Easter was quickly approaching and the weather was growing warmer. We were getting outside more and more.
For my father that included golf. While I don't recall what Cody and I were doing I know what we were not doing. Cody and I were definitely not playing chess and probably not wasting any time with Terrible Terry Tinkle the fish. We weren't enjoying a ride in his remodeled '68 Camero either. He'd sold it. One of the hardest things he had done to date. I know because he still talks about it. I know because after a few weeks of making pies we ventured out to the Craft Fair at Duncan Fairgrounds. He took me in the Camero. Typical of early Dec. , it had been raining. I accidentally got mud on the interior door (white upholstery) and he about ended the relationship before we ever got started. It was a tense night. This was before the good night kissing started, I was on shaky ground. I was sure it irritated him, we never rode in it again. One ride. That's all I got. He sold it within the month. I was a clutz, it was too risky having me around it.
Dad on the other hand had gone golfing. It was in the afternoon when I came home that Mom gave us the news. Dad had been thrown from a golf cart and was in the hospital. Had it not been so serious it would've been comical. But he'd ruptured something and was in intensive care. Mom and my sister had been with him and come home. I needed to go, I needed to see him, to make sure he was going to be alright. Intensive care only let family go back, so I walked in to the open area on my own. There were no nurses around and several semi open rooms, I looked in a few then saw dad and entered the area. He was sleeping peacefully and I didn't want to disturb him so I walked quietly closer to the bed. He looked like my uncle Larry but worse, he'd swollen up, his face was horrid. I gasped. Then I realized it wasn't my dad. Thank the Lord he didn't wake up or that I didn't grab his hand. I was so embarrassed. I then went next door and found dad. While he was being treated for a hernia, aggravated from the fall, he was a good sight for these eyes.
Dad was released within the week. But I had other things on my mind by now. Like an all night Easter Pageant. My mom had told me stories from years ago when they would rein-act the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ at Medicine Park (about 30 miles away). They had condensed it down to 4 hours I think- progress or laziness- your call. I was excited. This was the closest we got to a movie, must've been a bad movie season. (however I did go and see Legend's of the Fall that spring with my girlfriends)I was excited about a play, I enjoyed the theater and we didn't get much around our town.
The deal with this pageant is that you sit opposite of the "stage" area on a grassy hill. In Oklahoma grass hill translates- they run buffalo/cattle/something that poops on it the other 364 days of the year.
This SW Oklahoman phenomenon was a crowded place. I had a blanket (much more conducive to snuggling) for us to sit on. So after we'd walked a ways through fields of cow poop, we found the grassy hill opposite the stage. In complete Oklahoma style they had left all the cow poop for us to sit amongst.Then the blanket didn't look like such a good idea.
Nonetheless we spread it out and tried to make the best of the night. It was dark and the show began. We knew how it ended so our gaze feel more on each other than the actors. For someone who'd slept alone for the last 17 years it was completely romantic, except for the smell of cow dung, snuggled up beside him on that blanket.
After a hour or two the physical chemistry of being so close had gotten to us. The kissing had started. Had it not been for the harsh Oklahoma field conditions and hoards of people around us, we may have remained that way for awhile. But odor loomed and the actors were shouting "Crucify Him" so we ended for then.
Just stinky memories of our first Easter as a couple.
The weeks were passing and things at home were strange, dad never does stay down long so he was on the mend. But my graduation was getting close and with any "ending" there comes stress, duty and sadness. The new and growing relationship with Cody was hopeful but I still had no idea what I was doing. Was he just a fun guy I'd had the privilege of dating a few months or was this going somewhere. Would I ever get back east? To the malls and nice restaurants. And please don't get me thinking about the ocean. Those ocean towns gave me some of my fondest memories growing up in North Carolina. And James Taylor. I hadn't listened to anything but Don Williams, Merle Haggard and Gaither Vocal Band in months. Sigh.
And while I had "chosen" to attend USAO with the Saudi Arabians (and Cody), I still didn't know what I was really going to do? And no body was telling me what to do. I had a music scholarship which required me to be in a performing group. I loved English. I'd spent the last 2 years falling in love with Robert Frost, Keats, Tennyson and Wordsworth. My parents were both English majors so this was no surprise. But all I'd really ever wanted was to marry and have kids. Just speaking my heart here. I don't think I am alone in this. And I may not be very "modern" or up with the feminist regime but my deepest desires were to find someone who loved me. The next deepest desire was to move back east, away from the cow patties.
I was in class one day at Duncan High School and had just left those favorite English writers. I was in Chemistry. True to my left brained, third child self I very much disliked Chemistry. Math and Science were not my friends. I'd be just fine if I never took another one of those classes in college. This is what kept me far from any medical field. The PA system came on, someone was going to make an announcement. Thank the Lord above, maybe it was to summon me!? Maybe my mom got me a dentist appointment or better yet it was Cody, recently done with school pulling a "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" stunt. It was neither. It was the secretary asking for blood. They had received word that a Federal Building in Oklahoma City had been bombed. It was very serious, many had died and they were holding an emergency blood drive at OBI's request. I would've rather deciphered chemical equations than deal with the fact that someone had just blown up a Federal Building in the middle of America. How had that even happened?
After a long day in class, we went home to watch the news. It was true. We saw the 9 story exposed building ourselves. Nothing this bad happened in Oklahoma. The rest of the world still thought we lived in tee-pees out here, all 100 of us. So many unanswered questions, so much sadness. I found comfort surrounded by family and Cody. Simply glad to have someone to love and be with. What we didn't realize is that was only the beginning of a terrible week. More tragedy was coming.