My Oklahoma family from my exchange student days rented cabins or stayed at the lodge at Altus Lake and had family reunions almost every summer so this place brought me great memories.
Among those great memories, are those of when my Brazilian family came to visit Oklahoma more than once in the 90's, we all had a great time, fishing, playing bridge, poker, Farko (Gil's favorite), plus GO KARTS and jet ski rides during the day.
Before we left for the park I realized how much of a spoiled big city girl my sister really is when she asked me to run to town and grab her a MAC Technakohl liner, (color JADE WAY) while she jumped in the shower...
Me-What is "MAC"?
Sister- It's a popular brand of make up, my favorite...
Me-Oh, ok, and you need an eye liner? Jade Green?
Sister-Yes, but it has to be a "Technakohl liner", "Jade Way"! don't you get the Jade Green eye liner, I have that one, I need "Jade Way" which is a type of green with frost...I lost mine in that little road side Motel in Memphis.
Me- hmmm, I don't think they sell that at Walmart...
Sister-Why would you buy make up at Walmart?
Me-well, it is the only store in town...
Sister-THE ONLY STORE?
Me-Yes, Thank God there is a Walmart this far west into the middle of God forsaken no where Oklahoma...
Sister-UGH! OMG, Ok, I guess I will have to use my blue one until my connection in New York sometime tomorrow in the afternoon.
Me-Yes, that is probably better.
Sister-Jeez, I would have to stock up in MAC products if I ever lived here...
Me-Yes, well, maybe, no, you would learn to buy whatever is available at your local Walmart...
Sister-Oh God I love Sao Paulo!
|Yes, Deb, that is a real gun with the 8 year old, this is rural America...|
Our Brazilian grandmother spent many vacations in Oklahoma when she was younger, she absolutely loved the GO KARTS, she always raced us all and won, time after time, she has always had a young spirit, she took us to "Rock in Rio" in 1985 and "Rock in Rio II" in 1991, she is awesome that way.
One of the reasons we enjoy Oklahoma so much besides our great friends are the animals, miniature donkeys, horses and even the cows, yes, we love cows, our friends cows have names and we get to feed them and do fun things around the farms.
|Beverly, my Oklahoma mom putting Scotty, my best friends son on top of a mini donkey|
|Mama donkey Sofia and her baby donkey Chico at our friends farm in Oklahoma, they love carrots :)|
|"Lucy" the dog checking on the first miniature horse born in the farm "Pedro" and his mama horse "Dorothy"|
Our Oklahoma friends are blue in the face OSU Pokes fans, they have OSU Tiffany lamps, Orange Christmas trees, Christmas ornaments, bed spreads, OSU Pool table, Bath towels, mouse pads, Shirts, pajamas, socks, glassware, toys, you name it, they go all the way decorating the house during game season, like right now, ok, we lost last week, but they had a blast just decorating the house.
My Oklahoma mom used to spend an average of U$1000.00 in OSU merchandise every time she visited Stillwater, OSU's headquarters, they saw that as a way to support the school and have fun while doing it, it is catchy, I will tell you the orange blood will be running in your veins before you know it.
My all time favorite Oklahoma gift received from Beverly, my Oklahoma mom, is a hand made wooden horse and wagon-music box that plays "Oklahoma" , ok, ok, my music box sounds more like this "Oklahoma", but the music stays in my brain for days every time I hear it, I love Oklahoma, this song has a special meaning to me, all the people I love, friends that I shared great happy moments, tragedies, births, deaths, marriages, dear loyal friends for life, many vacations and a huge part of my life since I was 17 years old up to this day.
Ok, back to the day at the park (jeez, I can side track like it's nobodies business), I am lucky I am not a child of today or I would be raised on Ritalin or whatever they give children for attention deficit disorder these days, so, focus, we decided to go to Altus Lake's amusement park and take the children on rides, we had the entire little park all to ourselves, we were in a group of 14 people so it was perfect to fill the rides, have fun and at the same time there were no lines, it was great.
It got dark around 8 pm, we were all exhausted from racing the GO KARTS and playing around all afternoon, so we got all the children in the cars, my best friend from my High School days brought his 3 kids to ride in the Expedition with Deborah, Gil and I, we had a full car of screaming children and people chatting away...I tell you, I don't know how you parents do it, 5 minutes with children in the car and I am dreaming of a Valium pill and a Margarita.
Well, before I could finish spelling Margarita in my day dream wish, driving about 30 miles per hour, a pack of about 5 deers jumped out of the woods right on the side of our car, it was starting to rain, I slammed on the brakes but there was no way to avoid them, they actually hit us from the side.
All the were crying and screaming, "UNCLE RAY KILLED BAMBI"... it was a surreal moment, it felt as if it all happened in slow motion.
Two deers actually hit us, one slid across the front wet hood and kept running into the woods and the other hit my front driver's side headlights and fog light...the deer kept running into the woods, we didn't see them again, so we assumed they were ok, it was another story trying to convince the children that mean uncle Ray had not murdered BAMBI or his mama, UGH!
I was really shaken up, we checked the truck, the only apparent damage was one busted fog light and a slightly crooked bumper, the car was perfectly drivable, we were starving, so we headed to town looking for a place to eat.
As we drove off the park, a typical fierce Oklahoma spring storm developed and believe it or not, distracted us from what had just happened, the lightening, thunder and wind really scared Deborah, not used to Tornado alley type storms, Gil and I were much more concerned than just scared, we knew the real danger of a Tornado in Oklahoma during that time of the year.
We were just outside of town but it felt like an eternity to drive 10 miles thru such strong wind, I had to hold the Expedition's steering wheel firmly with my two hands, had the radio on for weather emergency updates and didn't blink my eyes with every lightning in case we spotted a Tornado in the dark.
Deborah wanted to eat at Applebee's, not our first choice of restaurants, we would go with a local hole in the wall joint, but she wanted to compare with the Brazilian Applebee's, so we managed to relax a little, have a nice meal and catch our breath to take the road again back to our friends place some 30 miles away.
To our surprise, the town of Hobart was completely in the dark, we were supposed to pack and get the car ready to drive to the Airport, Deborah was catching her flight out of Oklahoma City at 6 am the next morning, so she finished packing with flash lights and candles.
We left in the wee hours of the morning, headed to the Airport, had breakfast with Deborah after she checked in and got a Hotel room in Oklahoma city to rest and get ready to start our LOOOONG 3 day drive up to New England.
We love Oklahoma and you can tell us it's not a natural choice or ideal vacation spot for a Brazilian gay couple from New England, but we are not your typical Brazilians or typical gays for that matter and we will take a lazy day at an Oklahoma farm over an exotic beach any day.