The mix of snow and rain is piled about two-inches thick on the car windshield. I make my way around the car trying to avoid the puddles pooling on the driveway, scooping the slush off the car so I can get going and my way to the airport on time.
When I finally leave my driveway for the hour drive to Albany, the dashboard clock reads 4:28 a.m.
Crap! I’m running 21 minutes late (my car clock is set 7 minutes ahead) and the country road I’m driving is sheer ice. I silently repeat my mantra for the day over and over … “It’s 72 in Oklahoma, I’ll be there soon.”
I pull into the airport economy lot at 5:30. My flight is leaving in a little over an hour and I breathe a sigh of relief. No kids, no husband. I’ll make it through check-in and security in no time.
The random selection program sends me to the right. “Keep your things in your bag, your shoes and coat on and walk through the metal detector.” Things are looking good. We board the plane with little fanfare and then a flight attendant’s voice crackles over the intercom system. “Folks, our flight is going to be delayed a bit. The captain decided we needed a little more gas. No big deal.” That’s reassuring.
We fuel up, take off and I spend the remainder of the trip watching episodes of Law and Order: SVU until I change planes in Chicago.
While waiting to board the plane to Tulsa, another message from the airline workers: “Folks, we’re just waiting for the rest of the crew before we can board. It’ll only be a few minutes we hope.” Yes, a full flight crew is good.
Thankfully, the rest of the crew showed up shortly after, we boarded the plane and then waited for the wings to be de-iced. “It’s 72 in Oklahoma … It’s 72 in Oklahoma.”
I sleep. Watch one more episode of SVU and we’re there. And guess who’s waiting for me near baggage claim? A real-life Pioneer Woman! No, not THE Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. My best friend Pioneer Woman, L. The other Oklahoma Pioneer Woman in my life (sorry, Ree, there’s two of you).
L and her husband R, lived in Massachusetts near us for 10 years and then moved back to their hometown of Calvin, Oklahoma three years ago. They spent the first year building a barn-like structure which housed R’s taxidermy shop that served as their studio apartment for two years, while they built their dream home on 250 acres of land, with a pond and room for lots of cattle.
Their dream home would be my home base for the next six days and I was ecstatic.
LF is the most positive, opinionated, cheerful, say-it-like it is woman I know, and I find her refreshing. She is a Southern Baptist Republican, whose political and religious views couldn’t be more opposite than mine — and I love her immensely.
She’s always there for me with open arms, we agree to disagree often and life is always a party and an adventure when L and I are together.
We get my luggage, that in true Southern style takes forever to come. What’s the hurry, right? And I Stop to snap a photo of the sign painted on the airport door as we leave.
Only in Oklahoma. “Oh, you’ll see those everywhere here,” LF informs me.
Then we head to her little blue Versa that she’s had since her Massachusetts days, and we embark on our first adventure of the week — Pawhuska, Oklahoma. We’re going to Ree’s stomping grounds — to browse, to eat and to experience a little Pioneer Woman nostalgia. Yeehaw.
Welcome to MY frontier (story).