Monday, November 30, 2009

Farewell to Autumn 2009

I am always sad to see autumn go. It always seem so short a season! I love the colors and the smells and the sights of fall. I love the events.
Today is the last day of this, my favorite season. Tomorrow it is December and the Christmas season begins officially at our house. I love Christmas, too. Yet I really hate to say goodbye to fall.
And before I do, I will relive the highlights of autumn 2009, one more time.
Here is my top 10 list:

1. The Arts Festival in Chickasha the first weekend of October was fabulous. The weather was perfect. The company fantastic. The USAO campus is especially beautiful in the fall. We enjoyed the weekend with Katie and Kris, Amy and Emma.

2. My second annual shopping trip with my friend Shelly is always a great way to kick off the season. We crossed off the stuff on our lists pretty quickly and then started making new discoveries. Our break for lunch at a favorite restaurant accompanied by the handsome and witty Greg Pettigrew was an added bonus.

3. Sorghum Day is one of the days Amy Arnold says is “the best of the year!” It’s right up there with Christmas and her birthday, so you know it is something special. The Sorghum Day festival has to be one of the most unique events anywhere. Harry Gray’s commentary from the band stand made this years’ parade especially memorable. There was also a poll conducted along main street regarding which McKenzie sister is the meanest. I am not sure how I could have been declared the winner when even our Mother said it was Johnna.
This year, there was no train ride to the barking waters or sorghum coated popcorn to munch on the way and there were no grab bags at Gille’s, but all the other familiar people and things were there – Sooner fans were gathered at Butner & Butner to watch the game, the mules were grinding cane on the grounds of the museum, craft and food booths, Juanita and her famous Indian Tacos…

4. Cookout at Pettigrew Farm. Right after the Sorghum festival we went to a in Calvin. You gotta love a weiner roast on a crisp October evening. There were guided tours of the acreage, amazing decorations and a black cat piƱata that appeared to have more than 9 lives

5. Fall Family Festival at First Baptist Church. Johnna (the mean sister) and I painted faces again at the Fall Family Festival at church. It is always a delight to see the pleasure the kiddos express with whatever we paint. My attempts are pretty bad in some cases, yet the children don’t seem to mind. Maybe that’s because of all that all that candy they give away at the various booths! Excerpt for the one year I was the keeper of the baby goat at the petting zoo, the face painting task is my favorite assignment.
The student ministers and their wives had to have taken the costume prizes/awards. One couple came as Shrek and Fiona and the other as Mario and the princess. Maybe next year I will sport a costume!

6. Football games. We attended at least on football game played in by my Oklahoma nephews. Trey Ervin is turning out to be quite an athlete. His name sounded over the intercom so often my hands got tired from clapping. I admit to taking pictures of interesting shoes at Trey’s ballgame, but only during breaks in the play on the field.
Kassidy Cook did his family proud, too, this season. We attended his last game as a high school player. Tommy and I made our version of Natchitoches meat pies for the game. I didn’t get home in time to make dessert apples so we took red flame grapes and some gingerbread men from the museum bazaar for dessert. Our great nephew Reid did his wolf howl for us several times during the game. I expect his Uncle Kassidy taught him that.

7. Seminole Nation Museum Annual Bazaar. One of the best days of the year in my book is the aforementioned museum auction. Richard Ellwanger, the director and his devoted volunteers do an amazing job. Penny Claborn, the secretary/bailiff for Wewoka Division of the District Court went with me this year. I think she was a bit taken aback at the rush for cheese apples (cheese balls shaped into the form of apples and garnished with holly leaves) and other signature goodies. The checkout line snaked around to the entrance by the time we got there at 8:40 a.m. Since I have not gotten a call, I can guess I did not win the quilt I bought several chances on. I am told I won yet another set of children’s books this year. I need to remember to pick them up tomorrow…

8. Trips to watch the progress on Cook Chalet, Lake Wewoka.
My sister and brother-in-law are building a lake house on what nephew Grayson calls, Aunt Karen's lake. It can't really be called a cabin, so I have dubbed it a chalet. You can see from the photos that it really does look like one. Its location is close enough that I was able to go out on my lunch hour and watch the progress when my schedule has permitted. The shape and plans have been ever changing, often expanding. The creativity of the builder and Kelbo, my brother-in-law who we also call "McGuiver" is pretty amazing to behold.

9. Time in the yard with our grandbaby Emma. Planting daffodils and chrysanthemums, pansies, cabbage and kale. Picking late fall tomatoes. Watching the leaves fall, the geese fly over and Ellie chasing squirrels. Hearing that laughter as she played chase with the maltipoos or ran in circles. Her collection of gathered acorns…

10. Thanksgiving Day. This is the third year in a row we've had a student from another country share our Thansgiving celebration. It is always fun to explain the traditions involved with this very American holiday or to look them up when we really are not sure why we do what we do each November. This year, Katie beau Kris Andrews, a native of jolly old England who is here attending college on a soccer scholarship celebrated with us the many reasons we have to be thankful.
We watched the Macy's Parade and had brunch including our favorite pumpkin bread and sparkling apple cider. Then we watched the National Dog show. We took turns in the kitchen, each making our favorite recipe to take to the mean sister's house, where we gathered this year.
We did not squeeze a nap in, which is unfortunate as poor Amy was so tired by evenings' end and looked so in the photos we took. We made turkey cookies after dinner and lots of memories throughout the day. We made lots of memories throughout the months of autumn.

There are a few I would just as soon forget. The days I was sick with swine flu, among them. Ditto for some of the heartbreaking things that have happened in our community, in our family and within our circle of friends and acquaintances. The good news is there were way more happy times than sad ones.
Here’s to fall 2009.
I’m gonna miss you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

our college cheerleader!

We attended Katie’s first collegeiate cheerleading event -- a
basketball game between USAO Drovers and OSU-OKC last week.
We sat behind the cheer coach and watched, as we have so many
games before, our baby do what she loves so much – cheer and tumble.
It was our second trip to Chickasha recently. On the Thursday before, we attended
The basketball kickoff event, called Drover Madness. Katie’s Granny Carol and Pop Buzz, Aunt Karen and Aunt Johnna, cousin Grayson and longtime friend and fellow high school cheerleader Rachel Cleere also drove out to watch the event.
Katie has taught us never to believe we are all through with things – there may be another chance waiting around the corner. In her case, the other chances are fabulous. And fun.