Archive for the ‘Oklahoma’ Category

Kiddie Park, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Kiddie Park was the main reason for going to Bartlesville.  We got there the last day it was open this season (the last Saturday in August) so it’s too late for you to go this year. 

The Little One had been pining for a Ferris Wheel,* and Kiddie Park has one just her size.  (You have to be shorter than three feet, ten inches.)  We were lucky it was open.  The floods earlier this summer had closed it down for about a month.  (Nothing like the flood of 1986, which nearly covered the train depot, but enough to cause problems.)  We were also lucky our friends had mosquito repellant for us since it is in Johnstone Park, through which the Caney River flows. 

Turtle Roller Coaster Turtle Roller Coaster 

Ferris Wheel Getting on the Ferris Wheel

Carousel Riding the carousel (Always, in our family, the last ride of the night.  As it turns out, it was my mother’s tradition as a child, too.  So this is a third generation tradition.) Can you see how tired she is?

After she ate nearly a whole bag of cotton candy, and spent two hours riding the turtle roller coaster, the little airplanes, the big airplanes, the pirate swing, two sessions of jumping in the moon walk (which she insists is called a convertible for reasons known only to someone at Vacation Bible School), the big roller coaster (too dark for a good photo, but it was my brother’s introduction to roller coasters) now known as the Little Fireball, the train, and, finally, the carousel, she was more than ready to go home.  (Unusual, since she is never ready to leave anything.) 

I carried her out to the car, and on the way, she announced she felt sick.  She didn’t actually throw up — chewing gum plus psychology can sometimes do wonders to settle a queasy stomach. 

Although I’d been asking her all evening about pottying, she didn’t need to go until we were half-way back to the friends’ house where we were staying.  Then, it was a potty emergency (but not to the point she wanted to stop and use the grass).  So, we rushed on home.  As we pulled into the cul-de-sac, I realized the backseat was oddly quiet.  She had fallen asleep in the middle of her potty emergency.  I did wake her up, and got her to potty and bathed, but she slept hard that night.

Total cost:  six dollars (including a dollar for the bag of cotton candy).  (Most rides cost a quarter, although the train, carousel, and bigger roller coaster cost fifty cents.  I rode the train, carousel, and bigger roller coaster with her.  Her grandmother accompanied us on the train.)

Future plans:  She is setting up Kiddie Park playdates for next summer with Fayetteville friends.  She also uses it as a conversation starter when she needs one.  (Last night, she asked our 4-yo neighbor if he had ever been to Kiddie Park.  He hasn’t.)

*Did you know the first Ferris Wheel was at the 1893 Columbus Exposition in Chicago?

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My old ‘hood

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

I grew up on a block of ranches, in a neighborhood of ranches, in a subdivision of ranches in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  In fact, my grade school was Ranch Heights.  There were plenty of ranches, although not much in the way of heights, being Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and the waving wheat can sure smell sweet … you get the idea.*  There was a single two-story house with white columns a block north of my house, and it still looks out of place.  We went over to Bartlesville last week, and I snapped a few pictures of our old neighborhood.

dscn0411.JPG Our old house.  We planted the river birch in front and the two red oaks in back.  The birch was surrounded by a circle of daffodils, which I thought made a nice fairy ring when I was little.  They were planted a lawnmower’s width from the birch so Daddy could mow.  The people who bought it 23 years ago whitewashed the tree trunks, and (I think, but maybe it was a hallucination) put whitewashed tires around as landscaping decorations.  A little out of place.  They have since sold to a retired couple.  I think the current couple removed the evergreens and softened the landscaping around the house.

dscn0412.JPG Our neighbors across the street.  They just had to remove the maple in front, due to disease and age.  Their daughter was my age and their maple was a great source for helicopters.  We stopped to visit while we were there.  (They’re about the only ones still living on the block whom we knew.)  He had a debilitating stroke a year or two back, but his brain is still working.  It didn’t take much to make it possible for his wheelchair to get in and out of their ranch.  A very small ramp, and he’s in.  I didn’t ask what they had to do for the bathrooms.  I think our main bath could have been converted pretty easily for a wheelchair (widen the door, change out the tub for a roll-in shower, and reduce the number of cabinets so the chair could turn around), but our master bath was 3/4, and small.

dscn0413.JPG My favorite babysitter and her family lived next door.  Her parents passed a few years ago, and we just learned one of their sons died recently.  One of their grandsons was the emergency room doctor in Tulsa when our neighbor across the street was rushed down there after his stroke. 

*Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical is the source for Oklahoma’s state song.  It is the only state song I know of that came from a musical, although there are other state songs that are recognizable.  (Georgia and a couple of those from Tennessee, for example.  Kansas’ state song is Home on the Range.)  Any of you remember your state songs?

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