notre Dame team. When we planned the trip at home, we had tried to get a room at the same motel as the team, but they were full and recommended one, which we thought would be nearby. Actually it wasn't and was a little old to please Gerald, but to me a room in hand was better than tostart over to find a room, and besides the room was very large and well appointed with king-size bed, small couch, and large TV screen, etc. I did not see how we could do much better.

It was bitter cold when we arrived on Friday despite some green in the turf on the field at the University of Tulsa stadium. On Friday night and then on Saturday, we wore double-layered sox, slacks, and shirts topped with a winter coat and then surrounded with blankets. We had carried chairs with us as we've had too much experience with aluminum stadium seats in the past. However, the Donna J. Hardesty stadium had very comfortable concrete-rock seats. Nevertheless, our chairs with windbreaking rugs on the back were warmer.

By Sunday after worship downtown at First Baptist Church, which is in an exciting remodeling project and whose pastor brought a very worth while message, the weather was warmer and we were beginning to see blooms on the pear trees and even an occasional daffadil.

We had enjoyed seeing our son and his wife and their youngest daughter at the tourney, and they took us out for Sunday dinner after the game. Eventually we were allowed to travel across the town to meet up with the team before they flew out of Tulsa, so that was good. (Because of losing in the 8th inning, we could not immediately visit with the team.) Our son's family was to fly out shortly later.

We went back to our motel, and I immediately went to sleep for several hours as I did anytime I sat still for awhile. My flu was better but my energy level was zilch. After I woke up and we were relaxing watching television and snacking, we suddenly had the electricity in our room go out. We called the office and the repair person could not fix it and suggested we move to another room. (Yes, ours was the only room without electricity!) I could not imagine trying to pack up in the dark. We decided it was time to go to bed anyhow. So we did not move. We packed the next morning with a flashlight and the light from the area outside our draperies.

We were up early to get our beautiful new car back to the garage which had almost got it fixed on Friday when we arrived with all kinds of flashing warning lights. But a couple more warning messages showed up and the garage was closed until Monday morning. To make a long story short, the mechanic who replaced our main computer when the car had 150 miles on it had left the electrical harness on the exhaust. Quite naturally the harness had started to burn up with wires melding together. (So much for buying a new car to insure a peaceful relaxing drive. Ha.)

We were anxious to get on down to Amarillo to see my sister Rosemary, which was really the main purpose of our trip. Robert, the very sharp technician there at the garage, thought he could get it fixed if he had all day, but Gerald only gave him till l0 a.m. since we really had meant to be on our way the day before. So he did get most of the trouble cleared up and once again we had cruise control, and only one little warning light.

We had a great visit in Amarillo, but cut our visit short by a day or so in order to get back to the Tulsa garage to give Robert all day on Friday to figure out the remaining problems. Gerald had great confidence in the personnel there. As we traveled back, the brown highway scenes were broken up by occasional green wheat fields, some with cattle grazing on them. We loved seeing the huge modern windmills providing electricity along the way as well as the old-fashioned windmills that provided water for pastures. We stopped and had an excellent meal at a Cherokee restaurant and gift shop as we had also done on way down to Amarillo.

So we spent Thursday night in Tulsa again but at a different motel with electricity this time, and the next day while Robert fixed the car, we took a loaner pickup to Tahlequah and had a great day there at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Our trip home was boring without any flashing lights and entertaining calls to OnStar to amuse us, but everything was greener by the hour as we drove through Missouri. There were lots of daffadils now and many blooming trees, and even greener wheat fields along the highway. We managed to connect by phone with all of our children as we drove along, and it was good to know everyone was okay and everyone's lives were full and busy on a Saturday morning.

Maybe we took too many breaks because we missed picking up our accumulated mail at the Marion post office by about 30 seconds. As Gerald rushed in, the employee had just shut the door and locked it. We stopped for some fresh milk and orange juice and other groceries, and then pulled into the farm in the middle of the afternoon.

Our son-in-law was down, and soon he and Gerald were working on the lights on a trailor he wanted to take back to Lake Saint Louis. I started deleting emails, listening to 14 phone messages and returning calls, and doing the first two loads of laundry. (I had two phone calls from cousin Helen Sitter, who so pleased with a genealogy left in her door that she assumed I had left for her! Since I hadn't, I had to plead innocent and helped her decide it was her nephew Dick who had probably left it for her!)

Having heard about the heavy rains and wind while we were gone, we were pleased and grateful to see everything in good shape. Two duck nests were filled with eggs beside the house, and Gerald hurried to take all the ducks some corn as Gerry had done for them earlier in the week. Gerry had told us we had some teal show up, and we were glad they were still there on the lake. I was pleased to see two hollyhock plants had survived the winter and were making a good start toward adulthood. The day lillies are green again, and I made a mental note that I must get busy cleaning out the flower beds of winter's dead grass and debris. Rosemary called before I had a chance to call her to make sure we had made it home safely, and I was able to report that I'd talked with our cousin Helen after we arrived home and she was doing well.

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