Yesterday was my first full day in Oklahoma. It was full of excitement and adventure. I began my cross-country road trip in Boston on Tuesday morning and made it as far as Cleveland, OH, where I picked up my dad, who had flown in from a business trip in New Jersey. We were on the road at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, and fourteen hours later, we pulled into our lake house in Ketchum, OK. We slept late the next day and were back on the road by 9 a.m. We cruised into Oklahoma City at noon on Thursday, July 16. We had covered 1700 miles in two days and four hours.
Highlights from the road trip include: listening to Kerouac's On the Road while being, um, on the road (I had forgotten what Sal Paradise says about Dean Moriarty: "My first impression of Dean was of a young Gene Autry-trim, thin-hipped, blue-eyed, with a real Oklahoma accent-a sideburned hero of the snowy West"); picking up my dad in Cleveland; seeing the sunrise over Lake Erie; realizing that my Rand McNally Road Atlas says that my new neighborhood is the "Don't Miss Drive" for Oklahoma City; trying to guess the population, square mileage, and capitals of each state; forgetting that Pierre is the capital of South Dakota.
My first full day in Oklahoma consisted of the following: eating sushi with my sister and nephew; opening up a bank account in a bank that looks like a space ship; going on a final walk-through of the house that will soon be our first house to own; getting caught in a flash hail storm; having to wait out the storm under a gas station awning with 50 other cars; braving the suddenly flooded streets on the way back to the bank for a cashier's check; discovering that the bank's power had been knocked out by the storm; going to the bank branch inside the Super Wal-Mart; getting a very large cashier's check from a Wal-Mart bank branch; running into an old friend buying dry ice at the Wal-Mart; fried okra for dinner; checking my email after three days of being away; learning that Steve Lackmeyer had finally written a story about Jeff Bezdek's streetcar proposal for OKC; missing my wife and son, who fly out on Monday.
I retired to bed at 10 o'clock and found an old copy of E.M. Forster's Howards End on my old bookshelf. The first two sentences struck me as apropos of my new life here: "It isn't going to be what we expected. It is old and little, and altogether delightful."
Today we close on the house. Pictures forthcoming.