Saturday, June 7, 2008
My Trip to SW Oklahoma.......so far
It all started last Sunday when I was leaving home in Arkansas for a short vacation with my mom in SW Oklahoma. I had driven 10 miles west and come into Paris (Arkansas) when a terrific storm hit. We had been expecting thunderstorms, but nothing like this! The wind was blowing so hard and it began raining so hard that I had to pull into an alley between two concrete and stone buildings for protection. My little dog Beau decided it was in his best interest to hide in the floorboard in the back seat. I sat in the blowing rain and watched milk crates and other debris float down the main street of Paris. Trees were blowing wildly while I sat there for about 10-15 minutes until the storm passed through. Since the B&M Cozy Cottage Gifts and Decor is located in Paris I decided it would be wise to make a detour and check on it before I left town. So I crept up the main street of Paris about two blocks and made the turn south down Elm Street and oh my goodness!!! what mess I found all the way up and down Elm Street. Street signs were blown over at their bases, wooden utility poles were leaning this way and that, huge old trees were split or uprooted and blown over. The front of one of the local restaurants was torn off and as I ventured farther down the street a power line was lying halfway across the street. At one point I had to back up because the water was too deep to drive through so I had to go around a couple of blocks and come back to Elm Street. Everywhere I looked there was evidence of the storm. When I finally made it to Cozy Cottage I was sooo relieved to see that other than alot of debris lying in the yard there appeared to be no real damage. My big trees still had all their branches intact, the roof looked okay, and even my shop sign was still standing in the front yard. I consider myself very lucky! I found out later that only a few blocks west the Chevrolet dealership got between $100,000 and $200,000 in damage from the storm. The photo is courtesy of the Paris Express and you can read more about the story by clicking on the link.
I checked the weather forecast and it sounded safe to travel on west toward Oklahoma so Beau and I headed out. Then just as we were entering Oklahoma City from I-40, out of absolutely NOWHERE a piece of 2x4 wood about 6 inches long hit my windshield. I still can't believe it didn't even leave a mark on the glass.....but at that point I was wondering if this trip might be doomed!!! We made a stop for dinner and a short visit with my oldest daughter and my grandsons in Oklahoma City. If you ever get a chance, stop and have the shrimp tostadas at San Marcos on North May in Oklahoma City....they are THE best!
After dinner Beau and I traveled on west for the last 2-1/2 hours of our trip which was pretty uneventful....thank goodness! We arrived at Mom's around 10pm and were both very happy to crawl into a comfy bed and go to sleep that night.
On Monday my brother and nephew came over and we drove up to the Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma. It's always a fun place to go because there are herds of buffalo and Texas longhorns grazing along the way. Our destination was a little town called Medicine Park where we wanted to eat dinner at the Old Plantation Restaurant located in a historic hotel. The food and service were great and we had a good time. Here is a picture I took of my mom, brother and nephew in front of the Old Plantation Restaurant.
Mom and I have been having a fun time shopping and eating out....I will have to go on a liquid diet for a month after I get back home!!! We've watched alot of HGTV and Dog Whisperer and taken lots of naps which has been sooo nice. Then on Thursday a storm hit here where she lives....I couldn't believe it! Once again, we were lucky and her house got virtually no damage, but we were without power for about ten hours. The temps have been in the high 90s and 100s so you can imagine that it was not very comfortable. But we found out later we were some of the lucky ones who got their power back first.....there are still people today (Saturday) without electricity and some without water in their homes. There was major damage mostly in the southeast and southwest parts of town but no deaths or casualties thank goodness. The winds were reported at 90 mph and turned over train cars, tore the top floor off of a motel and trees were lying in the streets everywhere. The local paper has a good report and slideshow of the damage if you want to take a look here. When our power did come back on, Mom's air conditioning unit wouldn't come on so we had to get an electrician to come out and luckily (again) he was able to repair it quickly so we got the house cooled off again pretty fast.
All in all, this has been quite an adventure......I'll be heading back home again in a few days and I'm crossing my fingers that the trip will be uneventful!
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