june 24, 2017

“One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”  ~ Robert A. Heinlein     The same day Sir Paul’s tickets arrived something else showed up at my door. Because he is one of the best people I’ve ever met, a kindred spirit, Ken Bailey mailed me – the true Okie, the expat – this awesome Oklahoma sticker.

august 30, 2016

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~ Lao Tzu     Always thinking of me, Angie sent this special Cherokee National Holiday t-shirt with a card signed, “Just because.” For years Angie has sent gifts ‘just because.’ It’s a wonderful thing to do to let people know you’re thinking of them; a wonderful example to follow, which I try to do. A few weeks ago, the stunning photo album below

june 1, 2016

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard     There’s a great building at the foot of Eldon Hill where highways 62 and 51 split. I think it used to be a grocery. It’s one of those buildings that screams ‘Oklahoma’ with its native red dirt rock walls. It’s within walking distance of the Baron Fork Bridge where I first experienced the joys

may 29, 2016

“Remind yourself that your mental & emotional health are important.” ~ Allan Lokos     Angie took me to the Illinois River Village where many friends have homes or cottages. Some were flooded in the record flood that hit back in December. The rebuilding continues. We went specifically to see Shelley Womack and Charlie Tannehill. They’re building a small cabin in the village, the skeleton of which was, fortunately, spared during

may 27, 2016

“Never be defined by your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” ~ Unknown     Ever since last year’s visit to Oklahoma I’ve promised Ken Bailey I would see him the next time I was in the state. I stayed true to my word. Taking the northern route home, I stopped in Vinita, Oklahoma where Ken now lives. He was able to sneak away from work for

july 21, 2015

“Why does Everything have to be one way? It doesn’t. One way is narrow mindedness in action…Close the mind and open the heart.” ~ Vickie Vest Caskey     Last July Robin Jackson introduced me to Liberty School in Moodys, Oklahoma. I said I was going back. This July, Ang and I were doing some dirt roading in the Moodys area, and she took me back.     It was the

july 14, 2015

“People nowadays are just looking for a reason to be offended. Play with your kids. Walk your dog. Read a book. Take a hike in the woods. Work on being the best person you can be. Busy your mind with things that bring you joy and you will have no time for the things you can’t control or don’t understand.” ~ Brett Williams     We followed this beautiful little

july 9, 2015

“Whatever makes you weird is probably your greatest asset.” ~ Joss Whedon   One evening Angie and I went driving. She stopped quickly and pointed to this house. The sun was setting perfectly. I showed the image to Pam Kingfisher the following day. It turns out that this is the house she passes frequently and photographs during stunning sunsets. It also happens that her great grandmother’s house was next door. It has since

april 5, 2015

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~ William Jennings Bryan     Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of Angie Bliss Fanning on my refrigerator door and giggle. That day at the creek in Proctor, Oklahoma some twenty years ago was pretty dang fun, as

july 22, 2014

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” ~ Napoleon Hill     This tiny schoolhouse, Liberty School, sits at a red dirt crossroad near Moodys, Oklahoma. Established in 1911, just four years after statehood, I’m told the school is used as a community center these days. It’s in good shape, and the grounds are well